Resumption: Suntai Opts For Out-Of-Court Settlement

SUNTAI

Gov. Danbaba Suntai of Taraba on Monday sought for an out-of-court settlement in a suit he filed challenging the State House of Assembly’s decision to reject his letter of resumption to duty.

Suntai had filed an action before a Jalingo High Court challenging the decision of the Assembly, which rejected his  letter of resumption of duty after returning from a medical treatment abroad.

The presiding judge, Justice Ali Andenyatso, adjourned the case to Oct. 28, for further hearing or for the court to receive the outcome of the out-of-the-court settlement.

Counsel to Suntai, Elijah Nyaro, who stood in for Mr. Alex Zion (SAN) filed an oral application seeking a three-week adjournment to enable the parties reach an out-of-court settlement.

Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN) and Mr. Yusufu Akirikwen, counsel to the Assembly and Speaker Haruna Tsokwa, respectively, did not object to the request.

Justice Andenyatso said: “even though the ruling on the application for the transfer of matter to the Court of Appeal as requested by the Taraba Assembly was ready I am adjourning the case to Oct. 28 as prayed by the lawyers”.

The majority of the lawmakers had rejected the letter sent in by Suntai, on his return from treatment abroad on Aug. 25, seeking to resume full duties as the state governor.

They raised questions as to whether the letter was written by the governor and, therefore, directed the acting governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, to continue in office and advised Suntai to go back and continue with his treatment.

Following this Suntai went to court seeking the interpretation of section 190 of the 1999 Constitution.

The section provides that if a governor transmits a written declaration that he is proceeding on a vacation or he is otherwise unable to discharge his duties his functions shall be discharged by his deputy in  an acting capacity, ‘until he transmits to the Speaker of the House of Assembly a written declaration to the contrary’.