The Miyetti Allah Kyautal Hore has threatened to drag the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to court over his recent comment on the plan by the group to establish a security outfit called “Miyetti Allah Vigilante.”
The group had penultimate week announced its plan to set up the security outfit to operate nationwide.
But in a statement on July 30, 2020 by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor said in as much as he did not have any problem with the group floating a security outfit in other states, he warned that “such a vigilante group will not operate in Benue State.”
In a letter addressed to the governor by its lawyer, Mamman, Maiyaki and Co., the group said Ortom’s position infringed on the constitutional rights of its members to peaceful assembly, association and movement.
It also noted that the press statement which was published by some national newspapers maligned its members and was capable of inciting ignorant people against them.
The letter dated August 5, 2020 was titled “Demand for retraction and public apology for maligning and making false publication in national dailies against the Miyetti Allah Kyautal Hore socio-cultural group,” and was signed by W.S. Mamman.
The group reminded Ortom that his state is part of Nigeria, and that its members, being Nigerians, have the constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and association in any part of the country, including Benue State.
It, therefore, gave the governor seven days to retract the comment and apologise in order to avoid being dragged to court.
The letter read, “We have gone through your statements in three national dailies and found same highly derogatory and maligning of our client and same is capable of inciting other ignorant Nigerians against our client whose goal is mainly aimed at peaceful co-existence among its group and other members of the society at large.
“Making such an inciting false and negative statement against our client without any proof is highly unacceptable as our client has completely denied being associated with any form of banditry and killing hitherto going on in the country and has instructed us to demand and we hereby demand your retraction of all the statements on the national dallies with a public apology on the same newspapers.
“The apology should be published in a conspicuous part, especially the front pages thereof within seven days of your receipt of this letter and failure to do, we will have no any other option but to activate the legal machinery of the law against you and Benue State.
“This is to ensure adequate remedy for and against the breach of our client’s fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wherein we shall claim damages which shall be over seven figures.”