Human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria Femi Falana on Friday filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the Nigerian Railway Corporation from resuming train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route until the railway lines are adequately protected from attacks by bandits and terrorists.
Also joined in the suit is another human rights lawyer, Marshal Abubakar.
Both activists filed the suit on Friday ahead of the now-botched planned resumption of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route on Monday, March 28.
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The suit against the NRC, the Minister of Transportation, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, declared that the Respondents on the matter, are bound to secure the railway lines linking Kaduna State to Abuja (and indeed all other railways lines in Nigeria) against armed attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers, and other armed groups before the recommencement of railway transportation services.
The lawsuit relied on Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act, Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria which guarantee that every person living in Nigeria is entitled to the protection of their fundamental right to life.
In the suit with file number, FHC/ABJ/CS/22, the applicants declared that the brutal killing of unarmed passengers in the Abuja – Kaduna bound train by armed gangs/Boko Haram terrorists on the 28th day of March 2022 is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental right of the deceased to life guaranteed by Section 14 (2) (b), 15 (3) (b), 33 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They however asked for the relief of the court mandating the Respondents to protect the lives and properties of every passenger plying the Kaduna- Abuja Railway lines(and indeed all other railway lines in Nigeria) by recruiting adequate security personnel and security gadgets to guard and protect every of such passengers utilizing the public railway transportation system in Nigeria.
They also sought an order of the court prohibiting the Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Transportation from recommencing railways services on the Kaduna- Abuja route until adequate security and requisite gadgets are provided to ensure the safety and protection of lives and properties on the route.
Other reliefs sought by the Applicants is for the court to mandate the Respondents officials, whose alleged criminal negligence caused the bomb attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, 2022, should be investigated and prosecuted.