Suntai's case goes to appeal court

Governor Suntai being helped to disembark in Abuja

Governor Suntai being helped to disembark in Abuja

A Nigerian High Court in the northern state of Taraba on Monday referred the case filed by Governor Danbaba Suntai against the Speaker of the state House Assembly and the legislature to the Court of Appeal for guidance and direction.

In a ruling in Jalingo, the trial Judge, Justice Ali Andeyangtu, said the matter required the interpretation and application of Section 190(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The section deals with transmission of letter and resumption of duty by a governor.

Andeyangtu said that in view of the importance of the case to the people of the state, there was a need to send it to a superior court for a judicial pronouncement that would become a reference point.

The lead counsel to the state Assembly, Mr Yusuf Ali (SAN), had earlier filed a motion asking the court to transfer a section of the case that related to the interpretation of the constitution to the Court of Appeal.

He said that transferring the case to the appellate court was pertinent because no previous judicial pronouncement had been made on the section of the constitution in the country.

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Ali quoted Section 295(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended to support his claim.

Mr Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel to Suntai, argued that the issues involved in the case were based on facts and asked the court to dismiss the motion for reference and determine the case on its merit.

Suntai and the legislature on 30 September opted for out of court settlement, which the court granted them time to do.

The out of court settlement has failed, thereby giving room for the continuation of the case.

The case was adjourned pending the decision of the higher court.