JUST IN: Court orders Tinubu’s minister Matawalle to return 50 official vehicles in his house to Zamfara government

A Federal High Court, sitting in Sokoto, Sokoto State, has asked State Minister of Defence under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government, Bello Matawalle to return the about 50 official vehicles in his care to the government of Zamfara.

The court gave the order while dismissing a suit filed by Matawalle, a former governor of the state.

Recall that in June, the Zamfara State Police Command had raided the former Governor Matawalle’s residences and seized official vehicles taken away by him while leaving office as governor of the State on May 29, 2023, as ordered by the court.

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A statement by the Spokesperson of the Zamfara State Governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, on Monday, said that the Sokoto division of the Federal High Court rejected Matawalle’s claims of ownership of the official vehicles in question.

According to the statement, 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.

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The statement read in parts: “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 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.

“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.

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“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.”

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