Monarchy In Maiha: Court Hearing And Final Judgement; in retrospect
By Adamu Muhammad Dodo
The Periscope checklist piece published on July 11, 2019 with the title: “Monarchy in Maiha: Has Fintiri truly rescinded his earlier directive- Group,” has indeed elicited feedbacks; some commended and recommended the piece, while some others condemned it of having what they would consider as “a wrong legal interpretation.”
The argument was simply that any insinuation to the position of the case, should be incinerated for being concocted out of rumour. Any argument otherwise would end up justifying what was rumoured.
The other uncomfortable point was the literary critic’s comment that “with a Professor of Constitutional Law as Chief of Staff, Fintiri mustn’t act against court order.” A literary critic was no learned hence should not mislead the “over 17, 000 followers ‘that’ sought to have a kind of situation report from the Periscope online, regarding the Monarchy in Maiha; kind of sorting out fact from fiction, reality from rumour,” as the Periscope’s Marrie Ann Jafferson would compile.
It was an all encompassing declarative judgement, without a stay of execution pending appeal. The literary critic would argue.
“You can’t act based on one court order without honouring the others given together. Yes! The governor’s appointment of the district head was said to have been declared illegal, null and void. Yes! The governor’s appointed district head was said to be issued a letter restraining him from further parading himself as any district head…
“The next point however, is that if the above could be possible, what makes it difficult to approve the appointment of the proper district head, responding positively to the court order?” The literary critic would comment.
A retrospection could serve as fitting response to most of the point the conversation that followed the Periscope’s piece generated.
I wrote, on July 25, 2018, a comprehensive report on the Jalingo-Maiha district headship critical crisis making a legal case and the judgement with the title: Monarchy In Maiha: Court Hearing And Final Judgement.” The following is the excerpt:
Having had the case filed before the court of competent jurisdiction as was received at the High Court of Justice Adamawa State, Nigeria on August 29, 2017.
Having had the case presented; legal arguments entertained and evidences tendered without any plea for adjournment from both parties about eight months later on April 17, 2018:
The plaintiff being Barr. Mahmud Abubakar the heir to Ubandoma Mubi the late district head of Jalingo-Maiha Maiha;
The defendants being the executive governor of Adamawa state who appointed the challenged district head of Jalingo-Maiha; the Mubi Emirate Council even though the Emirate Council has presented the name of the plaintiff to the governor of Adamawa state for approval; Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu whom the governor appointed as District head of Maiha without having any link by genealogy, with the family of Ubandoma the late district head of Maiha; and the Attorney General of Adamawa State.
Suffices to say as the hearing would reveal, that the plaintiff Mahmud Abubakar the heir to Ubandoma a prince of Jalingo-Maiha District, who was duly eligible for appointment into the stool of the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District that was vacant, applied with others to be appointed into the office.
The village heads under Jalingo-Maiha District, under the supervision of the representatives of the Mubi Emirate Council, conducted the SELECTION exercise and thereafter the report was sent to the Council by the representative for deliberation and recommendation of one person from the candidates for approval by the governor for appointment to fill the vacant stool.
After the statutory role of the Council to deliberate on the report and recommend one of the candidates for approval as the District Head, the Council RECOMMENDED the plaintiff- Prince Mahmud Abubakar- and forwarded his name to the governor for approval.
The governor upon the receipt of the name, instead of giving approval to same, went ahead and forwarded the name of the 3rd defendant- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu- as the person approved for appointment to fill the vacant stool.
Peeved, the plaintiff- Prince Mahmud Abubakar- initiated suit against the defendants- listed above- seeking the determination of the questions crafted in the originating summons as well as the consequential reliefs contained therein, pursuant to Order 1 Rule 6 of the Adamawa State High Court (Civil procedure) Rules, 2013. The relevant snippet of the originating summons reproduced thus:
- Whether by the combined effect of the unambiguous provisions of section 7 (2)(a)(b)(c)(d)and (e) of the Adamawa State Creation of District Law 1992 (as amended), a candidate not recommended by the Emirate Council and same sent to the governor for his approval can attract any valid approval by the governor?
- Whether taking into cognisance the provisions aforestated, the governor of Adamawa state can legally approve the name of the 3rd defendant- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu- as the district head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha local government of Adamawa state when he was not the person recommended by the 2nd defendant- Mubi Emirate Council- and forwarded to him for approval?
