BY AMEH IDUJAGI, JALINGO – A Federal High Court, sitting in Jalingo, has ordered the Taraba State Police command to immediately reopen all the branches of Taraba Microfinance Bank Ltd, pending the hearing and determination of the suit before it.

The police three weeks ago closed down the bank and sealed all its branches following disagreement between the directors of the bank and the Taraba State government over the ownership of the Bank. 

Spokesman of the state police command, DSP David Misal told journalists that the closure was “in compliance with executive order given by the state government”.

However, the Managing Director and members of the board of directors approached the court to compel the first defendant (Nigerian Police force, Taraba state command) and three others to open the bank and its branches for full operation.

In the motion ex-parte granted by Justice Stephen Pam, the court gave an “interim injunction compelling the first defendant (Nigerian Police force, Taraba state command) to immediately open the offices of Taraba Microfinance Bank Nigerian Ltd, lying and 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 a subject of multiple litigations following a botched sack of the Bank’s MD, Alhaji Nasiru Baba 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 invited the Secretary to the Taraba state government Mr Anthony Jellason, the MD of Taraba Investment and Property Ltd, Mr Illiya Ezikiel, and eight others to the Force headquarters in connection with the alleged invasion of the bank on the 2nd of December, 2019, led by Ezikiel.

The directors of the bank had earlier petitioned the Inspector General of Police over the role of Mr. Ezikiel and nine other government officials in a forced move to take over the management of the bank without recourse to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) laid down procedures.

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