Tag Archives: taraba

Taraba crisis: Ishaku blames critics.

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Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has condemned the claims that he is causing trouble and division among the people of the state.

He described as unfortunate, the withdrawal of ethnic groups who have been in conflict for decades from tendering their memorandum and testimonies at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the sake of peace in the state.

The governor insisted that there was no problem without a solution, saying he was proud of seeking peace coexistence from every zone of Taraba and would not relent in his resolve.

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He made the remarks on Wednesday when he received the paramount ruler of Kwararafa Empire, Aku-Uka, and his kinsmen at the Government House in Jalingo, the state capital.

“Today, we have a Judicial Commission of Inquiry in which the parties that have been accusing the government have refused to attend this commission’s sittings.

“It is unfortunate because we desire peace and anyone who desires peace will always go to where peace is and anyone who desires where peace is being stopped, then really does not want peace,” he said.

‘Run Faster Than Jonah’
Governor Ishaku, however, gave an assurance that he would not let residents of the state down in his quest for peaceful atmosphere.

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He stressed that the five years of his administration has visible achievements and promised to achieve more feats.

“Even the peace that is eluding, we will come and get it and one day those accusing us will come and say thank you for the peace you have given.

“There is no problem that does not have a solution, it is only the will to make sure that peace is achieved or gotten, and it is gotten through sweat and sleepless nights,” the governor stated.

He added, “We are ready to spend sleepless nights to get to the bottom of the issues; we have done it and we shall do it again.”

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Governor Ishaku insisted that the problems bedevilling Taraba in terms of crisis were with the state.

According to him, nobody has a monopoly of knowledge and he is a governor of a tenure.

“Unlike Jonah in the bible, I did not say no; I said Lord, here I am, but if I had known the problems that are here, I would have run faster than Jonah.

“This is because whatever you do, you have not done it right and I acknowledge the deputy governor and all other members of my cabinet for tortuously pushing them to the end of the road for better results of harmony,” the governor said.


#Newsworthy…

Insecurities: Taraba govt seeks help from traditional rulers, security agencies.

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The Taraba State government has resolved to synergise with relevant security operatives and traditional rulers to tackle insecurity in the state.

Chairman of the Association of Local Government Chairmen, Bala Bako, said this at the end of an emergency meeting with the chairmen of the 16 local government areas of Taraba, which held in Jalingo.

At the meeting, the chairmen resolved to introduce a platform for the promotion of peaceful coexistence.

He said, “We have resolved to collectively pursue the issue of insecurity with all vigour by synergising with relevant security operatives and the traditional rulers to tackle the incessant security out-breaches in the state.

“No society truly develops without peace. Thus, all hands must be on deck to ensure that peace and tranquility prevail in our respective communities.

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“We have resolved to introduce a platform in our respective local government councils for the promotion of peaceful coexistence by all ethnic groups.

“Similarly, we have identified the need to promote sporting activities in all local government areas to foster unity among the various communities.”

Part of the resolutions by the LG bosses is to further strengthen the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) activities in their council areas by rewarding outstanding corps members at the end of each service year.

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the issues discussed at the meeting and it was agreed that the local governments would partner with the primary healthcare agency to establish mobilization and sensitization committees at ward and local government levels for effective awareness and advocacy campaigns.

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Another issue raised at the meeting was the proliferation of fake certificates of origin. To reverse the trend, local governments agreed to suspend pending when a new process is implemented.

The new process will require all applications for certificates of origin to be routed through ward or village heads to local government chairmen for final endorsement.

Meanwhile, the association praised Governor Darius Ishaku for approving the elongation of the tenure of local government chairmen from two years to three years.

They said the move would enable them to better serve the people.


#Newsworthy…

Abuja court summons Taraba governor, Ishaku, others

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Governor of Taraba State, Mister Darius Ishaku, Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs and 17 others to appear before it in relation to a suit filed over the communal crises between the Tiv and Jukun tribes in the state.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed made the order while ruling on an ex-parte motion argued by Sebatine Hon (SAN) on behalf of a Tiv group, the Incorporated Trustees Mdzough U Tiv, its President, CP. Ihiagh Iorbee and four others.

Justice Mohammed particularly ordered the respondents, in the fundamental rights enforcement suit to appear before the court on August 26, 2020, and show cause why the interim restraining injunctions sought by the applicants in the motion ex-parte should not be granted.

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The judge also ordered the service of all processes in relation to the case and hearing notices on all the respondents as he adjourned the suit to the twenty-sixth of August 2020 for the respondents to show cause.

Respondents in the case are the Governor of Taraba State, the Government of Taraba State, the Attorney General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice of the state, the Commission of Inquiry into the crises between Tiv and their Neighbouring Communities in Taraba States and other Related Matters Thereto, and its members.

