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Legal Survey on the Reoccurring Communal Clashes in Afo/Ajiri Land of Nasarawa State.

Legal Survey on the Reoccurring Communal Clashes in Afo/Ajiri Land of Nasarawa State.

Legal Survey on the Reoccurring Communal Clashes in Afo/Ajiri Land of Nasarawa State.

By Ogu Ibrahim Ogelebe Kolu


Nigeria is a country that is blessed with thousands of mineral resources and other beneficial natural endowments that remain undiscovered but surprisely enough, we lived in fear of crisis, insecurity and recently high rate of inflation.

Conflict in some parts of Nasarawa State, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in north-east Nigeria and some parts of States has destroyed towns and villages, and left millions of families without a home or livelihood. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the crisis, with women and girls paying the harshest price and facing increased risk of violence.

This writer wish to conduct a Legal survey on the causes of conflicts in AFO LAND thereafter, suggest the possible means of resolving it or in alternative mitigate it’s reoccurrence. The author also wish to restricted himself within Nasarawa State particularly Kokona and Nasarawa Local government which is mostly dominated by Afo/Ajiri people. He had gathered a momentum of experiences in respect of AFO/Ajiri Culture of the state being the dialect.


Okoli and Nnabuihe 2019 described Communal conflict as a low intensity conflict that occurs between or among groups of people who are bound by communal ties. It thrives in primordial societies where groups are differentiated along the parochial lines of clan, religion, ethnicity, tribalism and caste. It important to note that most times, the crises have not only brought about instability in the affected areas; they have equally engendered dire social outcomes that threaten harmonious intergroup relations as well as sustainable unity in the place involved and it’s environs.

In the year 2023, Kana Nasarawa, under Nasarawa Local government engaged in a serious conflicts over the Chieftency title within the people of the same community which resulted to multifarious of destructions in Land.

It’s relevant at this point to remind the readers that a reference to conflicts in AFO LAND can be trace long time ago but recent research unvail the undisputed fact in the recentbyears 2022/2023, a great of community of Afo/Ajiri in Udeni had a communal classes over a piece of land and the issue resulted to the Lost of many lives.

In the year 2022/23, Edete community against Kugboku of Apawu Kuri engaged in a serious conflicts that leads to the death of Two men each from two communities.

in a related development, A community mentioned above, Edete in collaboration with Apawu-Kakowu ganged aganist the community called Kolu in Agwada development Area of Kokona Local Government of Nasarawa over Land dispute and Injured several people in the community, destroyed over Twenty (20) houses, Twenty- Two (22) motorcycles worth more than #300,000 each, Water boholes, Economic trees like  Oranges, stealing of Phones, clothes, and food items etc.

Surprisely enough, between January and February 2024, based on the fact unknown to me. One of the great community in Nasarawa State and Afo land to be specific called Kana witnessed series of communal clashes that leads to serious Injuries and disharmony to the community in question.

Sadly enough, Apawu Kakowu of Agwada development Area, Kokona Local government of Nasarawa State on 27 day of February 2024 at around 1:00am or so soon thereafter, the community in question entangled into a serious conflicts that leads to the deaths of some person, Many people were severly injured and presently undergoing treatment in various Local Clinics, Many houses were set Ablaze to arches and a host of distruction Subbahannalilahi!.

What a tribe?

It will surprise you to note that all these people planting evils against one another were either related by blood ties or through marital affiliation. The causes of the conflicts amidst those communities range but not limited to Land issues, Chieftency title, Adultery and fornications.


In line with the provision of SECTION 36(12) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with amendments 2023. which provides that:

Subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefor is prescribed in a written law, and in this subsection, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State, any subsidiary legislation. see the celebrated case of TAIWO AOKO Vs. ADEYEYE FAGBEMI AND Anor, 1961 ANLR 400.


