Activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday said he wrote the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and Taraba State House Speaker Haruna Tsokwa, over the alleged letter by Suntai for him to takeover the running of the government, saying Suntai could not have written the letter sent to the House of Assembly on his readiness to resume official duties, urging them to investigate and make public the true state of Suntai’s health.
Falana,who spoke to reporters after making a presentation at the Military Law Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at its Annual General Conference in Calabar, Cross River State, also condemned the dissolution of Taraba State cabinet by the returnee governor.
Falana said: “Unfortunately, another political cabal has emerged in Taraba State to cause confusion and to deny the ailing governor the opportunity to have himself fully treated.
“He’s been brought back to the country to achieve certain selfish political interests that have further endangered the health of the governor.
“He’s not in a position, from the information at my disposal, to write a letter, to compose a letter, to sign a letter and to send the letter to the House of Assembly of Taraba State.
“Hence, I’ve sent a petition to the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the circumstances surrounding the writing of that letter.
“I have also sent another one to the Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly to set up a committee to investigate the health situation of the governor.
“Based on information that the Presidency or the Federal Government has information on the true state of health of the governor, I have sent a petition to the Attorney-General of the Federation under the Freedom of Information Act to make available to me and to the Nigerian people the state of health of the governor so that the citizens of Taraba State can be properly governed in line with the Constitution.”
“It is very dangerous for us that this culture of impunity has continued unchecked,” he said, adding: “If the governor has recovered, and is prepared to resume his duties since Sunday, he should have appeared in his office, attending to his files; he should have allowed the deputy governor to brief him on how he has run the state since he has been away.
“He should have met with the speaker to find out what the House has done, but to keep him away from all the relevant officials and agencies of state is not acceptable.
“And for some people to be running the show, and signing a letter purportedly signed by the governor should not be tolerated in any decent society, having regard to what this country went through when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was similarly brought back to the country.
“It was the same way the then Vice-President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, was shielded away. The Senate President, the Speaker of the House – all of them were not allowed to visit President Yar’Adua. And it’s been done now in Taraba State.
“The relevant officials that should invoke the Constitutional provisions are not allowed access to the governor. It should not be tolerated.
“I am happy the human rights community has taken up the challenge to get to the root of the matter.”
In a statement yesterday, he said: “Today, the political joke was carried to a ridiculous extent when the state executive was purportedly dissolved. The governor, who is alleged to have resumed duty and taken the decision has not been able to report in his office. In the circumstance, the members of the Taraba State Executive Council should remain on their duty posts and insist on an urgent meeting with the governor with a view to confirming if he had actually taken the decision to sack them. On its own part, the House should not screen and confirm the list of commissioners being prepared by the cabal to replace the executive members.
“However, before the state is plunged into further political crisis, the attention of the captors of the ailing governor ought to be drawn to Section 1(2) of the Constitution, which stipulates that no person or group of persons can take over the country or any part of it except in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
“The Federal Government should therefore direct the security forces to round up the coup plotters, who are currently ruling Taraba State by usurping the constitutional powers of the elected governor.
“Having regard to the experience of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan (as he then was) under the cabal that illegally ruled the country when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was in a state of coma, the Federal Government should not hesitate to defend and protect the Constitution in Taraba State in the interest of law and order in the country.
“All men and women of goodwill in the country should team up with the democratic forces in Taraba State to end the brazen impunity of those who are exploiting the health of Governor Suntai to achieve dubious political objectives.
“The governor should be freed to return to the hospital for further treatment without any further delay,” he said.