Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State, yesterday, dragged the Speaker and members of the State House of Assembly to court for refusing to allow him resume office after he transmitted a letter to the Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, notifying him of his return after a 10-month absence and his readiness to take over his office as governor.
Suntai, in a suit filed through his lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), in an originating motion in Taraba State High Court, Jalingo contested the position of the state House of Assembly which directed that the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Garba, whom it had declared Acting Governor, should continue to exercise the powers of governor pending a resolution of the House on Suntai’s letter.
He contested “Whether the 1st and 2nd Defendants can debate the letter of Plaintiff, dated August 26, transmitted to the 1st Defendant and, by press release, and direct that the Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Garba Umar, should continue in office as Acting Governor of Taraba State till Plaintiff is declared medically fit to resume office having regard to the provision of Section 190(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
Suntai, urged the court to “declare that the letter of the Plaintiff dated August 26, transmitted to the 1st Defendant as absolute, mandatory, immutable and cannot be debated or contradicted by any means whatsoever as the 1st and 2nd Defendants lack any discretion and that upon transmission of the said letter, Plaintiff has automatically assumed his powers and responsibilities as Governor of Taraba State.”
The returnee governor, therefore wanted “A declaration that the 1st and 2nd Defendants’ press release of August 29 or any other date whatsoever directing that the Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Umar Garba, should continue as Acting Governor of Taraba State is null and void, ultra vires and constitutionally void and of no effect whatsoever.”