Taraba Govt Seals Off APC Office
Taraba State Government has allegedly sealed off the campaign office of Alhaji Aliyu Umar, the State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the 2019 general elections.
Our reporter who visited the office located at No 3 Barde Way, Jalingo, on Tuesday, saw three armed and stern-looking policemen who shut down the one-story building and impounded a furniture-laden truck parked in its environment.
Incumbent governor, Darius Ishaku, is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued in Jalingo, the Director General of Umar's campaign organization, Br Kabiru Jalo, said the office was “sealed off by the policemen on Sunday on the instruction of Gov Darius Ishaku’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), Mr. Iliya Dasat.”
“We rented the building for five years from the rightful owner and so we do not understand the government's action.
This is coming shortly after a truck laden with furniture mearnt for the office was confiscated in the premises by the police,” he said.
Jalo said the legal team of the campaign organisation had been directed to request the state government to vacate the office premises within 24 hours and tender an unreserved apology for its action or face litigation.
The DG called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to caution his staff against falling into the temptation of being used by politicians thereby compromising their neutrality.
“The IGP must be aware of how the powers that be in Taraba are using his men to hound those who want to contest against the governor in the upcoming elections because they blindly obey orders without any diligent investigation,” Jalo said.
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov Ishaku, Mr. Bala Dan Abu, promised to investigate the matter and get back to our correspondent, but he never did.
Similarly, the State Police Spokesman, (PPRO), ASP David Misal, said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. David Akinremi, had ordered an investigation into the “sensitive matter”.
“The CP is worried about the allegation and that was why he ordered investigation into the matter and we don’t want to rush things,” David said.
Also, a source in the State Ministry of Housing told our reporter that the state government was only making efforts to recover the building which was “originally a property of Taraba Government”.
“This building is originally owned by Taraba State Government. I remember it was used as a guest house of former governor Danbaba Suntai, when he was the Secretary to the State Government.
“Whoever is claiming the building must have fraudulently acquired it and that is why the state government ordered its closure pending the outcome of investigation,” the source said.
But the care-taker of the building and a Senior Special Assistant to Suntai, Alhaji Aminu Babale, dismissed the claim, saying the wife of the former governor, Hajiya Hauwa Suntai, was the legitimate owner of the building.
Babale who spoke on phone told our reporter that “Her Excellency Hauwa Suntai, who is currently performing lesser hajj in Mecca, had confirmed to me about her ownership of the building when we spoke on phone on Sunday, and added that she had leased it out to Umar Campaign Organization.
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