The Taraba State House of Assembly moved on with its duties under the new Speaker, Hon Josiah Sabo Kente on Tuesday as it screened nominees whose names were forwarded for appointment as Commissioners in the state’s executive cabinet.
The list sent by Alhaji Garba Umar, the Acting Governor includes the names of Barrister Musa Tende from Doga, Mathias Danazumi from Zing, Illyasu Aliyu Lege from Ibi, Batulu Muhammad from Gashaka, Ate Saleh Kundu from Wukari and Sa’adu Shehu Ajuji from Gassol.
The state executive council was dissolved by Governor Danbaba Suntai after his return some months back. The House of Assembly has however declared the Governor unfit to rule, advising him to seek further medical attention.
In a bid to stop the screening and appointment of commissioners, Governor Suntai approached the High Court and got an order restraining the assembly from screening the nominees. Justice A.I Andenyagtso on Monday issued an order that “restrained the defendants from carrying out any action on the list of Commissioners sent by the Deputy Governor purportedly acting as Governor of Taraba State seeking their approval for appointment as commissioners.”
Though the screening was billed to start by 10 am, Street Journal found out that it was done about an hour before then, apparently with the knowledge that it was in contravention of an order from the court.
Some members walked out of the chamber when it was obvious that the screening would progress. They include the former Speaker, Hon Istifanus Haruna Gbana, as well as Honourables Abel Peter Diah, Charles Audu and Gambo Maikudi. Their grouse was that the House decided to go on with the screening despite the court order which they claimed was issued to them before the sitting.
The Speaker however denied receiving any court order when he was asked. He said “I have not seen any court Order. As soon as we get the court order we are going to look into it.”
Honourable Gbana however stated that “on receiving the court order I personally went and showed it to the speaker and advised on the need to adhere to the order but I was surprised that he and some of the members still went ahead and conducted the screening.”