The members, listed as the 5th to 12th respondents, are Justice Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs (Chairman), Justice Emmanuel Garba, Justice Ambrose D. Mammadi (rtd), Barr. Danuma D. Rindam, Prof. Rotgak I. Gofwen, Prof. Istifanus Zabadi, Hamidu Audu Esq and Emeka Okoro Esq.

Also listed as respondents 13th to 19th is the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Inspector General of Police, Director-General, State Security Service (SSS) and Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

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The applicants are praying for an order of interim injunction restraining the Commission of Inquiry and its members “from sitting to conduct/continuing to sit to conduct proceedings or taking any further step pursuant to the instrument constituting them pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

The applicants contend that the composition of the Commission of Inquiry and its name were skewed against the interest of the Tiv tribe and constituted a threat to their fundamental human rights.

The applicants are, in the substantive suit, are asking the court to among others, give an order quashing the instrument setting up the commission, its proceedings and restraining the Governor, the state government and the AG from receiving and acting on any report from the commission.

They insist that the unending crises between Jukun and Tiv tribes in Taraba State, to which many lives and property have been lost, resulted from the “resolve of the Jukun tribe to forcefully push out the Tiv people from Taraba State for political and other reasons.”

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The applicants stated that not only is Governor Ishaku, who had allegedly worked against Tiv’s interest, is a Jukun man, but key members of the Commission of Inquiry are also from Jukun and allied tribes.

They noted that while Justice Garba is a Jukun from Kurmi Local Govt, Justice Mamadi and Prof Gofwen are from Bachama and Angas tribes, which both have root from the Kwararafa Kingdom like the Jukun.

The applicants allege that “the 1st respondent (Ishaku) has, through his many polices, displayed open bias and discrimination against the Tiv people indigenous to, living in and travelling through Taraba State, including but not limited to actively and openly supporting genocide by the Jukun against the Tiv.”

They alleged that Governor Ishaku has consistently aided the Jukuns in their purported plan to “deliberately and forcefully push out the Tivs from Taraba State, enabling the Jukuns to take over Tiv ancestral lands and then renaming Tiv towns and villages in Jukun language.

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The applicants claim that ” at least 25 such towns and villages have suffered this fate, the most prominent of which was the renaming “Dan’ Anacha” Town/Village as “Kwararafa” Town/Village to reflect Jukun’s allegiance to an old, defunct and spent Kingdom.

“The said Commission of Inquiry (4th-12th respondents herein), in its prejudiced and biased name and terms of reference against the Tiv race, is a continuation of the genocidal and discriminatory activities of the 1st respondent against the Tiv race or tribe.

“The 1st respondent has spurned all efforts made by the Benue and Nasarawa state governments to either set up a Joint Commission of Inquiry; or to ask the Federal Government to set up a Central Commission of Inquiry; or to enforce previous reports aimed at bringing lasting peace among the indigenous people of Taraba State; or to take any step whatsoever to end the crisis.

“The 1st-3rd respondents are the financiers of the 4th-12th respondents, hence, owing to the biased naming of the Commission of Inquiry/terms of reference thereof, coupled with the antecedents of the 1st respondent, we the applicants are genuinely afraid of the likelihood of bias against us the applicants and our tribe.”


#Newsworthy

Survivor narrates how bandits kills friend in Taraba attack.

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Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed a man during an attack in Kona community – a suburb of Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.

The hoodlums were said to have stormed the community in their numbers on Monday night, shooting sporadically at the doors of residents with the aim of killing anyone who steps out.

They also wreaked havoc in the community, setting fire on residents’ houses.

One of the residents who escaped with gunshot wounds, Silas Dame, narrated his ordeal and how his friend was killed by the assailants.

Survivor, Silas Dame narrates his ordeal. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

He told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) that although he could not identify the bandits, they were well-armed.

“Monday night, at about 12:00am when my family members were sleeping, I woke up, suspecting some footsteps and suddenly we were attacked.

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“We do not know who they are. They go to people’s doorstep and if one comes out, they will fire at him but if you refuse to go out, they will set fire on the hut,” Dame said in his local dialect.

He added, “My friend was killed in the attack. He heard a knock on the door and rushed to open and was killed but, I escaped with gunshot wounds.”

Alli Kotonu, commander of vigilante group in the area, explains how the vigilante men confronted the bandits. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

On his part, the Commander of the vigilante group in the area, Alli Kotonu, explained that they engaged the gunmen in a gunfight which forced them to run away.

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He said, “As the leader of the vigilante group here, we were alerted and I called my members to attack them.

“We exchanged fire and when they knew we will definitely overpower them, they escaped through this bush path you are seeing. It is unfortunate that they succeeded in killing one of our residents.”

A house razed by bandits during an attack on Kona community in Taraba State. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba, David Misal, said he was out of the town for an official function.

He, however, stated that the police have gone after the bandits with a view to apprehending them and bringing them to justice.


#Newsworthy…

Hoodlums ‘shot dead’ school proprietor in Taraba State.

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Gunmen suspected to be bandits have shot dead a school proprietor in Taraba State.

