Taraba vs Tiv: Court set to deliver judgement in suit
The Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo on Thursday adjourned indefinitely for judgement the suit by the Mzough U Tiv against the Taraba State Government seeking the enforcement of the rights of Tiv people of Taraba State.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, adjourned the case for judgement 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 judgement. Counsels on both sides shall be communicated the date of judgement,’ he ruled.
Fielding questions from journalists, 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 for a definite hearing whether or not the respondents are in court.
‘There was a deliberate attempt by defence counsels to delay the hearing of the case again today, but as a fundamental human rights enforcement matter, we impress on the court to hear the matter expeditiously and the court reason with us and said the matter should go on.
‘Nobody wants the matter to go on in perpetuity. We have been here since August last year and the decision to go on was good,’ he said.
On his part, counsel to the first and second defendants (Governor Darius Ishaku and the Taraba State Government) Abdul Ibrahim, SAN, in an interview expressed satisfaction with the decision of the court.
Ibrahim said the case was predicated on the commission of inquiry which the State government set up to address a crisis situation, noting that the government was fair to all the indigenes of the state in the said commission.
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 a 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 restrain 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.