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Jukun vs Benue State Government, Tor Tiv, others: Falana demands Chief Judge to assign suit

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Jukun vs Benue State Government, Tor Tiv, others: Falana demands Chief Judge to assign suit

By: Our Reporter

Solicitors to National Association of Jukun Wanu (NAJUWA), Falana and Falana’s Chambers have complained to the Chief Judge of Benue State over the non-assigning of a suit involving its client and the Benue State Government and four others.

In a letter of complaint dated 18, April, 2024, the Chambers expressed dismay over a case filed on 2, February, 2024 and yet to be assigned.

In the letter signed by Samuel Ogala Esq for Principal Partner, it informed the Chief Judge that the claimants and all Jukun Wanu indigenes are already agitated by the non-assignment of the case hence the need to act urgently on the letter by exercising its administrative powers by assigning the suit to a court for adjudication.

According to reports reaching this medium, the Benue State Chief Judge has been assigning cases to various courts for adjudication even after February 2, 2024 when NAJUWA suit was filed but left it unattended to without reason.

NAJUWA wants the world to note that the Tiv Traditional Council have been using some sinister and unconstitutional means to scuttle the suit, which is being spearheaded by Tor Tiv using Ter Guma and Tor Lobi who invited some of its members to meetings which were explicitly recorded in which our communities were tasked to withdraw the lawsuit or in the alternative write a letter of disclaimer which can be used to discredit the matter in court.

They have also threatened that their plan to install a Tiv Chief in Abinsi will soon be realised despite NAJUWA’s matter in court.

However, the Jukun Wanu Association (JUWA) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in its April meeting unanimously urged NAJUWA not to relent or withdraw the suit.

NAJUWA sued the office of the Benue State Governor, Benue State Government, the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Benue State House of Assembly, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Benue State and HRM, Orchivirigh Professor Ortese James Ayatse, the Tor Tiv and President, Benue State Council of Chiefs over decades of discriminatory policies against Benue Jukun.

NAJUWA declared that by virtue of the provision of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the people of Jukun Wanu are indigenes of Guma Local Government, Makurdi Local Government and Logo Local Government Area of Benue State and citizens of Nigeria and as such are entitled to equal protection under any law made in Nigeria including Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Council Law 2016, that by virtue of the provision of section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the people of Jukun Wanu whom are indigenes of Guma Local Government, Makurdi Local Government and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State are entitled to freedom from discrimination on the basis of the circumstances of their birth and that by virtue of section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the respondents are not competent to make any law or adopt any policy which discriminates against the people of Jukun Wanu whom are indigenes of Benue State in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.

The Claimant declared that the exclusion of Jukun Wanu whom are indigenes of Guma Local Government, Makurdi Local Government and Logo Local Government of Benue State from Schedule 5 and 6 of Section 18 (1) of the Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Council Law 2016 is illegal and unconstitutional.

NAJUWA averred that its members are Jukun Wanu (Riverine Jukun) whom are indigenes of Benue State whose ancestral origin can be traced to many communities in the state.

According to it, these communities include but not limited to Abinsi, Agyogo (Makurdi) Akatungu (North Bank), Agyetashi, Azhoko (Ankwa), Abweni, Anmor (Fiidi), Ando Sede (Bajimba), Anuwha, Atenge and Anyishi.

Others are Asugu, Gidin Mangoro, Akatsu, Agbodo, Zhamindo, Ashuku, Kitsani, Aguye and Asokpoga among others.

NAJUWA are requesting for N1billion as damages for prolonged act of discrimination against Benue Jukun.

The Association urges the Tiv Traditional Council to follow the path of honour, decency and justice to grant Jukun their constitutional right or know that the Jukun will never waver or abdicate their right on this matter or any other thus will never withdraw this case, no matter their intimidation or threats.

However, NAJUWA noted that Jukun people will follow the path of peace and as law abiding citizens, continue to wait patiently until justice is achieved in this matter.

