Supreme Court shifts hearing in Gwandu Emirate legal battle by two years

  The Supreme Court of Nigeria has shifted hearing in the long drawn legal battle on the Gwandu Emirate of Kebbi state by two years by fixin...


 

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has shifted hearing in the long drawn legal battle on the Gwandu Emirate of Kebbi state by two years by fixing November 2023 to adjudicate over the matter.

The apex court will, in two years time, determine three appeals challenging the validity or otherwise of the order of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto division issued five years ago which reinstated Alhaji Mustapha Haruna Jokolo, as the 19th Emir of Gwandu.

At a resumed sitting on the protracted Gwandu Emirate headship tussle which commenced in 2005, the apex court Justices led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola adjourned the matter to November 2023 in the face of a fresh appeal filed by one of the appellants at the Court of Appeal.

Justices on the panel are Olukayode Ariwoola, Amina Augie, John Inyang Okoro, Abdu Aboki and Emmanuel Agim.

The proceeding was for the court to hear a motion for substitution of the names of deceased kingmakers in the three appeals marked SC2/2013 (Attorney-General of Kebbi State and others against Alhaji Mustapha Haruna Jokolo); SC314/2016(Alhaji Muhammadu Iliyasu Bashar against Alhaji Mustapha Haruna Jokolo & anor); and SC266/2017(Governor of Kebbi State and others against Alhaji Mustapha Haruna Jokolo.

The briefs for the three appeals were filed in 2019 and consolidated on the order of the court.

At the proceedings, Justice Ariwoola enquired to know which of the three appeals the panel should hear so that judgment on it would be binding on the two other appeals.

But Yakubu Maikyau SAN, counsel for the Governor of Kebbi State, informed the panel that he has a fresh appeal challenging jurisdiction at the Court of Appeal Sokoto Division.

At this stage, the apex court opted to stay its own proceedings in view of the pending appeal at the Court of Appeal in Sokoto to enable it handle together, all matters relating to Gwandu Emirate stool.

Emir Jokolo was deposed in 2005 and he promptly went to a state high court to challenge his dethronement.

In 2014, a Kebbi State High Court 6, sitting in Birnin Kebbi, ordered his immediate reinstatement, having been satisfied that he was illegally and unlawfully deposed.

In his judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Abbas Ahman said the deposition was contrary to law and that due process of law was not followed in the deposition.

Not satisfied with the high court judgment, Kebbi State Government and Jokolo’s successor, filed an appeal challenging the decision of the Kebbi State High Court.

In a unanimous judgment delivered in April 2016, three Justices of the Court of Appeal appellate court led by Justice Tunde Awotoye held that the 2005 deposition of the Emir by the then Governor of the state, Senator Adamu Aliero contravened sections 6 and 7 of the Chief Appointment and Deposition Law of the State because the Governor neither made an inquiry into the allegation against the Emir nor consulted the Kebbi State’s Council of Chiefs before arriving at his decision.

The Kebbi State Government and Jokolo’s successor approached the Supreme Court for a final decision.

Specifically, the current pending three appeals before the Supreme Court are aimed at reviewing the verdicts of the two Court of Appeal and determine whether Kebbi State Government contravened section 6 and 7 of the Chief Appointment and Deposition Law of the state because the governor neither made an inquiry into the allegation against the Emir nor consulted the state’s council of chiefs before arriving at his deposition decision.

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Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News: Supreme Court shifts hearing in Gwandu Emirate legal battle by two years
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