Noble Reporters Media learnt that the victim, Danlami Shamaki was returning from Abuja on Sunday where he went for a meeting before being ambushed alongside his driver and aide.

He was the proprietor of New Edition Nursery and primary school as well as Winners Comprehensive High School in Jalingo, the state capital.

A family source who preferred anonymity disclosed that the incident occurred at Dan-Anacha community, a suburb of Gassol Local Government Area.

The source explained that when they were returning from Abuja and got to Dan-Anacha the hoodlums used a water truck to block the road, which forced his driver to maneuver past it.

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The deceased however ordered his driver to stop in order to show sympathy.

When they stopped to check if the truck pusher was hurt, the hoodlums opened fire targeting the proprietor only.

The remains of the proprietor have been deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal said the incident has not been reported to his desk.

He however said that all hands must be on deck to fish out the perpetrators.


#Newsworthy…

Aug. 4: Taraba govt orders reopening of schools for SSS 3 students

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The Taraba State government has asked graduating students across the over 300 secondary schools in the state to resume on August 4.

It explained that this was to enable the students revise for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

The decision to allow the students return to school formed part of the resolutions reached at a meeting of education stakeholders held on Thursday in Jalingo to discuss ways to meet the set standard by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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At the meeting, the stakeholders agreed on August 3 for fumigation of all classes and hostels in the state, with the setting up of a monitoring team to ensure compliance with set standards.

This followed a broadcast by Governor Darius Ishaku on March 24 in which he ordered the shutdown of all schools with a view to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Four months later, the government convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the best ways on how schools would reopen for graduating students to write their examinations.

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In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Johannes Jigim, revealed the government has granted express approval for the procurement of personal protective equipment in all schools.

According to him, the meeting had representatives from the primary board, secondary school board, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), as well as directors and permanent secretaries in the State Ministry of Education.

“As much as we love our students, we must equally protect their lives and that of their staff,” Jigim said.

He noted that the governor has directed the Chairman on COVID-19 Technical Committee, Innocent Vakkai, to supply all the needed materials.

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The commissioner added that Governor Ishaku also gave approval that all health teachers be trained on the use of thermometers to detect those showing symptoms of COVID-19.

He explained that a monitoring team has been set up to go round the 305 public and private secondary schools to monitor strict compliance with the guidelines.

Speaking about the state’s inability to provide ambulances at all the schools, the commissioner disclosed that general hospitals, primary healthcare clinics, and referral hospitals have been placed on red alert to attend to emergencies.

On the possibility of aiding private school proprietors pay its workers, he stated that they were not part of the state government’s budget.


#Newsworthy ..

MUTUK seeks more effort to end Tiv, Jugun clash in Taraba State

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A socio-cultural group Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom (MUTUK) has called for increased effort to end the persistent clashes between the people of Jukun and Tiv in the southern part of Taraba State.

The President of MUTUK, Dr Kohol Shadrach, made the call on behalf of the group in a statement on Sunday.

He decried the clashes have claimed many lives and led to the destruction of properties, and have spiralled into the border communities of Taraba and Benue States.

Shadrach noted the interventions of the Taraba State Governor, Dairus Ishaku, and that of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom, as well as the efforts of the security agencies to end the violence.

He, however, regretted what he described as the “unreasonable response” to the pleas and the intervention of traditional and religious leaders to calm frayed nerves.

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The MUTUK president believes dialogue, rather than violence and bloodletting is the most suitable way to resolve any dispute between warring parties.

He stated that while the group would not blame any group of persons or community for the reprehensible conflict, it was important for all warring factions to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.

Shadrach also asked the government at various levels to live up to the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of the people.

He urged them not to relent in their various efforts until peace was achieved in the troubled southern part of Taraba and other places affected by the conflict.

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Read the full statement below:

It’s time to sheathe the bloody swords in Southern Taraba

The President of The Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom (MUTUK), Dr Kohol Shadrach Iornem, on behalf of the Management Committee of MUTUK, has expressed deep concern over the renewed endless violence, killings, bloodbath, acts of arson and wanton destructions of properties between the warring communities of Jukun and Tiv predominantly in the Southern senatorial district of Taraba state.

It is also regrettable that these unfortunate conflagrations have spiralled into the border communities of Taraba and Benue states.

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MUTUK finds it extremely difficult to understand the refusal of the internecine conflagrations to abate, despite several interventions by security agents, including the Nigerian Army, the Governors of Benue, HE Gov. Samuel Ortom and his Taraba State counterpart, HE Gov. Dairus Ishaku.

The intervention of traditional and religious leaders as well as other political leaders have also failed to calm frayed nerves. We consider it an unreasonable response to these pleas by these warring actors.

We are not only astounded at this reality but the further shameful confirmation that the over a year of violence, killings, bloodbath, displacements of hundreds of thousands of people, dislocation of social life and the damaging of economic treasures for a people who are basically agrarian farmers are potent existential threats now and in the nearest future.