Jukun vs Benue State Government, Tor Tiv, others: Falana demands Chief Judge to assign suit

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UNODC Insists Proper Classification of Inmates would Make Correctional Facilities Truly Reformatory

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UNODC Insists Proper Classification of Inmates would Make Correctional Facilities Truly Reformatory

By: Michael Mike

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) has said with proper classification of inmates at correctional facilities across the country, correctional centres would truly become reformatory institutions.

Speaking at the training of officers of Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS) in Lagos on Tuesday, the Project Coordinator, Prisons and Penal Reforms, UNODC, Munchaneta Mundopa said it was imperative for proper classification of inmates at correctional centres, insisting that his would make administration at the various centres easy.

She added that it would also enable the needs of the various inmates to be met since the various classes of inmates have different needs.

The training which commences on Tuesday and runs through Friday is the second in the series as one was earlier held in Abuja. It is sponsored by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the U.S. State Department, (INL), and implemented by UNODC in Nigeria, with major focus on six prisons in Adamawa, Borno and Gombe States

She noted that “classification, empowers the Nigerian Correctional Service to tailor rehabilitation plans based on the individual needs and risks of an inmate. So rehabilitation does not need to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it needs to be tailored to the specific inmate(s), so that when they go out into the society they are able to harness the power of what they’ve learnt in prison.

“In our partnership with the Nigerian Correctional Service, we realize that while the list of classification systems currently exist, there is a gap in terms of implementation and also in aligning it to the Nelson Mandela Rules.

“Our project is sponsored by INL and is part of the work that we are doing in Nigeria in the space of prison and Penal Reforms. Broadly we refocus on three areas including improving prison conditions, strengthening the capacity of actors to look at alternative ways of dealing with the criminal justice system or alternatives to imprisonment.”

In attendance at the training are about 30 officers of NCoS selected across the country.

UNODC Insists Proper Classification of Inmates would Make Correctional Facilities Truly Reformatory

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We will stand behind you – UN assures, as States Action Plans for Durable Solutions in Northeast are launched

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We will stand behind you – UN assures, as States Action Plans for Durable Solutions in Northeast are launched

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government and United Nations have launched the States Action Plans on Durable Solutions to Internal Displacement in Nigeria targeted at ending the displacement in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States brought about by Boko Haram crisis.

United Nations Assistant Secretary General, and Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement, Robert Piper, speaking at
the launch held at the Presidential Villa Abuja, on Tuesday said: “We will stand behind you. Let me reiterate our commitment on behalf of the United Nations: We will keep supporting on the ground; We will help rally donors; We will chase missing partners; We will celebrate your successes,”

The Action Plans, according to him, are anchored in international standards and the Kampala Convention; driven by real political leadership; and are geared to mobilize development investments.

Piper explained that: “The plans you launch today provide a model of how governments can take responsibility for ending displacement.The plans recognise that displaced people can choose between going back home, properly integrating where they are right now or relocating elsewhere in the country.”

Vice President Kashim Shettima, on his part, emphasised that: “We must invest in sustainable development, education, and economic opportunities to build resilient communities. By doing so, we not only address the immediate needs of the displaced but also create a foundation for a more stable and prosperous future.”

He noted that the launch of the state Action Plans was meant to craft solutions that would outlive the present generation, and offer future generations a place of hope, a home for all, and a land of opportunity where dreams could be pursued without worry.

Shettima noted, “As we launch these State Action Plans, let us commit to collaborative efforts that transcend borders and political divides. Let us harness the strength of our partnerships, both local and international, to bring about lasting change. The task ahead is immense, but with determination, unity, and a clear vision, we can make a profound difference.”
 
Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed commended the governments of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe for their actions to scale up solution pathways in their state action plans, noting that achieving durable solutions is a priority for both Nigeria and for the United Nations secretary general.

“Finding durable solutions to internal displacement is central to achieving the sustainable development goals in Nigeria and beyond, and they must become an integral part of development plans in areas affected by forced displacement.” Said the Deputy Secretary-General.

She emphasized that durable solutions required long term investments in infrastructure, education, health care, as well as in security and the enablers social contract with the people.

