BY AHMED DALHATU
It is no longer news that the leadership crisis, which rocked the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) few years ago, was eventually settled and laid to rest over a year ago, precisely on December 8, 2019 by the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/K/253/2018.
What is new, unpleasant and unacceptable is the attempt by the losers in the leadership tussle to threaten the peace and security of the nation particularly at this trying times.
The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, which I chair, has been inundated with the activities of one Navy Capt. Umar Bakori, DSS (rtd), claiming to be the Commander General/National Chairman of VGN through correspondences and press releases authored by him. For the avoidance of doubt and by virtue of the said judgement of the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal, Dr. Usman Mohammed Jahun, fsi is the authentic Commander General of the VGN with the National Executive members listed in the same judgement as authentic national executives of the VGN.
It is interesting to note that while the court case was pending, the unbiased BoT under my leadership and the National Legal Adviser of VGN had cause to issue a press release in 2015 to the effect that the litigation then was ongoing and for that reason no one between the two parties should claim the leadership of the organisation until the conclusion of the court process.
Subsequently, the case was concluded and judgement delivered in favour of Dr. Usman Mohammed Jahun fsi and his duly appointed national executives. It is noteworthy that the Court of Appeal in its wisdom granted all the Reliefs contained in the Statement of Claim by the Plaintiffs (Jahun and Co). For the record, the relevant Reliefs granted include:
“A declaration that the the plaintiffs are the duly appointed officers of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria having been so appointed on the 31/01/09.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant either by himself, his agents, privys, assigns or any other person at all acting on his behalf from interfering with the activities of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria.”
The plaintiffs in the case were Usman Mohammed Jahun, Major S.O. Bisiru (rtd), Chief John Way Eze, MK Alhaji, Garba Abdullahi, Bello Arabi, Sarah Emmanuel, Major Sam Ukwenya (rtd), Alh. Isah Lawal, Alh. Musa Adelodun, Aliyu Abdullahi, Juli Suleiman, and Mr. Chris Ugwu.
On the other side was Alhaji Ali Sokoto of blessed memory as the defendant. Strangely, the person now parading himself as Commander General of VGN, Navy Capt. Umar Bakori (rtd) was Chief of Staff to the Late Alh. Ali Sokoto. After the adjudication on the VGN leadership tussle by the Court of Appeal in 2019 and subsequent death of Alh. Ali Sokoto, Bakori thereafter declared himself as Commander General in flagrant defiance of the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed Jahun as the Commander General alongside his national executives as the authentic national leadership of the VGN.
At this juncture, it is, therefore, incumbent on the Board of Trustees as the conscience of the organisation, to appropriately put the record straight in the interest of all lest the general public be misled by few unscrupulous persons.
The BoT is resolute and will not tolerate any action by any member of the VGN that will threaten the peace and security of the nation particularly at this trying times. The Board will not hesitate to invoke appropriate sanctions against the authors of such publications and actions in their attempt to deceive and mislead the members of the public.
The VGN aims to ensure national security through securing the grassroot levels of Nigeria and also providing actionable local intelligence for the conventional security agencies, hence the same organisation cannot be used as a tool to cause breach of peace and disharmony by a few unpatriotic persons with their selfish ambitions.
— Dalhatu is the chairman, Board of Trustees, VGN.