Nine Arrested Over Possession Of Arms In Taraba

The Nigeria Army in Takum, Taraba, says it has arrested nine members of a Civilian Joint Task Force over alleged possession of five AK 47 rifles.

The Spokesperson of the 13 Brigade, Capt. Kayode Owolabi, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Calabar.

The suspects were arrested by troops of 93 Battalion deployed to Arufu, a border town between Taraba and Benue.

“Troops from the 93 Battalion on Monday Jan. 8 disarmed and arrested nine members of an armed militia known as civilian JTF in Taraba with five AK 47 rifles.

“Before their arrest, reinforcement of Civilian JTF came to prevent the troops from arresting and transporting the suspects to 93 Battalion Headquarters.

“During preliminary investigation, the suspects claimed that the weapons were issued to them by the Benue State Government. They also confirmed that they were 60 in number in their camp located in Pegie.

“Additionally, they revealed that the Benue State Government pay them the sum of N60,000 monthly. They further revealed that they were trained by ex-service men and they were brought together from all the localities in Benue State.

Owolabi said that the suspects were now helping the Army in its investigation before they would be handed over to the police for prosecution.


Taraba Takes Minerals to Europe

The Governing Council and Board of Trustees, Mining Investment, has nominated Gov. Darius Isiaku of Taraba to showcase the state mineral resources at the forthcoming Mining Investment in Europe.

The mining investment in Europe would take place in Frankfurt, Germany, from June 12 to June 14.

Taraba is blessed with different types of minerals, such uranium, zircon, zinc ore, topaz, sapphire, futile, quartz, graphite, gold, beryle among others.

Mr Saturday Jackson, conference facilitator, an investment expert and member of the Nigerian-German Business Exchange Council made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Jackson said that the Governor was nominated by the council to showcase mineral resources available in Taraba state to attract foreign miners to the state.

“The conference will afford the governor opportunity to meet potential foreign investors in the solid mineral sector, both institutional and private to invest in Taraba state.

“This opportunity will afford the governor the platform to discuss the rich mineral resources potential in the state,” he said.

He said the three days mining investment Europe conference would cover areas such as mining technology, equipment and services among others.

The mining investment organises its events with line up activities every year; it provides attendees with valuable industry insights through presentations by esteemed speakers.

It is expected that miners and Government officials at the conference take the opportunity to expand connections, launch new products and forge new business partnership.


Taraba To Put Agriculture In It’s Rightful Place

Yesterday Taraba state governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku reiterated his administration’s readiness to accord agriculture its rightful place by giving the much-needed support to all farmers.

This was stated at the flag off ceremony for the sale of fertilizers and distribution of sesame seeds and other farm inputs to farmers which took place at the Jolly Nyame stadium in Jalingo, said relevant strategies to put smiles on the faces of farmers have been mapped out by his administration. Optimistic that farmers in the state would soon start smiling to the back, the greenhouse which was recently constructed by the governor, “have started producing high-quality vegetables.”

To further promote cocoa production, the state government, according to him has acquired a site in Takum local government to establish cocoa grading center.

Taraba can Meet Nigeria’s Rice Demand, Says Ishaku

Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba on Monday said that the state had the potential to produce 10 million tonnes of rice, the annual demand of the country, with adequate financing and availability of modern equipment.

Ishaku said this in Ardo-kola at a stakeholders’ meeting of the PDP’s delegates representing Jalingo and Ardo-kola.

He said areas like: Karim-lamido, Gassol, Ardo-kola, Lau, Ibi, Wukari, Takum, among others, had fertile lands suitable for growing large quantities of rice.

The governor noted that lack of sufficient funds had undermined the capacity of the state’s rice farmers to produce at an optimum level.
Ishaku, however, said the state government was determined to support farmers in the state with farm inputs and improved seeds to increase their productivity.

He said that Dominion Farms, owned by a Kenyan investor in Gassol, had been given six months to commence buying of paddy rice from out-growers for processing.

The governor announced that the state government had bought hybrid seeds of Bennie seeds, soya beans and cassava and it would soon distribute them to its farmers.