Let us clearly state in very unambiguous terms that nowhere has violence and bloodletting, rather than dialogue has resolved any dispute.

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It is not our intention to blame any group of persons or community for the reprehensible conflict. But we desire to appeal to all warring factions to sheathe their swords and embrace peace for the sake of humanity, posterity, and God.

We are aware that development and prosperity do not thrive where there is no peace. Our brothers and sisters must realise and court the wisdom to live in peace and harmony and consciously work towards it to bring development to our people and communities.

While MUTUK, therefore, appreciates the interventions of leaders at all levels to end the crisis, we prayerfully plead with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR; the Governors of Taraba and Benue states to redouble their efforts by urgently using the powers of Government at their disposal to bring an end to the killings and destructions.

May we again, remind Government at all levels that the first and uncompromisable duty of any responsible government is to protect the lives and property of the citizens.

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Therefore, Government and indeed, all concerned leaders must not relent until peace and security are achieved in the troubled Taraba Southern Senatorial District and environs.

MUTUK believes that whatever must have caused the crisis is not a problem beyond all stakeholders of both groups to resolve amicably and peacefully on the dialogue table.

Whilst we pray Almighty God to touch the heart of everyone to drop arms, we pray for the repose of beloved ones who have lost their lives in the bloody skirmishes. May their families be consoled.

Thank you and may God bless all of us abundantly.


#Newsworthy…

[Taraba] Gunmen takes custody of Former Lawmaker, Police Cleric

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A former Senator representing Northern Taraba, Ambuno Zik-Sunday, has been kidnapped in Taraba State.

Also kidnapped was the cleric of the Taraba State Police Command’s Mosque, Mohammed Nuhu.

The former lawmaker was abducted in his hometown Bachama community in Karim Lamido Local Government Area of Taraba yesterday while paying homage to his people.

Mr Nuhu on the other hand was kidnapped from his house in Jalingo in the early hours of Monday.

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The police public relations officer David Misal made this disclosure at the police command office in Jalingo while presenting cache of arms recovered from suspected bandits, and parading some tricycle thieves.

He noted that efforts are in top gear to rescue the lawmaker and the cleric.

Speaking on how the arms were recovered, the police image maker disclosed that security operatives acted based on intelligence reports.

According to him, when some bandits crossed from Karim Lamido LGA to Lau Council and sighted the police, they ran away into the bush and abandoned their motorcycles.

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The police spokesman noted that while carrying out a search, 10 serviceable AK 47 rifles, 13 magazines, and 425 live ammunition were recovered.

The police say it believes that the arms recovered are purchased for the purpose of attacks, kidnappings as well as for distribution to criminal gangs across the state.

He says efforts are on to arrest the fleeing suspects.

Also paraded on Monday were pharmacists whose contraband drugs were intercepted in a truck that arrived in Jalingo from Anambra state.

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The police say most of the drugs intercepted contain codeine which has been banned by regulatory agencies in Nigeria.

All the paraded suspects confessed to have committed the crimes for which they were apprehended.

Mr Ahmed Azare, the Taraba State police commissioner, applauded the patriotic people of Taraba for supporting the police with useful information.

He urged members of the public to be more security conscious and promptly report to the police all criminal elements around their neighborhoods for necessary action.


#Newsworthy…

News+: Troops kill 2, others injured in Taraba

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Troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke have killed two bandits and injured others in a makeshift camp at the outskirt of Arufu area of Taraba State.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche confirmed this via a statement issued on Saturday.

Enenche explained that the action followed “actionable Human Intelligence on the infiltration of armed herdsmen on 10 July 2020 at Chambe community in Logo LGA of Benue State where 2 villagers were killed.”

According to him, the troops from Tomatar and Gov/Afia swiftly were deployed to the scene but the bandits have fled the area.

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The defence spokesman, however, noted that the troops trailed the armed bandits to neighbouring Taraba, adding that upon sighting them, the bandits opened fire.

Troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke clear a suspected bandits’ hideout in Taraba State. Credit: Defence Headquarters

Luck ran out for the hoodlums as the soldiers “overwhelmed the criminals with high-intensity fire, killing two of them while others fled in disarray with gunshots wounds.”

Following the clearance operation, the troops recovered one AK-47 rifle as well as 10 rounds of 7.62mm Special from the criminals.

Reacting to the development, the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria commended “the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of criminal elements in the North-Central Zone of the Country.”


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian govt shun reports of Taraba abduction kingpin

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The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that soldiers implicated in the killing of police officers on duty by a kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, are deliberately being shielded from prosecution.

Malami, who made the statement when he fielded questions from State House correspondents at the end of the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), said the government was only giving time to allow the established processes to be consummated.

The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja on Wednesday.

The minister, who presented the score-card of the ministry at the meeting, said that the affected soldiers were currently being charged before a court-martial in accordance with established laws in the country.

