TIV Vs TARABA GOVT: COURT SETS TO DELIVER JUDGMENT
By Jethro Yerga, Jalingo
The Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, the Taraba State Capital Thursday, reserved ruling on preliminary objections and judgment on the sustentative suit seeking the enforcement of the rights of Tiv people of Taraba State.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Simon Amobeda adjourned the case indefinitely for ruling after counsels to parties in the suit adopted their processes and briefs of the originating motion.
Amobeda, after listening to the counsels ruled that; “the case is hereby adjourned to a later date for ruling… Counsels on both sides shall be communicated the date of judgment,” he ruled.
Addressing journalists shortly after the sitting, the lead Counsel to the incorporated trustee of Mzough U Tiv and four others, Sabastian Hon (SAN) said the court stood on its earlier order of June 30, 2021 for a definite hearing whether or not the respondents are in court.
“On the 30th of June, 2021, the judge made it clear that today would be a definite day for hearing of the matter whether or not any of the parties is absent and he stuck to his order.
“As you could see there was a deliberate attempt by defense counsels to delay the hearing of the case again today, but as fundamental human rights enforcement matter, we impressed on the court to hear the matter expeditiously and the court reasoned with us and said the matter should go on.
Asked whether he was satisfied with the proceedings, Sabastine Hon (SAN) said “We are happy because this is along tortuous walk and as a matter of fact, nobody wants the matter to go on in perpetuity. We have been here since August last year and so the decision to go on was good”.
On his part, Counsel to the first and second defendants (Governor Darius Ishaku and the Taraba State Government), Abdul Ibrahim (SAN), in an interview also expressed satisfaction with the decision of the court.
He stated that the case was predicated on the commission of inquiry which the State government set up to address a crisis situation in which according to him the Tiv people were also given equal opportunity to present their memorandum.
Abdul who argued that the Tiv people decided to opt out of the commission along the line after presenting their memorandum, maintained that the Taraba State Government was fair to all the indigenes of the state in the said commission.
Recalled that the Incorporated Trustees of Mzough U Tiv and its President General, Ihiagh Iorbee; Hon. David Uchiv, Hon. Jacob Gbagede, Hon. Julius Kwaghkar and Dr. Yakubu Agbidye had filed the suit to challenge the constitution of the probe panel into the crises between Tiv and their neighbouring communities in Taraba State.
The applicants, who sued on behalf of themselves and the Tiv people specifically, are challenging what they considered as the profiling of Tiv people in Taraba and their systematic eviction from the State by the state government.
In the suit, the plaintiff among other things prayed the court to restrain the respondents Governor Darius Ishaku, the Taraba State government, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Taraba State as well the 4th to 12th respondents (chairman, members, secretary and counsel of the panel) from continuing the probe into the crises.
They also prayed the court to restrained the 13th to 19th respondents: Chief of Defence staff, Service Chiefs; Inspector General of Police; Director General, Department of State Services; and Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, from continuing to aid and abet the forceful removal of the applicants and their tribesmen from their ancestral homes in Taraba State pending the determination of the suit.