By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State, yesterday, explained why he agreed to withdraw the court action he instituted against the Speaker and members of the Taraba State House of Assembly for refusing to allow him to resume duties as Governor after his return from medical treatment abroad.
In a statement he issued through his lawyer, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, the Governor, who was persuaded to allow his deputy to pilot the affairs of the state pending his full recovery from injuries sustained from a plane crash last year, said he was prevailed upon to terminate hearing on the suit to allow peace to reign in the state.
The Governor, who has been out of office for over eleven months, maintained that contrary to media reports that he was the one that begged for an out-of-court settlement, he said it was members of the Taraba State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, who were all joined as defendants in the suit, that pleaded for an amicable resolution of the dispute without recourse to the judiciary.
He said it was incumbent on him to correct the misrepresentation of the ongoing settlement process as had been largely reported in the media, saying “this release is to clear this legal fog and state the correct position.”
According to the statement, Izinyon said at the resumed hearing of the suit seeking the restoration of executive powers to Suntai, counsel to the defendants, urged him to allow the matter to be settled out of court, a request he said was accordingly acceded to by the Governor.
“As counsel it behooves us to inform the court of the development and not to hide this fact from the court despite the pending ruling. This is what we did on the said day of September 30, 2013.”
He said Suntai was “embarrassed by the gloomy picture and false representation that he initiated the settlement moves whereas it was orchestrated by the defendants. This stand is not correct and cannot be correct as a plaintiff claim is an apotheosis of his grievances as a plaintiff, and he lacks any moral justification to beckon on defendants for settlement as if he is using the court’s instrument as shield to achieve his aim,”
It will be recalled that Suntai had last month instituted an action against the Speaker and members of the Taraba State House of Assembly for refusing to allow him resume duties as Governor after his return from medical treatment.