LOKOJA – As uproars continue to trailed the judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja, ceding Lokoja, Kogi and AJaokuta council areas to the Attah Igala, a youth groups in LOKOJA LGA has backed the decision of critical stakeholders to embarked on judicial redress immediately.
The youths u see the aupices of LOKOJA First Advocacy Group, (LFAG) though call for refrain until the matter is legally address but condemned the judgment, tagging it new Colonialism.
Justice W. Okorowa of LOKOJA Federal High Court had in a suit file FHC/LKJ/C5/43/2017 granted the right of ownership of Lokoja, Kogi/ Koto-Karfe and Ajakuta Local government Areas of Kogi state as part of the Igala Kingdom over an 1841 agreement the then Attah, Ameh Ocheje signed with British government that was defaulted.
Aside that, the sum of ten billion naira was awarded the plaintiff as compensation to be paid by the Federal Government.
But the Lokoja First Advocacy Group(LFAG) which is concerned with advocating issues that affects the people and territorial boundaries of Lokoja Local Government in their reaction during a press conference on Monday.
Chairman of the group, Yakubu Ali said, “We reject the judgement in its entirety in the strongest terms because of it contradictions and violation of available historical facts of our peaceful co-existence.
“That LFAG observes that the judgment has transgressed the rights of the original owners and custodians of Lokoja Local Government area in particular as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the land use act 1978, the African charter on human and people’s rights 1981 and the universal declaration of human rights 1948.
“We wish to make public that the inhabitants of Lokoja LGA have NEVER at any time in history fall under Igala Kingdom or it jurisdiction whatsoever.
“Without prejudice, we observed that the Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja also lacks the jurisdiction to entertain and pass judgment on such matter and matters connected thereto on item. More particularly, as there is a similar case, with same parties, same subject matter, with same reliefs pending at high court no 1, Lokoja.
“The action of the case as insitituted and the judgment delivered at this period of human civilization is not only tempering on the rights of the people but also on their means of livelihood.
“We solidly support all decisions and agreements earlier reached by other stakeholders from the three affected Local Government Areas as contained in the press conferences of 6th June, 2020 presided over by the member representing Lokoja/Kogi (Koton-Karfe) Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Shabana Ibrahim and that of the leadership of Lokoja Forum of Patriots held on 9th of June, 2020.
“As peace loving Advocacy Group, we call on all residents of Lokoja to eschew any form of provocations and bitterness emanating from the judgement and to allow due process through the instrumentality of the law to take it full course.
“Our determination to work in concert with all other well meaning stakeholders from the affected local government areas to ensure that the expansionist move of the claimants does not succeed is undiluted. The cooperation and determination of members would form the basis of the success or otherwise of this battle against injustice. Therefore, we would like to urge you all to in your various ways join hands with us, as other like minded organs, in this auspicious determination to ensure we are never shortchanged.
“We thank the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for his proactiveness and commitment to ensuring peace and that the right thing be done by describing the judgement what it represent “an attempt at modern day slavery”.