The kidnap kingpin, popularly known as Wadume, is facing a 16-count charge, bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and gun-running along with Tijjani Balarabe, an army captain and 18 others.

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Also on the list of defendants are Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Cpl. Bartholomew Obanye; Pte. Mohammed Nura and Lance Cpl. Okorozie Gideon.

Others are Cpl. Markus Michael; Lance Cpl. Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu; Pte. Ebele Emmanuel; ASP. Aondona Iorbee and Insp. Aliyu Dadje and Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor.

The minister stated, however, that before the military could release their personnel for prosecution, they must also go through their in-house processes.

He said: “Now, coming to the issue of the soldiers, it is important for you to note that within the context of the Nigerian law, there are certain provisions that are exclusive to the military within the context of law on court martial and then, the internal discipline associated with the military.

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“The soldiers can now be charged before court martial, and then for the military to release their personnel for prosecution, ordinarily, there are in-house processes and procedures that are to be consummated.

“So those that are handy for the purpose of prosecution cannot be held in custody for unduly longer period of time on the account of the absence of the military.

“So that is how the idea of severing the charge to allow those that are handy to stand their trail arose.

“That does not mean that by any means that the military are shielded and cannot be prosecuted.

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“But if they have to be prosecuted, they have to be prosecuted within the context of the law. What is the law here? They are military personnel, first they are to go through the in-house processes.

“There are two options, either to charge them before the court martial which is a special court established by law for the trial of soldiers or in the alternative for the military after consummation of the in-house processes should consider handing them over for trail.”

On the activities of the ministry in the past 10 months, Malami disclosed that the ministry had succeeded in the recovery of millions of dollars of looted assets while efforts had been intensified to recover more of such funds abroad.

According to him, legislative bills aimed at checking frauds and unhealthy practices as well as to enhance the economic fortune of the country are being pursued at the National Assembly.

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The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, who also spoke to the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, disclosed that the council approved N634.2 million for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Lankang Irrigation Project in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau.

He said the ministry was working to increase the nation’s irrigation capacity from 130,000 to 500,000 under a scheme meant to run from 2016 to 2030.

He said: “The Ministry presented a memo to council today on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Lankang Irrigation Project in Plateau State.

“This contract was approved in the sum of N634, 184,783.93, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with the completion period of 18 months.

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“It comprises the rehabilitation of 100 hectares of an existing pilot irrigation scheme and the expansion of that irrigation scheme by additional 500 hectares.

“It also includes the reconstruction of existing damage water control and conveying structure, preparation of fields and fishponds and provision of adequate water for irrigation.

“It was approved in line with government’s policy to boost food production and security and in the coming months.

“We’ll be seeing quite a number of projects, related to irrigation that we’ll be presenting, in line with our irrigation and drainage project, in what we call the National Irrigation and Drainage Programme, 2016 to 2030.

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“We hope to increase total acreage for irrigation in the country from the existing 130,000 hectares to 500,000 hectares.

“From the period that we started to date, our target was to have 100,000 hectares by 2020. As at January, we had about 85,000 hectares, which is already completed.

The minister announced that the country was on target towards attaining the 100,000 hectares by 2020, under the National Irrigation and Drainage Programme.

Similarly, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed that the council approved N10.6 billion for project cost revision of two projects.

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“Today, what we had were two memoranda for revision of project cost and all of this is in aid of completion of the projects involved.

“The first project is the Koton-Karfe-Lokoja section of the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja highway. That cost was revised upwards by N3.076 billion.

“The second road is the Cham-Numan section of the Gombe–Yola highway.

“The revision of the cost is by N7.607 billion. This is to cover the cost of replacing about 11 kilometres of what we called, black cotton soil,’’ he said.


#Newsworthy…

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Taraba declares 3-day public holiday

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Taraba Government has declared Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, as public holidays to enable residents of the state participate in the local government council poll slated for June 30, 2020.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Darius Ishaku, Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Jalingo.

He explained that the public holiday would enable civil servants to travel to their respective wards and vote.

He said: “The public holiday is to enable civil servants to travel to their respective wards and vote during the local government election slated for Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

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“The governor also urged people of the state to be orderly, law-abiding and conduct themselves peacefully while discharging their civic responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of Eyes on Democracy of Nigeria (EDON) has activated a situation room to monitor Tuesday’s election to ensure that it is free, fair and credible.

The State EDON Chairman, Alhaji Muktar Madaki in a statement on Monday, disclosed that a comprehensive report on the electoral process would be made immediately after the election.

He said: “We have been observing the preparations by Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission (TSIEC), and we are so far satisfied with the developments.”


#Newsworthy…

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Gov. Ishaku completes 700 Boreholes, 2 Hospitals in Taraba.

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Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State on Sunday said his administration had completed 700 boreholes and two hospitals at Bambur and Gembu in Karim-Lamido and Sardauna Local Government Areas.