Mohammed added that “Our joint efforts must offer the promise of inclusive governance, human dignity, and a world where we leave no one behind.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Richard Montgomery, who spoke on behalf of the informal North-East Ambassador Group, emphasised that the group shared a collective interest in government’s efforts to bring peace to the North-East.

“We stand in support of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration. As regards the durable solutions to internal displacement in the North-east, Montgomery noted, “No one country has the answer. We must join hands to ensure sustainable solutions to internally displaced persons (IDPs) issues in Nigeria.”

At the launch were the Governor of Borno State, H.E. Prof Babagana Zulum; Governor of Yobe State, H.E. Mai Mala Buni; Governor of Benue State, H.E. Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia; and Hon. Commissioner for Reconstruction Rehabilitation Reintegration & Human Service, Bello Hamman Diram, representing Adamawa State Governor, H.E. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
 
The publication of the United Nations Secretary General High Level Panel’s Report on Internal Displacement, and the accompanying Action Agenda on Internal Displacement created a pivotal moment in how durable solutions in situations of internal displacement are approached.

Building on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the renewed attention to durable solutions puts a significant emphasis towards government-led and -owned processes.

In line with this recommendation, and following the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Borno in May 2022, theauthorities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe initiated a process to develop their own action plans to address internal displacement as part of overall and long term development of their state.

Progress towards durable solutions requires an approach that steps away from a needs-based way of working towards an area-based approach. The activities, processes and budget elaborated on in the State Action Plans, ensure that attention is given to all communities affected by displacement – including internally displaced persons, returnees as well as members of the host communities. Addressing forced displacement in this way bears the promise for the State Action Plans to contribute to the overall development of the state and to leave no one behind.

Through their State Action Plans, the authorities acknowledge the need to ensure that methodologies, processes, and activities which form part of the vision to achieve durable solutions need to be evaluated in a timely manner with an aim to amend and strengthen their approach to achieving solutions. As an integral part of the overall governance system
for durable solutions, the people-centered approach described in the monitoring and
evaluation chapters will significantly contribute to ensure displacement affected communities participate in the overall development of the state.

All plans recognize the need to maintain humanitarian assistance where needed, work around preventing future displacement andprogressing solutions where possible.

Driving these plans forward and recognizing the longer-term systematic sustainability that is needed, ambitious budgets have beendeveloped. While a significant amount of these budgets is reserved for access to housing –including elements related to secure tenure –they cater to a wider set of interventions such as economic development and access to services.

We will stand behind you – UN assures, as States Action Plans for Durable Solutions in Northeast are launched

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ECOWAS Doing It Can to Make Mali, B/Faso, Niger Rescind Their Exit Decision- ECOWAS VP

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ECOWAS Doing It Can to Make Mali, B/Faso, Niger Rescind Their Exit Decision- ECOWAS VP

By: Michael Mike

The Vice President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Damtien Tchintchibidja has revealed that the regional bloc was doing all it could to make Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger rescind their decision to exit.

Tchintchibidja described the efforts at getting the trio back as “work in progress,” gave the comment in an interview with journalists in Abuja an event set to mark at ECOWAS @ 49 Celebration, dedicated to sensitizing young students in Abuja about the missions, achievements, and vision of ECOWAS for the future.

He said: “Well, it’s still a work in progress, quite frankly, for us it’s heartbreaking to know that three member states would like to exit from this community.

“We are stronger as a community. It’s like a family. You know, you’re always stronger when the family is unified, united.

“And for us, we are still working at it, you know, we still engage in negotiations with these member states to ensure that they remain within our community.

“But even if they were to leave, they still remain our brothers and sisters.

“As you know, our borders are porous, where citizens have families all across our borders, and we are all one people,” Tchintchibidja said.

The intention of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to exit ECOWAS was made known in January after the coup in Niger received a backlash from the regional bloc who also slammed various sanctions on the three countries over the military takeover of power in their countries, which their military leaders considered irresponsible and unbrotherly.

Though ECOWAS has since February lifted the sanctions, but there is no public knowledge that the three departing countries may reverse their stand on membership.

ECOWAS Doing It Can to Make Mali, B/Faso, Niger Rescind Their Exit Decision- ECOWAS VP

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