Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    Tension in Taraba over Govt. alleged refusal to pay compensation of N245 million to landowners

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    Charles Akpeji
    Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

    By our Taraba correspondent

    Palpable tensions is again building up in Wukari local government council of Taraba state following the alleged refusal of the state government to obey court judgment by paying landowners a compensation of N245 million.

    The said land which was earlier confiscated from the rightful owners by the government, as observed by our correspondent, is where the Federal University of Wukari is presently established .

    The alleged refusal of the state government to pay compensation to the land owners despite court judgement in favour of the plaintiffs, is now no doubt igniting dusts in the area.

    It would be recall that the High Court sitting in Wukari Judicial Division which was presided over by Justice Silas Haruna in 2017 had earlier awarded the sum of N245,000,000 as compensation to the plaintiffs land owners of the 200 hectares of land acquired in 2012 by the Government for the establishment of the Federal University Wukari which is located in Wukari metropolis .

    Sad that the government had not deemed if fit to adhered to the court judgment by commencing the payment of the compensation to the affected persons, the land owners who reached out to our state correspondent with their complains in Jalingo, are now vehemently calling on individuals and groups to press on the government to adhere to court directives by commencing the payment of compensation.

    Speaking through their representative, Solomon Aji, the land owners said the refusal of the government to do the needful have heralded untold hardship to them and their families as their only source of living have been taken away from them.

    The situation , which they said have practically made it impossible for them to foot their hospital Bill’s, pay rants, foot their children and wards school fees, according to them, is as well fast chasing some of them to the graveyards.

    The land owners who could not fathomed why the government, have continued to drag it feet on the issue, vowed not to ceased from treading all legitimate paths to press home their demands.

    Also sad by the development, the counsel to the plaintiffs , Barrister P.M.Shagnah, said “though the government of Taraba State had promised to pay the money since 14 January,2020 and later on 26 February,2020 but very typical of the State government it still failed to fulfill it promised and obligations under the law.^

    “Our clients” according to him “will remain committed to the matter before the court as their last and only hope” stating that “We will continue to prosecute the matter to its logical and just conclusion before the court.”

    Attempts by the counsel to obtain the State Government four bank account numbers garnished by the court , according to Shagnah, proved abortive as the Plaintiff/ Applicant counsel “was not speaking from the office where he can access the case file.”

    A top government official who bares his mind on the issue on the condition of anonymous, agreed the state governor is concern about the plights of the land owners, and that plans have been fashioned out to mop off the drooling tears on the faces of the landowners whose lands were confiscated for the establishment of the said university.

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