<<< By Richard Uleve, Radio Benue Judiciary and Crime Correspondent >>>
A Makurdi High Court, Presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche, yesterday struck out the suit filed by the immediate past Governor of Benue State, Dr Gabriel Suswam, against the revocation of his allocation of Atom Kpera Lodge to himself.
Ruling on the preliminary objection filed by Mr Michael Assoh for the state government, against the reliefs sought by the former Governor, through his counsel, Mr David Iorhemba, Justice Igoche stated that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
She stated that the former Governor failed to produce the minutes of the State Council meeting number 10 of last year which contained the resolution of the revocation of the property in question.
The judge explained that by law since the plaintiff’s complaint centered on the deliberation of the State Executive Council and his prayer to declare the said resolution inappropriate and quash the order for its enforcement, it was proper that the minutes in question be produced.
Justice Igoche stated that she agreed with the submission of counsel for the state, Mr Assoh, that the suit brought by the applicant by way of Fundamental Rights Rule 2009 was inappropriate and consequently robbed the court of jurisdiction.
Both counsels for former Governor Suswam, Mr. Iorhemba, and the state, Mr. Assoh, commended the judge for what they described as sound judgment.
Meanwhile, the state government has vowed to retrieve property converted to personal use by privileged individuals in the immediate past administration.
Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner, Michael Gusa, made the vow while reacting to the judgment.
He explained that due process was not followed in the alleged purchase of the property in question.
Mr Gusa explained that already 12 official vehicles taken away by former government officials have been recovered.
He appealed to those in illegal possession of government property or funds to return them in their own interest.