Three months after former Kaduna governor, Malam Nasir el Rufai, deposed and exiled a traditional ruler, the Etum Arak of Arak Chiefdom, General Iliya Yammah (Retd), his order restricting the movement of the ruler has been reversed by a Kaduna State High Court sitting in Kafanchan.
It is the second time out of power within a month el Rufai is suffering losses. He lost his ambitionto be a minister on account of a securityreport the Senate relied on not to confirm him a minister.
The court nullified the state government’s order, and appears to have upturned a section of the state government law which conflicts with the 1999 Constitution (as Amended).
The state government’s order banished and restricted the royal father from having access to his family, farms and people.
In his judgment on Monday, Justice John Ambi declared that Section 11(3) of Kaduna State Traditional Institution Law 2021 applied on Arak chiefdom in Sanga Local Council was inconsistent with the provisions of Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and, therefore, null and void.
It added: “An order compelling the respondents (Kaduna State Governor, Attorney General and Ministry of Local Government Affairs) to tender apology to the applicant (Arak chief) in two widely-circulated national dailies for infringement of his fundamental right to liberty.
“An order compelling the respondents to pay the applicant N5 million damages for breach of his right.”
Counsel to the petitioner, Garba Pwul (SAN) and Y. Kyauta, commended the judge for the judiciary’s courage to ensure that rights of citizens were protected in the country.
Kyauta noted that the judgment nullified Section 11(3) of Kaduna State Traditional Institution Law 2021 and granted the chief of Arak freedom to move freely everywhere in the country, including Arak chiefdom.
Recall that exactly three months ago, the former governor approved the deposition of the traditional rulers of Piriga and Arak Chiefdoms, His Highness Jonathan Paragua Zamuna and His Highness General Aliyu Iliyah Yammah.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Local Government, Hajiya Umma K Ahmad, stated that the two traditional rulers cease to hold their respective offices from Monday, 22nd May 2023.
The statement stated that the depositions follow recommendations from the Ministry of Local Government in line with the provisions of Section 11 of the Traditional Institutions Law No. 21 of 2021.
Said the commissioner then, “The District Head of Garun Kurama, Mr. Babangida Sule, will oversee the affairs of Piriga Chiefdom, pending the appointment of a new chief, while the Council Secretary has been directed to initiate the process for the appointment of a new Chief.
“Mr. Gomna Ahmadu, the Council Secretary of Arak Chiefdom, will oversee the affairs of the chiefdom and also initiate the process for the appointment of a new Chief.”
According to the statement, “The government found unacceptable the response of HH General Iliyah Yammah to the query regarding his appointment of four district heads, contrary to the one approved for his chiefdom, and his non-residence within Arak chiefdom.