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Court injunction restrains Governor Lalong, Plateau Govt from management of Jos Terminus Market

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Justice S.P. Gang has granted a “Perpetual Court Injunction” order restraining Governor Simon Lalong, Plateau State Government and the Attorney-General of Plateau State to run and manage the Jos Main Market Authority, following the processes of MoU signed with JAIZ Bank for a 40-year agreement.

While declaring the judgment on Tuesday at the Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos, Justice Gang said, “The State Government, Governor Lalong and the Attorney-General did not follow the due processes of Section 7, the Fourth-schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999, as amended, under Section 3(2) of the Local Government Area 2016 of Plateau Stat.”

He explained that, whether the defendants have the power to build, run, and manage the Jos Main Market, the agreement was unlawful as it did not comply with the guidelines law.

Justice Gang added that, the suit filed by Member Representing Jos North/East Federal Constituency, Hon Dachung Musa Bagos, challenging the MoU signed with the JAIZ Bank to reconstruct and rebuild Jos Main Market Authority declared that, “Any move by the State Government to compulsorily build, manage the market is null and void.”

While granting an order nullifying every action or decisions taken to run, manage the Jos Main Market Authority on behalf of people of Plateau State, he stated that, “The power to run, manage under Section 34,81 of the Plateau State Bureau of Public Procurement Law of 2018 is illegal and unlawful.”

Justice Gang further issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the AG, the Governor, Simon Lalong, and State Government, their agents, privies, servants or whosoever from making any attempt to hold, administer, use or handover to JAIZ Bank or any other purpose contrary to the 1999 Constitution, 2017.

Conscience Triumph gathered that, the Judge held that, “By Section 3(2) of the Page 7 Act of 1978, ‘ownership of land in any state of the federation is vested on the governor of the state, and only the governor has the right to grant statutory right of occupancy to any person,’ but did not follow the due processes of sections of the constitution of Nigeria, as amended.”

Speaking on behalf of the lead counsel, Barr. Nancwat Durven said, Hon Bagos Musa instituted the suit on the 1st August, 2022, challenging the power of the defendants regarding the rebuilding of Jos Main Market Authority, which he said the due processes was not followed, which is wrong, contrary to the law.

According to him, “We obtained the judgment in our favour, which we brought four issues for determination and 7 reliefs sought. However, the first relief granted multiplication, while others were granted in claimant’s favour.

“With this judgment in our favour, the power of rebuilding of Jos Main Market Authority and the government has been suspended indefinitely; and we are of the opinion that the governor, Simon Lalong, and State Government should follow the appropriate procedure of bidding for the rebuilding of the market.”

Barr. Durven concluded that, “With this judgment, as it stands, whatever agreement that must have been entered with any prospective contractor before is null and void,” and advised that the government should adhere to the rules.

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