Ibrahim Idris Has No Right To Direct Us- Benue, Taraba And Ekiti Govs

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris had, last week, advised state Governors to establish cattle ranches before implementing anti-grazing laws to avert conflict between farmers and herdsmen.

The Governors of Benue, Ekiti, and Taraba states, which are currently implementing anti-grazing laws in their states, have said the IG, has no right to direct them on how to make the legislation work.

Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba) asked Idris to implement the law instead of giving them lectures on how to pacify the herdsmen.

Ekiti won’t provide ranches for herdsmen – Fayose

Fayose, who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, specifically said the IG had no power to order state governors around.

He also said the IG was under an obligation to obey and ensure compliance with laws made by any state’s House of Assembly.

The governor, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, insisted that the state would not heed the advice of the police chief.

He said, “The Inspector-General of Police has no choice than to obey the laws made by any state. It is the duty of the police to enforce the law. Cattle rearing is regarded as a private business and it is not the duty of the governors to provide land for the herders.

“The real cattle owners are rich people who can afford land; they are not the nomads you see following cattle from the North to the South.”

Our pilot scheme ranches not to pacify herders – Ishiaku

Speaking in a similar vein, the Taraba State governor maintained that his anti-grazing law was not the cause of the killings being perpetrated by the herdsmen in the state.

Rather, he said the law remained one of the solutions to end the unwarranted massacre of law-abiding people in the state.

Ishaku, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, said the law in Taraba State was promulgated to put a stop to incessant attacks and killings by the herders.

He said, “We have already enacted a law, but we are still prepared to listen to any good idea that brings about peace and mutual understanding among stakeholders.”

Bello explained that the state government was planning a pilot scheme on the creation of ranches to demonstrate that the global practice was also achievable in the country.

Go and challenge our law in court, Ortom tells IG

Similarly, the Benue State governor, who spoke through the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja Jr., challenged Idris to approach the court if he was not comfortable with the implementation of the law.

Onoja said, “Ibrahim Idris’ directive to state governors to establish ranches before operating grazing laws is totally against the Nigerian constitution and the act that established the Nigeria Police.

“It is not his duty and he does not have power to direct governors. The police are not to interpret the law but to enforce it. Therefore, it is not for the IG to determine whether a law is right or wrong. It is the duty of the judiciary to interpret laws. If a law is passed and the IG feels it is not good enough, the best thing to do is to challenge the law in the court for interpretation”.

The commissioner maintained that ranching remained a lucrative private business and that it would be wrong for anyone to advocate that government should establish ranches for herdsmen or whoever that is venturing into such a business.


Herdsmen Attack Leaves Taraba In Fear

Soon, the villages of Taraba will begin to echo as the inhabitants are beginning to flee from the communities of Gassol, Ibi and Wukari for fear of threatened herdsmen attack.

It was gathered that five persons were killed at Amande Jembe village in Bantaje District of the Wukari LGA and four others were killed in Ngutswen village, Gassol LGA, barely nine hours after Ishaku raised the alarm over the planned attacks.

It was dicovered that most of the villages were deserted as villagers fled their communities to Sabon Gida, Dan-Anacha and Mutum Biyu in Gassol, and Gidin Doruwa and Wukari in the Wukari LGA.

Mr. Simon Tyavwua, a resident who buried four of his relatives in Ngutswen village, said over 2,000 people, mostly Tiv, who were marked for attack, had moved to neighboring Sabon Gida to take refuge.

“Over 70 major villages housing over 2,000 people from Sabon Gida to Wurojam and Yerima to Gassol have been deserted. Most of these people are now living in internally displaced people’s camps in their land.

“These attacks get worse by the day, despite the alarm (raised) by the governor. There is not a single security personnel here,” he said.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku on Public Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Bello, told our correspondent that it was not clear if the presence of military in the state was a direct response to the governor’s security alert.

“It is good that we are getting a better response from the military. This is a departure from the criminal silence and snobbishness of the past,” Bello said.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. David Missal, said that though there was no deployment of special forces to the state after the governor’s alarm, the police officers in the state were already on the alert.

“We are on the ground and have taken proactive measures to forestall any attack. For now, the situation in the state is calm,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Very Reverend Justin Welby, to intervene in the killings by suspected herdsmen.

In the letter titled ‘Genocide by the Fulani herders against the minority Tiv in Nigeria’ and signed by its Vice President, Dr. Kohol Iornem, a copy of which was sent to our correspondent, the group appealed to the Archbishop to call Buhari to end the killings.

Iornem explained that the plight of his “defenceless Tiv community” in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen and the failure of the President Buhari’s government to address the brutal killings in Benue and other states in Nigeria was causing tension in the country.

“Your Grace, the Nigerian body of our Lord Jesus Christ bears the painful, bleeding wounds of this ongoing and unchecked viciousness.

“We, therefore, turn to our Lord’s Church in the United Kingdom to investigate our claims and, on behalf of the defenceless victims, ask the government of Nigeria to stop the killings and bring justice to bear,” the letter read in part.

