The Taraba State Government has sealed off the campaign office of Aliyu Umar, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Journalists who visited the office located at No. 3, Abubakar Barde Way, Jalingo, on Tuesday saw armed police officers guarding the one storey building.
Director General of Umar campaign organisation, Kabiru Jalo, claimed in a statement that “the office was sealed off by policemen on Sunday on the instruction of Gov. Darius Ishaku’s Chief Security Officer, Iliya Dasat.
“We rented the building for five years from the rightful owner and so we do not understand the government action.
“This is coming shortly after a truck laden with furniture meant for the office was confiscated in the premises by the police.”
Mr Jalo said their lawyers have been directed to write to the state government to vacate the office premises within 24 hours and tender unreserved apology or face litigation.
The campaign director urged the Inspector General of Police to caution police officers in the state against partisanship.
He accused police leadership in the state of “blindly obeying orders without any diligent investigation.”
When contacted, Senior Special Assistant to Gov Ishaku on Media and Publicity, Bala Danabu, promised to investigate the matter and get back to our correspondent, but never did as at the time of filing the report.
The spokesman of Taraba Police Command, David Misal, said the Commissioner of Police, David Akinremi, had ordered investigation into the “sensitive matter.
“The CP is worried about the allegation and that was why he ordered investigation into the matter. Please give us little time to brief you on it, we don’t want to rush things,” Mr Misal said.
A source at the State Ministry of Housing claimed that the move had no political undertone as the state government was only making efforts to recover the building which originally was its property.
“The building was originally owned by Taraba State Government. I remember it was used as a guest house by the late 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 one time Special Assistant to Mr Suntai, Aminu Babale, dismissed the claim, saying the wife of the former governor, Hauwa Suntai, was the legitimate owner of the building.
Mr Babale, who spoke on phone, said Mrs Suntai, who is currently performing lesser hajj in Mecca, had confirmed to him that the building was her property and had leased it to the Umar Campaign Organisation.
“Remember, Umar was a bossom friend of late former governor Suntai,” Mr Babale said.