According to information gathered by Noble Reporters Media, Ishaku said this while addressing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters at a reception organised for him at Rimi Primary School, Tukum.

”Apart from health and water sectors, my administration had turned around the education, agricultural and social sectors, to improve the living conditions of our people,” he said.

Ishaku said his administration’s rehabilitation of Takum General Hospital made it possible for the hospital to provide quality service to the urban town and surrounding communities.

Ishaku, who was visiting his hometown, Takum, for the first time since his re-election in 2019, was received by a mammoth crowd, some of whom climbed trees to have a glimpse of him.

”Many communities in the area would soon enjoy uninterrupted power supply courtesy of soon to be commissioned 40MW electricity dam project in Kashimbila, Takum LGA.

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”Others to enjoy also are Donga, Ussa, Wukari and Ibi Local Government Areas while the Yangtu Special Development Area would soon enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

”We will liaise with relevant federal authorities and the World Bank to improve irrigation activities and water supply to the rural communities since Kashimbila project is a multi purpose one,” he said.

Ishaku, who was in Takum to vote in the upcoming Local Government Council Election, scheduled for June 30, called on the people of the area to conduct themselves peacefully as they elect candidates of their choice.

Traditional dances and other cultural displays added colour to the event.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Taraba govt announce religious resumption. [Nigeria]


Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the Taraba State government has said people in the State can resume their religious activities.

The State Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu made the disclosure during a broadcast on Monday, N.Rs reports.

He, however, directed that people of the State must adhere to the social distancing and other safety protocols while observing their religious activities.

Manu also announced a gradual ease of restriction of movement and other activities across the State.

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The Deputy Governor said Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays have been set aside to enable the residents carry out their activities from 8 am. to 6 pm.

He ordered that the lockdown would still be observed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Warning that violators would face strict penalties, the Deputy governor called on religious leaders and other citizens to comply with the rules.

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This is coming at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the extension of the gradual ease of lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in this three states.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had disclosed the President’s directive on Monday during the committee’s daily briefing in Abuja.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Taraba quarantined, negative, Governor orders markets lockdown. (Nigeria)


The man who was quarantined in Gashaka, Taraba state following a suspected case of Coronavirus has tested negative, Commissioner for Health Innocent Vakkai revealed Wednesday.

Vakkai said the suspected patient had sore throat and nasal congestion which are some of the symptoms of the pandemic. He was referred to government for advice. But when a sample from his throat was taken to Abuja, it was tested and confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) as negative.


He added that while awaiting his result, the patient was isolated at a centre in Baruwa, Gashaka, to prevent him from traveling up to Jalingo, during which he would have had contact with other people.

Vakkai spoke during a press conference by Deputy Governor Haruna Manu.


Manu, who briefed newsmen in Government House on behalf of Governor Darius Ishaku, said no index case has been reported in Taraba State.

The deputy governor on Wednesday ordered the closure of all markets in the state. He also suspended the Muslim and Christian prayer gatherings.

Manu said: “Let me assure you that there is no single reported case of the virus in Taraba state, and we are determined to keep it that way.”


#Newsworthy…

Why taraba governor left state for over 2 months


The call for the impeachment of Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku, for working from Abuja took a new dimension on Friday after one of his aides gave some reasons for the trend.

A senior special assistant to the governor, Bala Abu, said the governor had been in Abuja so he could seek medical attention.


Ishaku has been away from the state for about two months, leading to calls for his impeachment.

Abu said, “We urge the good people of Taraba, their friends and admirers in and outside the state to ignore the campaign of falsehood being orchestrated by some people.


“His Excellency is desirous to return to the state and will do so when he has sufficiently recovered.

“No aspect of governmental activities has suffered a setback as a result. All government projects are going on smoothly and the government has continued to meet its obligations to contractors while progress is being monitored by appropriate government ministries and officials.”

Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku

He also said the 2020 budget was being implemented with vigour, while salaries of workers, pensions and gratuities were also being paid promptly.

Abu added, “It is therefore wrong and misleading to suggest that the governor’s absence has affected morale of civil servants and governance in the state.”


#Newsworthy..

Ex Gov, Nyame bags 12 years imprisonment in taraba


The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the conviction and sentence of a former Governor of Taraba State, Jolly Name, to 12 years imprisonment for N1.6bn corruption charges.


But a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, in its unanimous judgment, set aside the N100m fine imposed on him by the Court of Appeal.

Delivering the lead judgment of the court on Nyame’s appeal, Justice Amina Augie, held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have imposed the fine on him without hearing from the appellant.


“The lower court ought to have heard from the parties, especially, the appellant who appealed for the reduction of the sentence imposed by the trial court, before imposing those fines on him,” Justice Augie ruled.

She, however, affirmed the guilt and conviction of the ex-governor by upholding the Court of Appeal’s reduction of the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12 years.


The judge, who held that the ex-governor’s appeal succeeded in part, ruled saying, “Allowing the appeal in its entirety is a tall order, but there is no question that the fines were a nullity”.

