Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
A Federal High Court in Jalingo division has ordered that the Taraba State Command of the Nigeria Police immediately reopen all the branches of Taraba Microfinance Bank Ltd pending the hearing and determination of the suit before the court.
The Nigeria Police Force had closed down the bank and sealed off all its branches three weeks ago following the disagreement between the management and directors of the bank on the one hand and the state government on the other.
The state police command spokesman, DSP David Misal, had earlier told the press that the closure was “in compliance with executive order given by the state government.”
However, the managing director of the bank and members of its board of directors approached the court to compel the first defendant (Nigeria Police Force, Taraba State Command) and others to reopen the bank and its branches for full operation.
In the motion ex parte issued by Justice Stephen Pam, the court gave an “interim injunction compelling the first defendant (Nigeria Police Force, Taraba State Command) to immediately reopen the offices of Taraba Microfinance Bank Nigerian Ltd […] situated at Investment House, Jalingo and all the local government branches pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
Taraba State Microfinance Bank has been an issue of multiple litigations following a botched sack of the bank’s MD and dissolution of the Board of Directors by other vested interests in the state, thereby affecting the day-to-day operations of the institution and its viability.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered the Secretary to the Taraba State government, Mr Anthony Jellason, the MD of Taraba Investment and Property Ltd, Mr Illiya Ezekiel, and eight others to report to the Force headquarters on the 13th of January in connection over an alleged invasion of the bank on the 2nd of December, 2019, led by Mr Illiya Ezekiel.
The directors of the bank had earlier petitioned the Inspector-General of Police over the role of Mr Illiya Ezekiel and other government officials in a forced move to take over the management of the bank without recourse to CBN laid-down procedures.