Herdsmen attacks: CSOs frowns at tilted scale of justice
A coalition of civil society organizations; Joint Nigeria, Crisis Action Committee, JN-CAC, has frowned at what it tagged the tilted scale of justice in Nigeria.
The coalition is in a statement jointly signed by Abiodun Baiyewu, Chidi Anselm Odinkalu and Yemi Adamolekun, on behalf of the coordinating committee of the JN-CAC, accused the federal government of complicity.
The statement reads in part: "This week, Nigerians received news of the conviction by the High Court of Adamawa State five persons on charges of culpable homicide punishable with death for the killing of a pastoralist in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa.
"Given the facts of the case, it would appear that the security agencies were diligent in the task of investigation as well as in arresting and prosecuting the culprits. We applaud their assiduousness in this particular case, and affirm our support for the rule of law and the administration of justice."
"However, we are reminded that in the first quarter of this year alone, more than 4,000 Nigerians have been killed in violent attacks, including many women and children, by persons or groups described in various places as armed pastoralists, rustlers or bandits.
"In some cases, these perpetrators have decimated entire communities or laid to waste massive human settlements, including schools, hospitals and places of worship. In nearly all these cases, there have been neither arrest nor diligent prosecution.
"Government has a duty to affirm in words and in deeds, its commitment to the equal value of every Nigerian life and to the equal protection of all Nigerians. Where it fails to do this, it encourages the perception that it is unwilling to protect every Nigerian and unable to hold equally accountable anyone who violates a Nigerian life.”