July 18, 2024

As dethronement of traditional rulers continue to generate controversies in Sokoto, the state Higher Court sitting, on Wednesday, issued an order restraining Governor Ahmed Aliyu from sacking two out 15 traditional rulers already removed by the government.

The orders were sought separately by Alhaji Buhari Dahiru Tambuwal and Alhaji Abubakar Kassim, the District Heads of Tambuwal and Kebbe respectively.

They were among the 15 traditional rulers earlier removed by the Sokoto State government, on the allegation of insurbodination and aiding insecurity in the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Kabiru Ibrahim Ahmed, however ordered the Governor of Sokoto State, his Attorney General and the
Sokoto Sultanate Council to revert to status quo, pending the determination of the suite filed before him by the complainants, who were represented by Prof Ibrahim Abdullahi SAN.

Justice Ahmed through two orders directed the defendants, their agents servants, privies or assigns or any person acting on their behalves to “maintain status quo and stay all actions and further actions in connection with all matters dealing with and or appertaining to the removal and or dethronement of Districts Heads in Sokoto State”, particularly those of Kebbe and Tambuwal, pending the hearing and determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction duly filed by the two before the court.

The Governor’s Bill
This development is coming in the wake of bill presented to the state House of Assembly by the governor seeking for the amendment of the state Local Government Law, affecting the appointment and disposition of District and village heads and to confer on him exclusive powers to appoint and dethrone traditional rulers in the state.

The sacking of 15 district heads and the proposed bill sent to the state Assembly has generated swift reactions and heated debate across the state and the country, with recent warning to the state government by Vice President, Kashim Shettima while calling on the Sokoto State Government to regard the Sultanate as an institution that must be respected, preserved and protected.

Also, former Vice President and 2023 PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in his reaction, demanded that traditional institutions must be protected from the “excesses of state governors”.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in two separate statements, warned Ahmed Aliyu to shelve the idea of removing the Sultan of Sokoto or whittling his powers and insisting that the Governor was targeting the monarch and planning to create a parallel Sultanate Council under the guise of the new law.

Sokoto State Legislature has last Wednesday, passed the bill to its second reading and refered the matter to a House Committee.

A public hearing on the controversial bill is scheduled for Tuesday next week.

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