Plateau Crisis: A Clear Genocide Against The Beroms In Nigeria  -Barr Pwajok SAN 

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Yakubu Busari

About  twelve thousands Berom’ s speaking natives of North Central  Nigeria were massacred in in Riyom, Jos South  and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau state by suspected herders in a communal Land dispute between them .

 

The Beroms speaking natives have suffered more casualties in the entire  crisis riding areas that  lasted for two decades  of killings and destruction of lives, properties and animals worth billions of naira .

 

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The counsel to the Beroms, Barr Edward Pwajok, SAN, and Barr Niri Darong in their  application seeking to join a suit filed by Fulani community against federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the  federation  claiming N55.5 billion as compensation for the death  of 500 herders, cows Goats and houses was brought before a federal high court sitting in Jos.

 

The Berom Communities in Plateau applied to the a Federal High Court sitting in Jos to join the Federal Government as codefendants in a N50 billion case filed by a group of People.

 

Our Correspondent reports that the group led by one Ardo Ruwa Inuwa on behalf of select victims of Plateau crises, alleged that several of their kinsmen were killed aside 1000 cattle, unspecified number of houses and other property lost to several crises right from 2010.

 

Joined in the suit, in which they are demanding for N50 billion as general damages, is the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as defendant.

 

But when the case came up before the presiding judge, Justice Dorcas Agishi on Tuesday for hearing, the Berom communities, through their led counsel, Mr. Edward Pwajok (SAN), filed a motion on notice to join in the case as co-defendants.

 

Pwajok told the Court that “as Berom people, we have a stake in this case having been mentioned and tagged as the perpetrators of the alleged killings and destructions which informed the institution of the case.

 

“My Lord, this motion on notice is brought in pursuance to section 9 Rule 5 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and the inherent jurisdiction of this Court,” he argued.

 

But Mr M.M. Nuruddeen, Plaintiffs lead Counsel, opposed the application and urged the Court to dismiss it for lack of merit.

Nuruddeen said, “My Lord we oppose this application in strong terms and urge your Lordship to dismiss it because it absolutely devoid of merit.”

 

“If your Lordship look deeply in to the motion or application, you will note that not even one relief is being sought against the plaintiffs so it’s totally empty and void and should be dismissed forthwith,” he pleaded.

 

Pwajok, however, objected to that line of argument and described the allegations raised in the case “put the Berom people in very precarious position having been accused of the perpetrators of the killings and destructions in the crises in Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Governments.”

 

“May I humbly submit that such a strong and wild allegations that it was the Berom people that killed fulanis and destroyed their cattle’s and other property raised serious questions that must be answered whether it’s the Berom people that carried the acts.

 

“My Lord, those questions must be answered before the reliefs are granted or denied

 

“The fear of the Berom people of such allegations is how the world will look at us and it’s eventual consequences to our survival and existence.

 

“We hereby urged your Lordship to discountenance the objection raised by the Plaintiffs’ Counsel and grant our application to be joined as co-defendants In this matter, “ Pwajok pleaded.

 

Also speaking, Mr Abdullahi Inuwa, the lead Counsel to the Federal Government, said “on our part, we are not objecting the application raised.”

 

Justice Agishi then adjourned the case to Feb. 12, 2020 for ruling on the motion and continuation of hearing.

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