Flowing from the above, Various legal instruments/Laws in Nigeria provides for certain offenses and the corresponding punishment as follows:

1.SECTION 33 of the 1999 CFRN WITH AMENDMENTS 2023 provides that: Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in the execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty. In the case of NOSIRU BELLO v AG OYO STATE (1986) 5 NWLR Pt. 45. Pg. 828, , the deceased who was accused of armed robbery was executed while his appeal was pending. The court in this case called it a reckless disregard of life and liberty of a subject and principles of the rule of law and thereby unjustly depriving the defendant of his life.

2.Article 4 of the African Charter on Human & People’s Rights also provides that: “Every person has a right to life and no one shall be deprived of his life intentionally”

Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also ensures an individual’s right to life thus:

“Everyone has a right to life, liberty and security of person”

  1. SECTION 220 of the PENAL CODE Cap 89LFN defines culpable homicide to include: Whoever causes death- (a) by doing an act with the intention of causing death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death; or (b) by doing an act with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death; or (c) by doing rash or negligent act, commit the offense of culpable homicide.

SECTION 221 Of the penal code provided for death sentence against the convicted accused, the punish may only reduce to a lesser punishment where the act of the accused was not intentional. see Section 222 of the penal code. see ABDULLAHI ADAMU Vs. STATE CA/K/385C/C/2018.


  1. Section 107 of the PENAL CODE provides that whoever is quilty of RIOTING shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine or both.


  1. SECTION 2.—(I)of the Anti torture Act no.2 defined Torture as an act is deemed committed when an act by which pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person

(a) obtain information or a confession from him or a third person ;

(b) punish him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed; or

(c) intimidate or coerce him or a third person for any reason based on discrimination ofany kind. when such pain or suffering is inflicted by oral the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity provided that it does not include pain or suffering in compliance with lawful sanctions.

Section 9.—(1) Of Anti torture act 2017. provides that, A person who contravenes section 2 above commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years.


The Author of this work is a concern citizen of Nigeria and indigene of the land whose age and knowledge will not avail him the opportunity to proffer an absolute solution in total as his senior colleague in field but in the nearest future will work towards bringing development, peace and harmony in Afo land Inshallah.

However, with the little knowledge he Acquired wishes to make certain recommendations which to him, will minimize the ugly and ungodly act into the barest minimum as follows:

  1. A general sensitization which will instilled in the minds and brains of individuals the importance of unity and peace in the society as well as the derstardly effect of conflicts in the areas (Afo/Ajiri) and Nasarawa State at Large.
  2. Selected Well meaning and pious individuals in the various community in collaboration with our sons and daughters who are well known in the country for being hardworking, truthfulness and God fearing personalities to enact a uniforms regulations/Law that will create the modus operandi of selecting/Appointing Chieftency title, Regulations in respect of Land matters and imposed a severed penalty aganist the menace/ lawbreaker.
  3. Enactment of law that will absolutely proscribed the act of using Lethal/ dangerous weopons such as Guns, Cutlass, Axe, matched in killing people in the Community. This may be achieved through the collaboration of Intelligence Security Personnels who’s functions should saddled with the carried out underground investigation and arrest of those in unlawful possession of dangerous harms without proper license by the recognize authority or government.
  4. A rapid shift to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as against adopting litigation process ( Court).

Disclaimer…. This write up is for development purpose as well bring lasting solutions in our societies and restoration of peace in our communities and nothing more.

Note/Caution: This is purely my Opinion and perception, you may wish to positively criticize reasonable, sensible, maturely, respective and above all, in an humble manner.


  1. Sec 36(12) of the 1999 CONSTITUTION of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with amendments 2023.
  2. Section 2&9 of Anti torture Act 2017
  3. Sections: 220, 221,222, and 107 of the penal code.


  2. NOSIRU BELLO Vs . AG OYO STATE (1986) 5 NWLR Pt. 45. Pg. 828,

About the Author

Hon. Justice Ogu Ibrahim Ogelebe Kolu JCA is a penultimate student of law, Abu Zaria. He can be reached on


This work is published under the free legal awareness project of Sabi Law Foundation ( funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International ( The writer was not paid or charged any publishing fee. You too can support the legal awareness projects and programs of Sabi Law Foundation by donating to us. Donate here and get our unique appreciation certificate or memento.


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