- Whether taking into cognisance the provision of section 7(2)(e) of the Adamawa State Creation of Districts law, 1992 (as amended), it is not ultra vires for the governor to approve the name of the 3rd defendant- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu- the district head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha local government of Adamawa state when he was not the person recommended by the 2nd defendant- Mubi Emirate Council- and forwarded to him for approval?
By the summons, if the questions supra are resolved in favour of the plaintiff- Barr Mahmud Abubakar heir to Ubandoma the late District Head of Jalingo-Maiha- he respectfully sought inter alia thus:
- AN ORDER DECLARING the approval of the 3rd defendant- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu- by the governor of Adamawa State as the district head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha LGA who was not the person recommended by the 2nd defendant- Mubi Emirate Council- as wrongful, illegal, null and void.
- AN ORDER DECLARING the plaintiff- Mahmud Abubakar- whose name was forwarded to the Governor of Adamawa State for Approval by the 2nd defendant- Mubi Emirate Council- as the proper person to be approved for appointment as the district head of Jalingo-Maiha District.
- AN ORDER DEEMING the plaintiff- Mahmud Abubakar- who was the person recommended by the 2nd defendant- Mubi Emirate Council- for approval by the Governor of Adamawa state as the person approved to be the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District by the Governor, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE:
- AN ORDER DIRECTING the Governor of Adamawa state to approve the plaintiff- Mahmud Abubakar- as the proper person for the appointment as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha LGA
- AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the 2nd defendant- Mubi Emirate Council- from recognising/accepting or taking any step, including the turburning of the 3rd defendant- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu- in furtherance of the approval of the Governor of Adamawa state contained in the letter dated the 7th day of August, 2017.
- AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining 3rd defendant- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu- parading himself as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha LGA.
- AND for such Order or further Orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit and necessary to make in the circumstance of this matter.
Legal documents and relevant cases were presented before the jury in justification of the challenge and defence exhaustively.
However, the ruling was adjourned to the next sitting on an undisclosed date rather convenient to the jury.
The plaintiff and the defendants were invited for the passing of judgement about three months after the hearing on July 13, 2018
The Periscope Global Investigate correspondent on legal matters was there to obtain the following court ruling:
In the High Court of Adamawa State of Nigeria
In the Yola Judicial Division
Holden at Yola
Before Her Lordship Hon. Justice Hafsat A Abdurrahman (Judge)
This 13 Day of July, 2018
Suit No. ADSY/111/2017
Mahmud Abubakar- Plaintiff
- The Executive Governor AD State
- Mubi Emirate Council
- Yarima Wakili Usman Shehu
- Attorney General AD State- Defendants
Hon. Justice Hafsat A.A.
- Going by the terms, tenure and spirit of the relevant and applicable law under consideration, the answer to question one (1) is in the negative- No.
- Similarly, question two (2) is also answered in the negative- No.
- The answer to question three (3) as couched and raised, is in the positive- Yes.
Accordingly therefore, the originating summons succeeds.
The questions are hereby resolved in favour of the plaintiff. I hereby make the following declarations/orders:
- That the approval of the 3rd defendant by the Governor of Adamawa State as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha Local Government Area, who was not the person recommended by the 2nd Defendant, is wrongful, illegal, null and void.
- That the plaintiff whose name was forwarded to the Governor of Adamawa State for approval by the 2nd Defendant, is the proper person to be approved for appointment as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District.
- It is hereby ordered that the Governor of Adamawa State (1st Defendant), should approve the plaintiff as the proper person for appointment as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha Local Government Area.
- An order of perpetual injunction is hereby given, restraining the 3rd Defendant from parading himself as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Issued at Yola, under the hand of the Hon. Judge and seal of Court this 19th day of July, 2018.
Hindatu W. Lamorde Esq.
The newsmen sought to know whether or not the judgement was appealable.
Having expressed his gratitude to Allah SWT for eventually revealing the truth, exposing falsehood in its avowed conspiracy in the attempt to legitimising the undeserving to the stool, the plaintiff Mahmud Abubakar whom the judgement favoured, incidentally a Barrister at Law having a master degree in Law and a lecturer, explained that the judgement was “Declaratory” it could therefore not be suspended pending the determination of appeal as should have been the experience with “Executory judgement”.
“In this case, the court’s judgement is final living no room for an appeal to have accommodated any air about stay of execution pending another ruling,” Barr. Mahmud the court approved district head of Jalingo-Maiha would say