Jukun/Tiv suit: Court adjourns indefinitely

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By Correspondent in Jalingo

The transfer of the Judge of the Jalingo Division of the Federal High Court, Taraba state on Friday led to the indefinite adjournment of the suit challenging the composition of the commission of inquiry into the crises between Tiv and their neighbouring communities in Taraba State.

The Reporters gathered that the case will resume upon the assumption of a new judge.

At the resumed hearing of the suit in Jalingo, Sabastine Hon,SAN, Edward Ashiekaa, SAN, Douglas Pepe SAN and five others announced appearances for the plaintiff.

Though neither the defendants nor their counsel were in court, Hon SAN,who told the court that the defendants were served with hearing notices, prayed the court to hear the suit, adding thatit was a fundamental right enforcement suit.

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The Presiding Judge, Justice Stephen Pam, in a short ruling, disclosed that he was sitting for the last time in the Jalingo division as a judge and adjourned the suit indefinitely, pending the assumption of a new judge in the division.

“For the past six years that I  have been in the Jalingo division as a judge, this is the first time I am having three Senior Advocates of Nigeria at the same time in the court and I would have loved to hear the suit. 

“However, I am on transfer and I am expected to report to my new station on the 12th of next month, this case is hereby adjourned for the incoming judge to preside.

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“The incoming judge will study the case file and communicate a new adjourned date to you accordingly,”he said.

The Reporters recalls that Hon had in November 2020, prayed the court in Abuja to adjourn the case indefinitely to await the decision of the Chief Judge, on the request for the transfer of the matter to Jalingo division.

President General, Ihiagh Iorbee; Hon. David Uchiv, Hon. Jacob Gbagede, Hon. Julius Kwaghkaa and Dr. Yakubu Agbidye had filed the suit in Abuja 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 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.

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The plaintiff 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.

The applicants also sought same prayer for their tribesmen from their ancestral homes in Taraba State, pending the determination of the suit.

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