“Recently, there is a high demand for bennie seeds in our markets; though, I do not know what they are doing with it. We have acquired its improved seed.

“We have also acquired hybrid seeds of soya beans and of course, cassava because I will soon revive our cassava processing plant.

“When that is done, it will bring the total companies I revived to five out of the 25 companies that were in comatose when I took over,’’ Ishaku said.

The governor said he was in Ardo-kola to thank the people for massively voting for him in 2015.

“The best time to appreciate that support is now; since I have won all the post-election suits instituted by my opponents,’’ he said.

Also speaking, the state PDP Chairman, Mr Victor Bala, noted that loyalty to party decisions was critical to the growth of party politics.

Bala urged council area chapters of the party that could not garner adequate support for the party in 2015 election, to “sit up’’ as the 2019 general elections were approaching.

“Politics is like an investment. If you invest a little, do not expect high dividends at the end of the day, ‘’ he said.


Court Orders Former Taraba State Governor Nyame To Begin Defence

The FCT High Court has dismissed a “no-case” submission of Mr. Jolly Nyame, former governor of Taraba state, who is being tried for N1.64 billion fraud.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of FCT High Court, Gudu, on Tuesday ordered Nyame to begin his defense on March 8.

Nyame is standing trial on a 41-count charge of criminal misappropriation of N1.64 billion state funds.

The ex-governor had on January 18, through his counsel, Mr. Charles Edosomwan, urged court to “hold that the testimony of prosecution witnesses have been so damaging and can’t be relied on” and “the crucial elements are missing in this case”.

At the resumed sitting on Tuesday, the court cited Sections 302, 303, 357 and 358 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to back its decision.

It noted that, it was in order for a defendant to apply to the court for a “no-case” submission, but the “court shall have discretion whether essential elements of the offence have been proven or not”.

The court noted that a prima facie case implies a ground for proceeding, “it doesn’t require proof beyond every reasonable doubt, as is required to find a defendant guilty or not”, and, “whether the prosecution has made some case requiring clarification from the defendant no matter how slight”.

“In relation to this court, having had a close look at the evidence and exhibits, I hold that this case requires him to provide information and give explanation with regards to evidence presented by the prosecution.

The court ordered Nyame to enter into his defense in the interest of justice.

Credit: Sahara Reporters

Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Kill 15 In Attack On Taraba Villages

Suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked Dori and Mesuma villages in Gashaka Local Government Area of Taraba State, on Sunday, killing at least 15 people, police said Tuesday.

Residents said more than 40 people were killed and several houses razed by the attackers.

Speaking to reporters at headquaters of the state police command, the state commissioner of police, Shaba Alkali, said the herdsmen launched coordinated attacks on the two villages on Sunday at about 11AM.

“A group of people numbering about twenty, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, invaded and attacked Dori and Mesuma villages via Garbabi ward, Gashaka LGA, and burnt some thatch houses forcing the villagers to flee into the villages of Mayo-Selbe and Sabon Gida for safety,” the police chief said.

“Eight people were killed in Dori village while seven were also killed in Mesuma,” he added.

Mr. Alkali said when he got the report of the attacks from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) incharge of Serti, he quickly mobilised his men and deployed them to the area.

He said the officers could not access the villages with their vehicles due to the poor state of roads.

He said the deployed operatives spent hours trekking to the villages.

He said over 40 more mobile police personnel were redeployed from Yola, Adamawa State, to the affected areas.

The police chief further revealed that the police detectives have cordoned off routes the affected communities.

“My detectives are around Bali area to make sure that those that carried out the attacks are arrested,” he said.

He said two suspects had been arrested.

The police commissioner paraded a 52-year-old man, Ardo Ayuba Iliyasu, as the mastermind of the Dori and Mesuma villages attacks.

The police commissioner said Mr. Iliyasu convened a meeting of a large number of persons in his house at Garbabi village few hours before the attacks was launched.

But when interviewed by journalists, the suspect denied involvement in the killings.

The cause of the attacks was not clear.

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.