- The minister of state for defence, Bello Matawalle, would have all his official cars withdrawn from him following a court order.
- A federal high court in Sokoto ruled that all the vehicles used by Matawalle while serving as a governor be retrieved.
- The court dismissed Matawalle's dismissed his claim to the official cars and declared it the property of the Zamfar state government.
Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro
Gusau, Zamfara - A lawsuit brought by former governor Bello Matawalle regarding the ownership of seized official vehicles has been dismissed by the Federal High Court in Sokoto.
In June 2023, the Zamfara State Police Command, acting on a court order, raided Matawalle's residences and confiscated the official vehicles.
The Spokesperson of the Zamfara State Governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, stated that the Sokoto division of the Federal High Court rejected Matawalle's claims to the ownership of the vehicles.
The statement also highlighted allegations that the former governor and his cabinet members had taken away all official vehicles belonging to the state government, leaving the current administration without any cars for official use.
Antecedent of court verdict
The statement made available to Legit.ng on Monday, December 4, reads in parts:
“Recall that in June, the Zamfara State Government gave the formto Ter governor and his deputy five working days to return all official vehicles taken away.
“All demands for the return of the said vehicles proved abortive, and as a result, the Zamfara State Government resorted to obtaining a court order to retrieve them. In pursuit of that order, a total number of over 50 vehicles were recovered by the police.
“After the vehicles were recovered, Bello Matawalle quickly went to the Federal High Court in Gusau. The court granted an order for the cars to be returned to him. Additionally, he filed a separate suit at the same court, seeking to enforce his fundamental right to own property, including the vehicles in question."
As contained in the statement, the Zamfara State Government requested the transfer of the case to another jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
The Federal High Court of Nigeria, Sokoto Judicial Division, dismissed the matter on Friday as the court refused the reliefs sought by Bello Matawalle and rejected his claim to own the official vehicles. As a result, the vehicles are still considered the property of the Zamfara State Government.
“Our government is committed to recovering all that rightfully belongs to the people through an all-encompassing rescue mission that leaves no stone unturned.
“The judgment by the Federal High Court will encourage us to ensure that justice prevails and all perpetrators of financial banditry in Zamfara are brought to book,” the statement concludes.
Appeal court sacks Governor Dauda Lawal, declares Zamfara guber election inconclusive
In another report, federal court of appeal in Abuja has sacked Dauda Lawal as governor of Zamfara State and ordered a rerun.
On Thursday, November 16, a three-member panel of justices ruled that the rerun of the election would be held in three local government areas.
These local government areas were listed as Maradun, Birnin-Magaji, and Bukyun to determine the actual winner of the gubernatorial poll.