Despite a court order, individuals whose lands were acquired for the establishment of the Federal University, Wukari, in Taraba state, are still distressed by the alleged failure of the state government to provide compensation.
Represented by their counsel, Pwamaddi Shagnah, they criticized the state government for disregarding the court’s directive and expressed disappointment that after eight years, the government has yet to initiate the compensation process, deeming it as “lawless and insensitive to their plights.”
Narrating how the lands were forcefully collected from them by the government for the establishment of the University, which is cited in Wukari local government council, the situation which they said has been telling negatively on them, they claimed have compelled some of their colleagues to the world beyond.
Armed with the court judgement, copies of which they made available to media practitioners in Jalingo, the state capital, they urged the government to comply with “the judgement of the High Court, Taraba state in the land acquisition and compensation.”
Stressing that “it could be recalled that our clients sued your office (governor) and four others in their official capacity over the acquisition and compensation for the large hectares of land that is presently inhabited by the FUW, the land owners, through their lawyer, said the aforesaid suit had been resolved via a consent judgement in the year 2017.
In the judgement, the court, according to the aggrieved land owners, “awarded the sum of N245,224,083.20 as judgement sum in favour of the land owners against the state government
Aggrieved that the consent judgement was delivered several years ago, they grieved that ” it is unfortunate that there is still no compliance by the government to discharge the liability against it despite a series of demands.”
Adding that “these repeated legitimate demands by our clients to the government is one too many without a corresponding commitment by the government to discharge its liability as a judgement debtor that statutorily owed our clients the obligation of treating them fairly as patriotic citizens of Taraba state that have contributed immensely to the growth of their dear state.”
Citing how the land owners of where the Federal Polytechnic was sited in Bali local government council were hurriedly compensated, they wondered why the case of Wukari had been different.
Emphasizing that “our clients have also instructed us to ask why their case treated differently as if they are not bonafide citizens of Taraba state”
A fourteen-day ultimatum was however noticed to have been issued out to the government by the landowners to abide by the court judgement.
Drumming that ” it is our clients’ instructions to humbly make a final demand from the government to pay off their debts as indicated above within fourteen days or else they shall resort to legal means of enforcing their judgement 9f the High Court of justice of Taraba state.”
In 2017, Justice Silas Haruna of the High Court of Justice Taraba State, delivered judgement in favour of the land owners, urging the state government to dish out to them a compensation of over N245 million.
Source: The Guardian