Alleged Jukun marginalisation: Falana asks chief judge to assign case

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

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

The letter signed by Samuel Ogala (Esq) for the principal partner informed the Chief Judge that the claimants and all Jukun Wanu indigenes are already agitated by the non-assignment of the case. 

Until now, the state Chief Judge assigns cases to various courts for adjudication even after February 2 when NAJUWA’s suit was filed but left it unattended to for inexplicable reason. 

NAJUWA noted that AkuBise, Jukun chief had been summoned by the Ter Guma to impress on the association to withdraw the case, else he would be forced to vacate his seat.

“NAJUWA wants the world to note that the Tiv Traditional Council has been using sinister and unconstitutional means to scuttle the suit, which is being allegedly spearheaded by Tor Tiv using Ter Guma and Tor Lobi who invited some of its members to meetings which were explicitly recorded in which Jukun 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.”

NAJUWA had sued the office of the state governor, the state government, speaker of the state assembly, the assembly, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice  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.

It is saying that by virtue 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 areas of the state; therefore are citizens of Nigeria and entitled to equal protection under any law made in Nigeria including Benue State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Council Law 2016. 

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

To that extent, NAJUWA is demanding for N1billion compensation for prolonged act of discrimination against Benue Jukun.

It therefore urges the Tiv Traditional Council to follow the path of decency and grant Jukun their constitutional rights and know that Jukun will never wave their rights on this matter or withdraw this case, no matter the threats while towing the path of peace and as law abiding citizens until justice is achieved.