Dorathy Mato Dogara has nothing against me, says Benue lawmaker (Exclusive)

The Benue lawmaker spoke exclusively to Pulse about issues that have delayed her inauguration.

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Dorathy Mato play

Dorathy Mato

(TheCable)
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Representative of Benue state's Vandeikya/Konshisha constituency, Dorathy Mato, has defended the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, for not swearing her in after three months.

During a June ruling by the Supreme Court, the previous representative of the constituency, Herman Hembe, was sacked with Mato ordered to replace him as the legitimate winner of the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Despite the court order, Mato is yet to be sworn in as House spokesman, Abdulrazaq Namdas, explained she needed to complete certain documentation at the end of July when lawmakers went on recess.

Mato had refused to speak in public about the issue since her court victory until she had a quick phone chat with Pulse Nigeria on Saturday, September 30.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara play

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

(Paradigm)

 

Amid rumours that the House leadership was playing favouritism and deliberately trying to frustrate her, she said there's no trouble between her and Hon. Dogara as they don't know each other too well.

She said, "I don't think there's a problem with the speaker. He doesn't know me, we're not that close, so he cannot have anything against me.

"When I recovered my mandate, most times, Mr. Speaker would be on one engagement or the other, so he was not on seat. So many times I went to the House, he was not on seat. Not that he has anything against me."

After members of the House of Representatives resumed from recess on Tuesday, September 26, new reports emerged that the reason she had not been sworn in was because of a pending lawsuit against Hon. Dogara filed by a group in Mato's constituency.

The lawmaker said she does not know the sponsors of the lawsuit and that her inauguration depends on whether it's dropped or not.

According to her, "There's nothing much according to my speaker, Honourable Dogara, I don't know, some boys in my constituency took him to court so he asked me to get in touch with them so that they can withdraw the court case.

"I've done it so maybe by the special grace of God, next week, I'll be sworn in.

"I don't even know them, it was even the Governor of Benue that arrested those boys because I took the matter to him, they're not even from my constituency.

"I called one of them and told him he should have asked for my consent and he said he's a human rights person and doesn't have to seek my consent. He even blamed me that I'm a very weak woman and I asked him if he contributed to my success (at the Supreme Court)."

Despite her defence of the speaker's intentions, the lawmaker revealed that the vacuum is hurting her constituency as there's been no representative for three months. However, she also insisted that she's not in a hurry to get sworn in.

She said, "I'm not in a hurry, anytime they want is okay. It's just that the vacancy is affecting my constituency, that's all. They wanted to swear me in but it's this long recess that delayed the whole thing."

When asked if she had completed documentation to get sworn in, she said that was never the problem.

"What kind of documentation? You know very well that I collected my certificate of return which is the main thing," she said.

ALSO READ: Supreme Court upholds Herman Hembe's dismissal, fines him N1M

Hon. Herman Hembe play

Hon. Herman Hembe

(Benue State Government)

 

While Mato waits for her inauguration, Hembe has refused to give up without a fight, as he filed a fresh motion in the Supreme Court on July 18 asking the panel to review its earlier decision and allow the case be retried in a Federal High Court in Makurdi.

On Wednesday, September 20, the Supreme Court dismissed his motion on the ground that it couldn't possibly review its own judgment and fined him N1 million in favour of Mato for his frivolous appeal.

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