Nigeria’s ace member of the judiciary, Femi Falana (SAN) has defaulted Oyo businessman Sunday Igboho for the eviction order issued to Fulani herders in the Ibarapa LGA of Oyo State, saying it is unlawful and wrong.
Recall that Sunday Igboho has been in the news since Friday 22nd January for waging war in Igangan town of the Oyo LGA at the expiration of the seven-day quit notice he gave the herders living in the area following alleged kidnappings, killings and invasion of farmlands.
He and his followers had stormed the town on that Friday evening and ejected Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir and the herders.
This has led to the South West Governors having a meeting with Miyetti Allah in order to proffer solution. One of Sunday Igboho’s house in also suffered burning as a result, amidst the many other incidences that have taken place since then.
Condemning his act in an interview with BBC, Femi Falana said a private citizen cannot just wake up one day and declare eviction, not even the government. “With profound respect under our laws, even a squatter cannot be ejected and that is why on a daily basis, tenants are given quit notices by landlords or owners of properties.
So, a private citizen cannot wake up and say anybody should leave the community, you must embrace the rule of law”, he began.
“Nobody can do that, not even the government because section 43 of the constitution says every citizen shall have the right to own and acquire properties in any parts of the country.
The campaign of the human rights community is that if you are born in a place, or you have lived for not less than ten years in any part of the country, you should be considered an indigene and be entitled to all the rights and privileges of the so-called indigenes of the state.
“So, for me, there is no way I can embrace anyone who has given quit notice to any group of people. We must stop the idea of criminal profiling. If anybody has committed an offence or a group of people has committed an offence, we must fish them out and have them tried under the law but you can’t wake up and say all Yoruba people, all Hausa people are criminals, all Igbo people are criminals. No, it is a fallacy of generalisation”, he added.