Buratai, 13 others taken to U.S. district court over Biafra protests
• Again, Arewa leaders urge Igbo in Kaduna to ignore eviction order
• Lalong, group say quit notice lacks morality, unwarranted
A United States (U.S.) District Court for the District of Columbia has granted leave to 10 Biafran plaintiffs to sue Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and 13 others for complicity in the 2016 torture and extra-judicial killings under colour of Nigeria law to retaliate for peaceful Biafran protests against ethnic or religious oppression.
Brought under the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint, the plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars as damages to compensate for their grievous losses and suffering.
The suit, John Doe, et al vs. Tukur Yusuf Buratai et al, with Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-01033, has been assigned to United States District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, who was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton.
The court further ruled that the “plaintiffs alleged that identifying plaintiffs or decedents would expose them, their families and relatives to an intolerable risk of death or serious bodily injury at the hands of defendants or the Government of Nigeria.”
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Attorney Bruce Fein of Fein & DelValle PLLC, and W. Bruce DelValle, said, among others: “This landmark lawsuit is about justice and the rule of law coming to rescue Igbo, Biafrans and their political supporters who are persecuted, because of their Christian religion, ethnicity and political viewpoints since Nigeria’s independence from its colonial master Great Britain in October 1960.”
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Kaduna Chapter, has again urged all Igbo resident in Kaduna State to ignore the threat and go about their lawful businesses.
In a statement yesterday jointly signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Mohammed Kabir Umar and Patrick Katuka respectively, the Forum urged sons and daughters of Ndigbo to ignore the call by Arewa youths and remain peaceful citizens in the North.
According to the ACF leaders: “The problem with Nigeria is not the problem, but how we react to the problem. Nigeria will ever remain one soluble and indivisible nation in our best and worst situations. The old and the young who are culpable should retract from this evil in the name of God.”
In another development, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has said that the eviction order by the northern youths lacked morality.
In a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Samuel Emmanuel Nanle, the governor said the eviction order was a total departure from the northern spirit, adding that the posture of the youths was against the principle of peaceful co-existence.
He urged all compatriots to work for the integration and unity of the country irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliations.
Also, a group, Advocacy Network (Siyasa Akida), has described the Arewa youths’ quit notice as unwarranted.
In a statement by its National Co-ordinator , Alhaji Aliyu Tukur Gansta, the group said such a call was capable of brewing anarchy and confusion in the land that is strengthened by diversity.