The Tiv people on Monday withdrew from the Commission of inquiry into the crises between the Tiv and their neighbours recently constituted by the Taraba State government, alleging the likelihood of bias by the Commission and the State government.
Lead Counsel representing the Tiv people, Sebastian Hon (SAN) had at the commencement of the commission’s sitting on Monday made an oral application requesting the commission to recuse itself from sitting and considering any memoranda pending the determination of the case before the Federal High Court Abuja.
Hon (SAN) told the commission that he had instituted a case in Abuja and served the commission’s secretariat an affidavit of fact about the case on Monday morning.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria argued that the instrument setting up the Commission was discriminately against the Tiv by profiling the Tiv people, without mentioning any tribe that the Tiv people will be facing in the Commission.
“The Tiv people have no confidence in this Commission, given the way and manner the commission was constituted and the manner the commission commenced its work.
“Even though the Tiv people were the ones named in the instrument none of their memoranda was slated for hearing and those slated for the hearing were not served on the Tiv who is 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 matter.”
Hon then prayed the commission to adjourn sine-die, decline jurisdiction, or recuse itself from sitting, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
But lead Council to Wukari traditional Council and Wukari local government, Abdul Ibrahim (SAN) prayed the Commission to disregard the objection raised by Hon SAN
In his ruling, Commission’s Chairman, Justice Bayang Aka’ahs overruled the objection raised by Hon SAN and adjourned sitting of the Commission to Wednesday for consideration of memoranda before the commission.
In his reaction, Sabastine Hon SAN announced the withdrawal of Tiv from the commission.
But Abdul Ibrahim in his reaction said his clients would appear and ventilate their grievances against the Tiv, adding that withdrawing from the commission was a matter of choice.