A community in Taraba State has accused the state government of withholding N245m land compensation due it.
Following a decision to establish a Federal University in Wukari town in 2011, the state government had acquired 200 hectares of land after agreeing to compensate its original owners.
Since then, the government had refused to honour its promise, leading to prolonged legal battle.
In 2017, judgment was delivered in favour of the plaintiffs (land owners), directing the government to pay them compensation.
Justice Silas Haruna of Taraba State High Court, Wukari Division, had awarded the sum of N245m compensation to the plaintiffs for losing 200 hectares of land to the state government.
However, since then, the government of Taraba had refused to implement the court order, causing the plaintiffs untold hardship.
One plaintiff, Solomon Aji, told SaharaReporters that the land was the community’s only source of livelihood.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Pwamaddi Shagnah, wondered why the government was delaying paying about the compensation.
He said, “Recently, the government of Taraba State had promised to pay the money around January 2020 and later on 26 February, 2020 but typical of the state government, it failed to fulfill its promise and obligations under the law.”
Taraba State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice could not be reached for comments as of the time of this report.
However, a senior government official said, “Governor Ishaku Darius is concerned about the matter and it would be resolved soon.”
Saharareporters, New York