• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Tiv-Jukun crisis: Court summons Taraba Gov, ex-Supreme Court Justice, security chiefs, 16 others over probe panel

Tiv-Jukun crisis

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday summoned Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku, a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs (rtd), and heads of security agencies in the country to show cause why the commission of inquiry instituted by the Taraba State government into ethnic clashes in the state should not be disbanded.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed made the order following an ex-parte application by the Incorporated Trustees of Mzough U Tiv and five others.

Mohammed ordered them to appear before him on August 26, 2020.

The judge held in a short ruling that this was imperative for the respondents to show cause why they should not be restrained from continuing with investigations into the Tiv/Jukun crisis in the state.

The applicants are seeking to stop the commision of inquiry into the crises between Tiv and their neighbouring communities in Taraba State over alleged bias.

The applicants averred that the constitution of the panel to probe the tribal clashes in the state was lopsided.

Other applicants are President General, Mzough U Tiv and retired Cimmissiiner of Police, Ihiagh Iorbee, Hon. David Uchiv, Hon. Jacob Gbagede, Hon. Julius Kwaghkar and Dr Yakubu Agbidye.

In the ex-parte motion filed and argued by their lawyers led by Chief Sebastine Hon (SAN), the applicants who sued on behalf of themselves and the Tiv people, including those of Taraba State, prayed the court for an interim injunction restraining the 4th to 12th respondents (chairman, members, secretary and counsel of the panel) from, “taking any further step pursuant to the instrument constituting them as such Commission of Inquiry, pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.

They also prayed the court for another interim injunction restraining the 13th to 19th respondents; Chiefs of Defence, Army, Air and Naval Staffs; IG; DG, DSS; Commandant, NSCDC, “from continuing to aid and abet the forceful removal of the applicants and their tribesmen from their ancestral homes and other places of residence in Taraba State, pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.

The ex-parte which was predicated on 11 grounds accused the governor of “showing open hatred for the Tiv tribe in Taraba” and using his office in collaboration with the security chiefs, “to forcefully/genocidally evict Tiv tribesmen from Taraba State”.

They argued that the governor profiled the Tiv tribe and isolated them for adversity, when it failed to mention the other “communities” in the instrument setting up the commission of inquiry into the Crises “between the Tiv and their neighbouring communities”.

While the applicants also accused the panel of profiling the Tiv tribe, they noted that by its composition the panel is likely to breach the fundamental right of fair hearing of the applicants.

They urged the court to intervene as the panel which has only three months to sit and submit its report to the governor was expected to commence sitting on August 17, adding that the security chiefs till date are “aiding and abetting the governor in the genocidal eviction of the applicants’ Tiv tribesmen from Taraba State, unless restrained by this court”

In addition, they claimed that unless the application is granted, their fundamental rights and that of their tribesmen will continue to be breached unabated.

Delivering ruling in the exparte, Justice Mohammed, however, made an order directing all respondents in the suit to appear before him on August 26 and show cause why the interim injunction order as prayed by the applicants should not be granted.

The judge further ordered that court processes and hearing notices be served on all the respondents and adjourned till August 26 for hearing.

In the main suit with number: FHC/ABJ/CS/955/2020, the applicants want the court to declare that the setting up of panel amounts to a flagrant breach of their fundamental rights as well as their tribesmen.