The Fulani Youth Association of Nigeria (FUYAN) have threatened to drag the Nigerian Army to court over the prolonged detention of Miyetti Allah leader, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo.
FUYAN said the continued detention of Bodejo by the Nigerian Army without trial smacked of impunity of the “highest order and their lawyers are warming up to this matter”.
Recall that Bodejo was apprehended for his involvement in establishing the Nomad Vigilante Group in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, on January 17.
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During the group’s inauguration, he expressed its main goals, which include safeguarding the well-being of farmers and herders, assisting in information collection for Nigerian security agencies regarding criminal activities, and promoting peace in rural areas.
The group in a statement issued on Friday by its convener, Ambassador Mohammed Tasiu Suleiman, said that the Nigerian Army has no constitutional power to detain any person beyond 24 hours.
The group called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene and order the immediate release of the herders’ union president.
FUYAN said, “The Nigerian Army is not empowered by our laws to detain any citizen. The Police and the DSS are the only ones with the power to detain a Citizen. Keeping Alhaji Bodejo for this long period is illegal.
“The Army should hand over our leader to the Police or the DSS and grant them records of whatever they are investigating. By this illegal act, the Army is going outside its constitutional duty.
“We call on President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to as a matter of urgency order the immediate release of Bello Bodejo.
“The Nigerian Army had no constitutional power to detain any person beyond 24 hours without charging him/her to court. Therefore, the detention of our Leader, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, is alien to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He said, “If the Army has any evidence against Bello Bodejo, committing an offence known to law, he should be arraigned before a competent court. Subjecting him to illegal detention is an infringement on his fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“The Nigerian security apparatus, which is known for its professionalism, respecter of rule of law, should demonstrate such etiquettes known to it, by granting the President of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo his constitutional rights as a law-abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and should be allowed to go home as his continuous detention is illegal and unconstitutional.”