Top Nigerian media outlets including TVC, Channels TV, AIT, Thisday, Vanguard, Peoples Gazette, Guardian, African Newspapers and Vintage Press Limited have been dragged before the Federal High Court in Abuja by a Fulani Nomad over alleged ethnic profiling.
Also included in the suit as defendants is the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the National Human Rights Commission, Naija News understands.
A Fulani nomad, Dr Ahmadu Shehu through his counsel, Barr. Ummahani Ahmad Amin, alleged that the media outlets were fond of ascribing most of the bandit terrorist attacks across the country to Fulani people.
He lampooned the 4th–12th respondents in the suit for wrongly linking the deadly events to Fulani people, tagging them as either Fulani herdsmen or Fulani bandits.
Shehu argued that it is inordinate, unconscionable, discriminatory and a violation of Fulani peoples’ right to enjoy all the civil rights recognized and guaranteed by article 2 of the African Charter on human and people’s rights; article 1 of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and article 2 of the Declaration of Human Rights.
He prayed the court to declare that the alleged actions of the defendants have the effect of nullifying and impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life, which in his view is a violation of their rights as provided in article 1 mentioned above.
“The actions of 4th-12th respondents is suggestive of domination of other Nigerian tribes over the Fulani people and is a violation of their rights as enshrined in article 19 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
“It’s a violation of their right to mutual tolerance and respect by his fellow beings without discrimination as enshrined in article 28 of the same Charter,” The petition obtained by DailyTrust reads.
It added that the actions are “Capable of exposing the persons of Fulani extraction to hatred, contempt, ridicule and conveying an imputation of terrorism and banditry on the entire Fulani ethnicity, thereby constituting a violation of their right to protection from unlawful attacks as enshrined in article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.’’
Shehu sought the court to give its perpetual injunction restraining the 4th-12th defendants, their defendants, privies, agents, successors, howsoever described from further attributing any bandits/terrorists’ attack, past or future to the persons of Fulani ethnicity and describing the perpetrators of such attacks as Fulani herdsmen or Fulani bandits.
He also prayed the court to direct the respondents to pay the sum of N100m as compensatory damages in consonance with Section 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.