Nyame’s appeal was against the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which had affirmed Nyame’s conviction by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High Court had on May 30, 2018, convicted Nyame on a total of 27 out of the 41 corruption charges involving about N1.6bn preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The misappropriated funds included ecological funds, those earmarked for grains and a presidential visit.


The former governor was convicted and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the highest being 14 years for offences bordering on criminal breach of trust, criminal misappropriation, taking valuable thing without consideration and receiving gratification as a public officer.

In its judgment delivered on November 16, 2018, the Court of Appeal affirmed the guilt of the former governor.


But citing section 416 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 which prohibits the imposition of maximum sentences on first offenders, the Court of Appeal reduced the 14 years’ imprisonment to 12.

In addition to the 12 years’ sentence, however, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the Court of Appeal imposed a fine of N100m on Nyame, a punishment the trial court had omitted in the judgment delivered on May 30, 2018.


The former governor had appealed against the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

At the Supreme Court’s hearing of the appeal on November 14, 2019, Nyame’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, urged the court “to allow the appeal”.

But the counsel representing the EFCC, the respondent, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, backed by Oluwaleke Atolagbe, urged the court to dismiss it.

While the apex court, in its judgment on Friday, affirmed the ex-governor’s guilt and his sentencing to 12 years’ imprisonment, it nullified the N100m fine imposed on him.


#Newsworthy…

Shocker: 2 arrested in taraba after defrauding JAMB candidates ..


The Taraba Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested two suspects for allegedly defrauding students at an illegal Joint Admission and Matriculations Board registration centre.

The Taraba Commandant of NSCDC, Alhaji Aliyu Ndanusa, disclosed this to newsmen at the corps’ headquarters in on Saturday.


According to him, the government approved price for JAMB registration was N4,000 while the two suspects were charging students N4,200 in contravention of the directives.

Ndanusa said that the NSCDC would not sit back to allow fraudulent persons to defraud the unsuspecting members of the public.


He said the two were arrested following an outcry by JAMB officials in the state over the activities of unauthorised persons defrauding students.

“Operatives of the NSCDC have been recently trained at a workshop for the purpose of monitoring the registration centres to ensure that they comply with the FG’s directives of N4,000 registration fees for JAMB.

“Anybody who adds any amount to this has already contravened the directives and will be made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.

Ndanusa said the suspects would be charged to court immediately after investigation.


#Newsworthy…

Taraba govt set to spend N100b on works, health, others ..


The Taraba State government is to spend over N100billion on works, health, education, provision of portable water and other critical sectors of the economy in a bid to achieved accelerated and holistic development in the state.


The commissioner, state Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mr Solomon Elisha disclosed this at a press briefing in Jalingo on the 2020 approved budget estimates and capital expenditure on Friday.

Elisha said that while the state government plans on spending over N76billion on works, housing and transport, the health sector in the state is expected to gulp almost N15 billion while education and water resources will gulp over N10billion and over N3billion respectively.


He further disclosed that “the budget of accelerated development will pay attention to all critical sections of the economy in the hope of bringing uncommon development to the state in terms of human capacity and infrastructural development”.

Elisha said that the budget is predicated on the assumptions that the national inflation rate, GDP growth, oil production benchmark, oil price benchmark stand at 9.43%, 3.60%, 2.3million and N305/ $, respectively.

The commissioner, state Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mr Solomon Elisha


The commissioner who disclosed that the total budget stands at over N215 billion, said that the recurrent expenditure will only take 33.52% while the capital will take the chunk of 66.48% respectively.

Elisha said the total budget stands at Two Hundred Fifteen billion, Eight Hundred and Twenty Three million, Five Hundred and Seventy-Six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ten (215,823,576,810) Naira only, and is aimed at completing the ongoing projects and ensure that new ones initiated are also worked on and completed in good time.


#Newsworthy…

Jalingo: NASS elect new speaker for taraba.

The Taraba State House of Assembly on Monday elected Mr Joseph Albasu Kunini and Alh Hamman Adama Abdulahi as the new Speaker and deputy Speaker of the House respectively, following Sunday night resignation of Mr Abel Peter Diah and Mr Charles Maijankai from the said positions respectively.

The House which convened on early Monday morning elected the previously impeached deputy speaker Alh Muhammad Gwampo as Speaker pro tempo who chaired the House for the election of the Speaker.

Kunini was nominated by Mr Bonzana Kizito who represents Zing constituency, and seconded by Mr Ammed Jedua of Gyembu constituency. His election was unanimous with all the sixteen present out of the twenty-four members that constitute the House.

After taking oath of office, the speaker open the floor for the nomination of deputy speaker and Alh Bashir Muhammad made the nomination of Abdulahi who represents Bali two state constituency, and he was also elected unanimously since there was no contrary nomination.

