July 23, 2021

Rights Lawyer faces death threats for defending victims of herdsmen attacks

Solomon Dalyop, Human Rights Lawyer

A Jos based lawyer, Solomon Dalyop Mwantiri is allegedly being hunted for consistently exposing and attacking the criminal activities of herdsmen in Central Nigeria.

Dalyop, the Chief Executive Officer of Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria has since 2008 been tracking, reporting and prosecuting attacks and other forms of criminality by Fulani Herdsmen in Plateau and other Middle-Belt states.

He recently succeeded in reversing the name of a school project by the Sustainable Development Goals, Abuja head office, in Rankum, a Berom Community in Plateau State, allegedly annexed and renamed to Mahanga by Fulani militia.

The school was named after a Fulani leader – “Ardo Mamuda Primary School” Mahanga. Dalyop and a group of natives petitioned the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs and were invited to Abuja twice for talks but they declined financial offers, insisting that naming the school after a settler legitimizes landgrab.

Aside legal aid, Dalyop has been consistent in providing humanitarian support to victims of Herdsmen attacks.

Dalyop leads a humanitarian outreach to victims of herdsmen attacks in Agatu, Benue State, August 2020

He has survived many assassination attempts with several warnings to desist from criminalizing herders, but he has remained resolute.

“His failure to stop criminalizing Fulani in every of his reports after series of warnings has earned him serious trouble,” says a source close to the lawyer.

“Inside sources revealed on Monday that his photograph has been sent to Saudi Arabia, and his phone contact is being trailed from Abuja just to have him shot dead or captured alive. His present residence has been traced by some hired agents,” said the source who would not be named for security reasons.

The source confirmed that the lawyer is currently in hiding and unable to take calls or speak to press.

When asked whether the matter has been reported to securities, the source said Dalyop has been on the watchlist of Government Securities for years, and could be further endangered if reported.

Barr. Dalyop’s close friend and media partner, was recently interrogated by the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Police Force over a news report he published on his website exposing plans to attack some communities in Plateau.

Efforts to get comments from the Plateau Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ubah Ogaba proved abortive as his phone was unreachable during the time of filing this report.