Ten Biafran agitators have filed a suit against Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, and 13 others for their alleged complicity in the 2016 torture and extra-judicial killings of some Biafra protesters.
Brought under the torture victims protection act and alien tort claims act complaint, the plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars as damages 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 Ellen Huvelle, a district judge.
At a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, some civil society groups alleged that those behind the suit were being used to distract the military and to also interfere in the sovereignty of Nigeria.
Oladimeji Odeyemi, president of the National Committee of Yoruba Youth (NCYY), one of the groups, said his organisation would write a petition to the US embassy in Nigeria over the issue.
“We have concluded plans to petition the embassy of the United States in Nigeria over yet another attempt to carry out orchestrated plans to distract the nation’s security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army,” he said.
“The activities of these persons who now seek to hide under the US Judicial system to distract Nigeria’s ongoing war against terrorism, separatists’ agitation and all forms of insurgency pose several security threats to not just Nigeria, but also to other countries of the world.
“We will mobilise the support of the United States government and other international bodies to assist Nigeria in promoting and sustaining the peaceful atmosphere currently being experienced in the country as a result of the brilliant effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, coupled with the untiring commitment of the nation’s security agencies.
“We wish to advise those persons and their political patrons who think they can hide in foreign lands to truncate the ongoing process of sustaining our country’s unity and mutual trust to have a rethink, and join in the ongoing process of building a new Nigeria.”