Shehu, a Fulani nomad, who approached the court through his lawyer, Ummahani Ahmad-Amin, alleged that the media outlets had caused damages to the integrity of the ethnic group by describing perpetrators of attacks as ‘Fulani herdsmen’ and, or ‘Fulani bandits’.
Arguing that the wrongful ascription of heinous crimes to the ethnic group violates their right to enjoy all the civil rights recognised and guaranteed by 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 maintained that the said media houses were 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.
“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.
“It’s also 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,” the petition, said.
The activist, therefore, sought the court to give a 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, while also praying the court to direct the respondents to pay the sum of N100m as compensation damages in consonance with Section 46 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.