The UK-based Tiv group, in the letter circulated by its Publicity Secretary, Ms. Salome Biam, requested the Archbishop to intervene and compel the Federal Government of Nigeria to stop the killing of innocent people in the country, especially in Benue and Taraba states.

Taraba Governor Orders Arrest Of Lawmaker’s Killers

The Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has challenged the security operatives in the state to fish out the killers of the member representing Takum 1 constituency, Taraba state House of Assembly, Hon. Hosea Ibi.

The governor made the appeal when he received members of the Taraba State House of Assembly at the Government House in Jalingo, the state capital.

The legislators, led by their Speaker, Hon. Peter Abel, was at the Government House to commiserate and condole with Governor Ishaku over the gruesome murder of their colleague who is from the same local government area with the governor of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Hon. Abel expressed shock at the news of the cold murder of Hon. Ibi.

He accused the criminals with the intention to murder him and not for any other purpose.

He, therefore, called on the people to put their political differences aside and ensure that the state becomes unsafe for the criminals.

In his response, Governor Ishaku said he is saddened by this development, especially with all the efforts put in place to secure his release.

The governor who could not hide his feelings as lamented on the several security problems confronting the nation and called for immediate end to it.

While applauding the efforts of the security agencies in the state, governor Ishaku asks them to ensure that perpetrators of this killing be fished out.

The governor further advised the people to be vigilant and report strange faces to security agencies.

He called on the people of the state not to take laws into their hands as the incidence should be seen as a criminal act and not tribal.

The governor asked the state to give the police all the assistance they desire to apprehend these criminals.

Hon Ibi was abducted by kidnappers in his residence in Takum on December 30, 2017, and taken to unknown destination.

Sixteen days later, his corpse was discovered in the forest by a search team in Takum.

Taraba: Judiciary Remains Window Of Hope For Democracy – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party says that the Judiciary has shown that it remains the window of hope for democracy to strive in this country.

The party said that the bold and patriotic approach of the Supreme Court of the land in the various tribunal cases goes a long way to show that it is indeed the last hope of the down trodden.

“Without such landmark judgments from the Supreme Court perhaps there would have been no Nigeria and we salute them for their courage in delivering justice to the people.

“We therefore warn APC and the federal Government to stop insulting judiciary as there is nowhere in the world that a ruling party go about hauling abuses on the judiciary.

The statement signed by the Acting National Chairman of the party Prince Uche Secondus reacting to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling in favour of PDP’s gubernatorial flag bearer Darius Ishaku of Taraba state, said all hope is not yet lost for democracy.

According to Secondus, the Supreme Court ruling not only establishes the judiciary as a utility arm in stabilizing the nation’s polity but as the voice of the voiceless.
“The ruling is a vivid reflection of the will of the people of Taraba State and goes a long way to show the strength of our party in the state.

While congratulating the Governor for his victory, the party charged him to remain resolute in delivering dividend of democracy to the people in line with the manifesto of the PDP.
He also congratulated the people of Taraba state for their resilience in standing up for democracy and charged them to remain steadfast in their support for PDP especially now that it has become obvious that the All Progressives Congress APC has nothing to offer Nigerians.

Taraba: Supreme Court Upholds Gov. Ishaku’s Election

The Supreme Court has upheld the outcome of the April 11, 2015, governorship election that produced Governor Darius Ishaku of the People Democratic Party, PDP.

A seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court, in a unanimous judgment this afternoon, dismissed the the appeal that was lodged by Senator Aisha Jumai Alhassan of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour who delivered the lead verdict, affirmed the earlier judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal ‎which declared Gov Ishaku as the valid winner of the gubernatorial contest.

“I am of the firm view that there is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed. The Judgment of the ‎Court of Appeal is affirmed and the election of governor Darius Ishaku is hereby upheld”, Justice Rhodes-Vivour held.

However, the apex court panel reserved its reasons for the judgement till February 22.

Senator Alhassan who is currently the Minister of Women affairs, had prayed the apex court to set aside the verdict of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal which earlier upheld governor Ishaku’s election. ‎

It will be recalled that the appellate court had on December 31, 2015, reversed the judgment of the Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which nullified Ishaku’s election.

In voiding the decision of the tribunal, a five-man panel of Justices of the appellate court, held that Ishaku, validly won the governorship contest. It maintained that the Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar led tribunal,‎ “grossly misdirected itself”,  when it not only nullified governor Ishaku’s election, but went ahead to declare the APC candidate winner.

Justice Abdul Aboki who read the lead judgment, said the tribunal acted outside its jurisdiction when it invalidated Ishaku’s election on the premise that he was not validly nominated by the PDP. The appellate court stressed that the issue of nomination of a candidate by a political party “is clearly a pre-election matter which no tribunal has the jurisdiction to entertain”. ‎

According to the court, neither the APC nor its candidate, Alhassan, had the requisite locus-standi to query the outcome of the PDP governorship primary election that produced Ishaku. ‎It emphasised that under section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, only those that participated in the said PDP primary election, has the statutory right to challenge its outcome at the Federal High Court or State High Court.

‎The appellate court said contention on  whether the PDP rightly or wrongly conducted its governorship primary election, did not fall within matters that could be entertained by an election petition tribunal.