The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) says it has postponed the planned resumption of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route even as some lawyers on Friday, May 20 filed lawsuits seeking to stop the train services until adequate protection of citizens against terrorists is ensured.
The postponement, which could be linked to the protest by relatives of abductees after the March 28, 2022 attack on the Abuja-Kaduna bound train, is coming after NRC’s planned resumption on May 23, 2022.
Human rights lawyers, Femi Falana and Marshal Abubakar filed a lawsuit with file number FH/ABJ/CS/22 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, North-central Nigeria against the NRC, the Minister of Transportation, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
The applicants described the killing of unarmed passengers in the Abuja-Kaduna bound train by terrorists as illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental rights of the deceased to life, guaranteed by Sections 14 (2) (b), 15 (3) (b), 33 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to Section 33 of the Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act, Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, every person living in the country is entitled to the protection of their fundamental right to life.
They sought that the respondents recruit adequate security personnel and gadgets to safeguard passengers using the public railway transportation system along the Kaduna-Abuja route and in Nigeria as a whole.
They also sought an order of the court to prevent NRC and the ministry of transportation from resuming railway services on the Abuja-Kaduna route until adequate security is provided.
The lawyers called for an investigation and prosecution of the respondents officials whose negligence led to the train attack.
Responding to the development, Abdulfatai Jimoh Muhammad, chairman of the relatives of abducted AK9 train passengers said they are happy NRC has cancelled its planned resumption of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna route.
“NRC should now concentrate on securing the rail tracks with surveillance and security gadgets for the security and safety of its passengers when train services eventually resume, while the government and security agencies intensify rescue efforts of the abducted passengers,” he said.
HumAngle has reported how relatives of the abductees accused the NRC management of not communicating with them and setting up a situation room where a minute by minute account of rescue efforts would be relayed.
At least, over 60 passengers remain in captivity almost two months after the train attack.
On Tuesday, May 17, over 30 commuters were kidnapped on the Abuja-Kaduna highway in the Katari area of Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria. Many, including children, were shot and left stranded by the roadside.
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