Deposed Emir Goes To Court


A High Court in Gombe has adjourned hearing to December 1 in a suit brought before it by the deposed Emir of Pindiga in Akko Local Government Area of the state, Alhaji Muhammadu Ahmed, challenging his deposition.

The trial judge, Justice Hakila Heman, adjourned the case to enable the counsel to the plaintiff to file a response to the preliminary objections raised by the defendants on the grounds that the matter is “statute barred’ (beyond the time limit for the aggrieved person to go to court).

The defendants are also to file their responses to the counter-affidavit filed by the plaintiff to the earlier notice of preliminary objection.

The judge also consolidated the notice of preliminary objection filed by the first, second and third defendants, which would be heard at the next date of hearing.

In the statement of claim filed by his counsel, Mr Chijioke Kanu, the deposed emir averred that he was appointed the emir of Pindiga on 27 November, 2000.

He said he had conducted the affairs of the emirate creditably till 24 August, 2004, when he was issued a letter of query by the Gombe State Government on the outcome of an audit inspection report on the emirate.

Ahmed said that soon after he answered the query, he was issued another letter dethroning him on April 29, 2004.

He said while his appointment was in accordance with the native law, customs and tradition of the people of Pindiga and all the enabling laws of Gombe State, he was never tried nor found guilty of any gross misconduct.

Ahmed averred that he was not given fair hearing by the persons who looked at the relevant information, through which the audit inspection report was issued.

He submitted that following his deposition, he instituted a court case in 2004, but that there was an understanding between him and the government that he should withdraw the case so that the matter would be resolved.

The plaintiff said he continued the discussion with the government until July when it became clear that government would not keep its part of the gentleman’s agreement.

He said the totality of his case was that he was denied his constitutional rights to fair hearing, freedom of movement and personal liberty.

Ahmed said his suit was not “statute barred” in any way whatsoever.

He prayed the court to declare that his deposition “was in violation of his fundamental right and ,therefore, illegal, null, void, without legal foundation and of no legal consequences whatsoever”.

The plaintiff prayed the court to declare that he is still the emir of Pindiga, and that the appointment of Alhaji Adamu Yakubu as the emir of Pindiga, was null, void and of no effect.

The deposed emir is also praying the court to declare that his banishment and detention amount to a violation of his personal liberty and freedom of movement .

He is also asking the court to award him N100 million as damages.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ahmed was appointed the District Head of Pindiga on 30 July, 1984 and subsequently upgraded to emir of Pindiga on January 2000.

He was deposed in 2004 by the state government after which Alhaji Adamu Yakubu was appointed to replace him.

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