A Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto has ruled that former Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, cannot lay claims to the ownership of official vehicles he took away on leaving office last May.
This is as the trial court dismissed a suit he filed challenging the State government right to retrieve the cars from him.
Recall that in June, the police raided Matawalle’s residences and seized the vehicles as ordered by the court.
A statement on Monday by Governor Dauda Lawal’s spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, disclosed that the Federal High Court rejected Bello Matawalle’s claims over the ownership of the official vehicles.
According to him, the former governor and his cabinet members had taken away all official vehicles belonging to the state government, leaving the present administration with nothing to use.
The statement said, “Recall that in June, the Zamfara State government gave the former 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 of over 50 vehicles were recovered by the police.
“After the vehicles were recovered, Bello Matawalle quickly rushed 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.
“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.
“The court refused the reliefs sought by Bello Matawalle and rejected his claim to the ownership of 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 will leave 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.