Monarchy In Maiha: Deconstructing The AG’s ‘Re- Judgement Of The Court Of Appeal For Interpretation; A Non Romantic View

- A critical thinking could conceive either misfit or mischief and/or both, the seeming misleading, misinterpretation of judgement: economical with the truth; euphemistically, ironically - Literary Critic

The Periscope Literati

– As it is now, there is no valid appointment of District head in Jalingo-Maiha District. The person approved by the Governor was not recommended by the Emirate Council. The person recommended by the Emirate Council was not appointed by the governor – AG

A Court of Appeal Yola Division, Adamawa state, northeast Nigeria, in her judgement delivered by Hon. Justice James Shehu Abiriyi (JCA) on September 25, 2020, as a product of an appeal against the judgement of the Adamawa State High Court, presided over by Hon. Justice incorruptible Hafsat uncompromising Abdulrahman, delivered on July 13, 2018, filed by one Idi Usman Shehu; a nephew to a village head, whom former governor Bindow opened a seeming fascist window by imposing against a community having Bn Fodio rooted, ages old history of monarchy; against the people’s interest, the Emirate Council selected and presented for governor’s approval, indicative of the God’s choice as “a” and “the” district head of Jalingo-Maiha, has affirmed the High Court judgement.

As executive tradition will have it, the Adamawa state governor sought for the interpretation of the Appeal Court judgement from the ministry of justice with a view to honour the court order.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the state, A.K Jingi in response, presented to the governor, through the permanent secretary chieftaincy affairs, what could, by critical thinking and non romantic view be construed as a misleading interpretation of judgement, which Yunusa Abubakar the literary critic would articulate that “a critical thinking could conceive as either misfit or mischief and/or both, the seeming misleading, misinterpretation of judgement; a kind of being economical with the truth; euphemistically, ironically”.

Corroborating, Fred Oyono would proselytise the act as “misleading interpretation of judgement that is politically capable of setting the state governor against a seeming block voted constituency whose electorates consider the governor as a restorer of public confidence in governance; nursing the peace and security spirit for unity in diversity, mutual coexistence, progress and development as a compound programme”.

Recall that the Periscope, in her Monday morning edition narrated that “A Yola High Court has on 13 July, 2018, passed a judgement directing Adamawa state government to squash the appointment erroneously granted to the illegitimate to the throne, Idi Usman Shehu and approve the appointment of Barr. Mahmud Abubakar Sulaiman, the heir to the stool, as was earlier unanimously selected by the kingmakers; the Mubi Emirate council, following the nominations by the village heads, and recommended same to the governor simply for approval other than otherwise.

“The High Court ruling was articulately related by interpretation to Governor Ahmad Umaru Fintri of Adamawa state during perhaps the first executive council meeting with the permanent secretaries after the swearing-in.

“The High court order in part, issued the following declarations for which the former governor failed to honour even though it was a declarative judgement:

“1. 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.

“2. 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.

“3. 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.

“4. 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.

“The new governor was reported to have directed that it was unfairly long overdue, therefore the court order should be honoured without undue delay.

“The governor’s pronouncement was greeted with fanfare not only in Jalingo-Maiha district, the local government, the Mubi Emirate Council but the entire state and Emirates, commending the Fin-3 tree that blew fresh air to the monarchy malnourished by conspiracy for anarchy.

“The people of Jalingo-Maiha waited in vain for the return of Mahmud, their legitimate district head as directed by the new governor.

“The community was later to learn, informally though that the governor was advised otherwise, with the explanation that since the Yola High Court judgement was challenged before the Court of Appeal, it would be honourable to delay the executive approval of appointment of the legitimate district head until the determination of the superior court of competent jurisdiction.

“As fate could favourably and faithfully have it, on September 25, 2020, the Periscope reported that “the Creator has done it again. The architects, lacking the will, are summarily put to silence fame of shame with the determination of the court of appeal upholding the Yola high court judgement on who mounts the stool as the legitimate monarch in Jalingo-Maiha district”.

The AG’s interpretation of judgement as requested, has equally captured the judgement where it reads in part thus:

“The Court of Appeal Yola heard the Appeal on the merit and on the 25th day of September, 2020 dismissed same, The Court of Appeal said, at page 21 of the judgement thus:

“…the Court below was on firm ground when it found that the governor was wrong to appoint the Appellant who was not recommended for appointment by the Emirate Council instead of the 1st Respondent who was so recommended.

“At page 22 of the judgement, the Court of Appeal continued:

“Finally, all three issues having been resolved against the Appellant, The Appeal is hereby dismissed by me. The Judgement of the Court below (High Court) is hereby affirmed (in bracket mine for proper understanding).”

“Was it four or three issue judgement? The optimal lens seemed not to have boosted fully the AG’s retina to have ignored the fourth and the most fundamental point to have recommended to the governor, if mischief could be ruled out. The issue number four is that:

“4. It is hereby ordered that the Governor of Adamawa State (1st Defendant), should approve the plaintiff (Mahmud Abubakar) as the proper person for appointment as the District Head of Jalingo-Maiha District, Maiha Local Government Area,” Okafor Komolafe John would not find any positive reason for ignoring this.

On the “Legal Opinion,” the AG interpreted that:

“1. There is concurrent judgement on this issue

“2. The law is clear that the Governor can only approve the person recommended by the Emirate Council and forwarded to him for appointment.”

This was already done but the former governor was perhaps ill-advised to have unlawfully appointed the not recommended. It was what informed challenging the state governor before the law,

Interpreting the “Present Position,” the AG wrote:

“As it is now, there is no valid appointment of District head in Jalingo-Maiha District. The person approved by the Governor was not recommended by the Emirate Council. The person recommended by the Emirate Council was not appointed by the governor.

“The law requires that the Emirate Council should recommend one person to the Governor, whom the Governor should appointment,” The AG interpreted.

This sounds misleading going by the manipulation of timing, “As it is now, there is no valid appointment of District head in Jalingo-Maiha District.” Who says so? What were the High Court and the Appeal Court judgements for? The district head is by interpretation given with the judgement.

It should have been “as it was, there was no valid appointment” and that “as it is, the judgement has legitimise Barr. Mahmud Abubakar Sulaiman as the district head of Jalingo-Maiha.

It has now gone beyond the requirement of the Emirate Council to recommend “one person to the Governor, whom the Governor should appointment,” as this will amount to not only taking the process some steps backward, it will equally undermine the judgement.

Government is a continued process. The Emirate Council has already selected and recommended same to the governor for the approval of appointment, unless otherwise the interpretation arbitrarily suspended the initial process and now seeking for a fresh one.

As the Periscope earlier observed, the interpretation of the AG would require a reinterpretation owing to its being economical with words; it has impliedly ignored two points presented in the High Court judgement, which was affirmed by the Appeal Court thus:

“3. 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.

“4. 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.

The simple and straightforward interpretation of judgement to have presented to the governor would have been for the governor to approve the appointment of Barr Mahmud Abubakar Sulaiman the legitimate heir to the stool as the district head of Jalingo-Maiha.

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