Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
The Tiv people in Taraba State have withdrawn from participating in the Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government to look into the crisis between the Tiv and their neighbours, for lack of confidence.
The Commission of Inquiry, which was set up on July 16, 2020, and has Justice Bayang Aka’ahs as its chairman, commenced sitting yesterday at the state Women Development Centre.
The Tiv people had through their lead counsel, Sebastine Hon (SAN), told the commission that they have filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order of interlocutory injunction against the commission, and therefore, urged the commission to adjourn sine-die pending the determination of the suit.
Hon told the commission chairman that he has submitted the affidavit of fact of the case to the commission’s secretariat for confirmation, and therefore, told the commission not to entertain any memoranda.
He further argued that the instrument setting up the commission was discriminatory against the Tiv people by profiling the people without mentioning any tribe they’re having issues with.
According to him, “The Tiv people have no confidence in this commission given the way and manner the commission was constituted and the manner the commission commenced it work.
“Even though the Tiv people were the ones named in the instrument establishing the commission, none of their memoranda was slated for hearing, and those slated for hearing were not served on the Tiv, who are a major party in the commission.
“The Commission of Inquiry has no jurisdiction to entertain criminal matters as contained in the terms of reference, and it also lacks jurisdiction to look into the role states and local governments played in the crisis hence it’s a Taraba State matter.”
The counsel, therefore, urged the commission to adjourn sine-die, decline jurisdiction or recuse itself from sitting pending the determination of the substantive suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
However, the lead counsel to Wukari Traditional Council and Wukari Local Government Area, Abdul Ibrahim (SAN), prayed the commission to disregard the objection raised by the Tiv counsel, saying it is the Tiv people’s choice to participate or not in the sitting of the commission.
Justice Bayang Aka’ahs, however, adjourned sitting for some hours to allow the commission to rule on the oral application made by Hon.