In his opening and acceptance speech, Kunini said he was honored to have been found worthy in the house and pledged to be just and equitable.

“This is a house of justice and equity. Taraba should be greater that any individual and we must work hard to take the state to greater height. I will work to champion this.

” Even though there exists the principle of separation of power, this can not be water tight. As such we must work as a team and partners in the project of making Taraba a greater place. I will run an open door Parliament where even the minority will have a say.

“Thank you for this trust. I assure you that it will be used as a medium to serve God and humanity. Thank you for this privilege”.

The Speaker also promised to work hard to make sure that the House is truly united to function to maximum capacity.

Albasu Kunini who represents the Lau constituency is a third term member of the House

The House also nominated Mr Douglas Nda Isaiah as the Majority leader of the House.

#Newsworthy…

Taraba Speaker, Mr. Abel Peter Diah Resigned.

The Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly, Mr Abel Peter Diah, on Sunday evening resigned amidst alleged plots by the state governor, Darius Ishaku to impeach him and other principal officers of the House.

In a phone call on Sunday evening, Diah said that he had decided to “resign as the speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly for personal reasons.”

Diah appreciated the members for giving him the chance to serve them in the capacity and urged to continue to work for the interest of Taraba State rather than personal reasons.

Tension had continued to mount over the weekend with alleged plans by Governor Darius Ishaku to mobilise and impeach the speaker following alleged moves by the House to impeach the governor a few weeks ago.

However, in a statement issued in Jalingo on Saturday morning and signed by Mr Bala Dan Abu, the SSA Media to the governor, Ishaku said that the alleged plot was fake and a ploy by detractors to soil the cordial relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government in the state.

“The social media was on Friday November 29, 2019, inundated with reactions to a certain unsigned fake news story containing essentially rumours of a purported impeachment plot against principal officers of the Taraba State House of Assembly including the Speaker, Abel Peter Diah.

“The article made spurious claims to the effect that Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku was the sponsor of that so-called impeachment plot and that he had committed N200 million public funds to it.

“Nothing can be more untrue. It is yet another wicked and malicious attempt to cause confusion and conflict in the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government in Taraba State on the one hand and Governor Ishaku and Peter Diah.

“Gov Ishaku will never sponsor and did not sponsor the so-called impeachment move, if indeed there was any such move by the honourable members, let alone fund it with such a staggering amount of money from the public purse.

“The allegations are ridiculous, absolutely false and malicious. It is certainly for these reasons that the author of the article failed to sign it. Governor Ishaku wants the public to ignore this article and the lies contained in it. Governor Ishaku is an apostle of peace and will not do anything that will rock the existing level of trust and understanding between him and members of the state House of Assembly,” the statement read.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the Speaker had decided to throw in the towel after the camp loyal to the state governor finally got a commanding majority of the members on Sunday evening, preparatory for Monday’s impeachment.

#Newsworthy…

8 people killed in taraba state hostilities. (Read)

After few weeks of relative peace, at least eight persons have been reportedly killed in two separate attacks in Karim-Lamido and Gassol Local Government Areas of Taraba State.

Mr. Idi Mali, the Chairman of Karim Lamido Local Government Council, who confirmed the killing of five persons in Bailango community of the local government said the gunmen numbering about 30 invaded the two communities and killed the village heads.

He said that the Chairman of vigilante group and two other persons also lost their lives in the attacks.

This three persons were killed in a renewed Jukun/Tiv crisis in Gassol Local Government Area of the State on Wednesday morning.

Mali said the attackers were suspected to be kidnappers on a retaliation mission as hunters in the area had killed a suspected kidnapper in the village and chased others away in an encounter over the weekend.

Local residents told our correspondent that the attackers also attacked Kirya village, a neighbouring community, forcing residents to flee.

Meanwhile, three persons were said to have been killed in a renewed Tiv/Jukun crisis in Dan-Anacha village of Gassol local government area of the State.

Residents said heavy gun battle ensued between the Jukun and the Tiv in the village following the renaming of the village from Dan-Anacha to Kwararafa by Governor Darius Ishaku, leading to the killing of three persons and burning of houses.

It was gathered that tension had been rising in the area since Friday last week over erection of signboard that changed the name of the town from Dan-Anacha a Tiv village to Kwararafa a Jukun name at a Day secondary School in the village on the orders of the state Governor.

A local resident Mr. John Iorkyaa, told our correspondent that hundreds of people were fleeing the town to the neighbouring Sabongida and Tella towns in Gassol local government area.

Iorkyaa said three persons were killed on Wednesday morning and houses including the house of the Ter Tiv Gassol, Zaki Simon Erentsa were burnt.

Police Public Relations Officer Taraba State command, DSP. David Misal said he was yet to receive the brief about the incident, saying he had been out of network area and was just returning to town.

Caretaker Chairman of Gassol local government, Alhaji Yahuza Ya’yau did not picked up his calls or reply to a text message sent to his phone.

#Newsworthy…