Gabriel Torwua Suswam is a Nigerian lawyer, who currently serves as the Senator representing Benue North-East Senatorial District. He was the governor of Benue State between 2007 and 2015.
He was born on 15th November 1964, to the family of Zai Suswam Tingir and Chief Mrs Ashiwua Suswam Tingir, in Anyiin, Gaambe Tiev, Logo local government area, Benue State. He is married to Architect Yemisi Dooshima Suswam, and they have two sons. Suswam is a Christian and a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
|University of Jos, Plateau State||Ph.D in Law||2011|
|University of Jos, Plateau State||LL.M (Master of Laws )|
|Nigerian Law School, Lagos State||BL (Bachelor of Laws)||1990|
|University of Lagos, Lagos State||LL.B (Hons)||1986-1989|
|School of Basic Studies, Makurdi, Benue State||Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) Certificate||1982-1984|
|St. Andrew’s Secondary School, Adikpo, Benue State
Government College, Makurdi, Benue State
|General Certificate in Education (GCE) Ordinary Level||1977; 1982|
|NKST Primary School, Zaki-Biam, Benue State||First School Leaving Certificate||1977|
|Suswam, Ogbole & Co.||Founder/Partner|
|Tingir & Associates||Founder||1994|
|Tokode & Co., Lagos State||Junior Counsel||1991-1994|
|Trendex Finance Firm, Lagos State||(National Youth Service Corps Member)||1991|
Anyiin, Gaambe Tiev, Logo LGA, Benue State
November 15th, 1964
People’s Democratic Party
Governor, Benue State (2007-2015)
House of Representatives Member, representing Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo Federal Constituency (1999-2007)
Senator, Representing Benue North-East Senatorial District (since 2019)
Upon resignation from private legal practice in 1999, he contested for a seat in the House of Representatives, to represent the Katsina-Ala/Ukum/Logo Federal Constituency. He was elected on the People’s Democratic Party platform and retained this seat till 2007. During this time, Suswam was appointed:
-Chairman of the House Services Committee (first tenure)
-Chairman of the House Committee on FCT (first tenure)
-Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation (second tenure)
-Chairman of the House Committee on Power (second tenure)
In 2007, Suswam ran for the office of Benue State Governor, under the flagship of PDP. He emerged the winner, defeating a major contender, Prof. Daniel Saror of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), who was a Senator and former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Thus, on May 29th, 2007, Suswam was sworn into office as the Governor of Benue State.
On the 26th of April 2011, Suswam contested for re-election as Governor, and once again, emerged the winner. At the end of his 8-year tenure, in 2015, he ran for a seat in the Nigerian National Assembly, to represent the Benue North-East Senatorial District. He however lost to the incumbent Senator, Barnabas Gemade who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
In 2019, Suswam took another shot at the Senate of the Benue North-East Senatorial District, still on the PDP platform. He was declared the winner, by defeating his closest rival, Mrs Mimi Orubibi of APC, with over a 70,000 vote margin.
Awards & Honours
- 2013 United Nations Children’s Fund Award conferred by the Martin Luther King (Jnr.) Foundation
- 2013 Best Governor Award by Nigerian Pilot Newspaper
- 2012 National Honour Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by President Goodluck Jonathan
- Construction of over 500 kilometres of urban and rural roads in Benue State
- Provision of electricity to about 300 towns and villages in Benue State
- Completion of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital project
- Development of the Greater Makurdi Water Plant, for the purification of the Benue river water, and for the supply of potable water to Makurdi residents
- Construction of the Ultra-modern Makurdi International Market and the Faculty of Law Complex at Benue State University, Makurdi
- Construction of an Artificational Swine Insemination Centre at Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev – a project aimed at replacing the local Benue variety of pigs with an ultra-improved variety from Iowa State, USA
- In 2011, a group called “The Benue Watch” released an open letter to the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, calling on his intervention, as Suswam had failed allegedly failed to present his O’Level General Certificate of Education (GCE) result – despite several controversies and compulsion to do so. The letter also claimed that Suswam matriculated into the University of Lagos with a forged WAEC result, and he did not graduate as his transcripts indicate that he had four carryovers in his final year, which he failed to address. The Supreme court however dismissed the suit, saying that it lacked proper evidence, and was mere hearsay.
- In 2015, reports showed that Suswam, alongside his former Commissioner for Finance, was being sued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly diverting ₦3.1 billion belonging to Benue State, during Suswam’s tenure as governor of the state. They were also accused of conspiracy, conversion of property derived from corruption, conspiring to conceal property derived from corruption, obtaining by false pretence and accepting cash payments exceeding the amount authorised by law.
- In 2017, the Department of State Services detained Suswam for 73 days, between February 25th and May 7th. The agency stated that Suswam was allegedly affiliated with militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, also known as “Gana”, who is involved in terrorising indigenes of Benue State. They also stated that Suswam was arrested for being in possession of three lethal and prohibited weapons, and for his commitment to bring about a state of unrest in Benue.