17th September, 2013
A Nigerian high court in Jalingo has fixed 30 September , for ruling on Taraba House of Assembly’s application on the transfer of Governor Danbaba Suntai’s suit to Court of Appeal.
The House is calling for the interpretation of Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Section 190 of the Nigerian constitution says:.
(1) Whenever the Governor is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the Speaker of the House of Assembly to that effect, and until he transmits to the Speaker of the House of Assembly a written declaration to the contrary, the Deputy Governor shall perform the functions of the Governor as Acting Governor.
(2) In the event that the Governor is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of this section within 21 days, the House of Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of the House, mandate the Deputy Governor to perform the functions of the office of the Governor as Acting Governor, until the Governor transmits a letter to the Speaker that he is now available to resume his functions as Governor.”
Justice Ali Andeyantso will give his ruling on the case between Gov. Suntai and the House of Assembly and the Speaker, Haruna Tsokwa based on the application.
The Counsel to the Speaker, Yusuf Ali (SAN) on 13 September, 2013 filed an application, seeking transfer of the matter since the issue in question, according to him, had no judicial precedence.
Ali told the court that an interpretation by the court of appeal would enable the High Court to determine the matter accordingly.
The Counsel to Taraba State of House Assembly, Yusufu Akirikwen, also submitted similar application.
The Counsel to Gov. Suntai, Alex Izinyon (SAN), however, opposed the two applications, saying that they were “premature and grossly misconceived’’ and urged the court to dismiss both applications.
He prayed the court to look at the processes and facts of the matter to determine whether the plaintiff had any case at all.
According to him, the court is not a robot that will be swayed by anything but a court of law whose decision is based on facts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the purported letter of resumption of duty transmitted to the House by Gov. Suntai after his return to the state on Aug. 25, raised questions among the majority of the lawmakers.
The lawmakers expressed doubt over the authorship of the letter.
They mandated the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar to continue running the state in his capacity as the acting governor and advised Suntai to go for further treatment.