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El-Rufal dragged to court for scraping Adara Chiefdom

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Malam Nasir el-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has been dragged to High Court in Kaduna State for scraping Adara Chiefdom.

The governor is being challenged in court by three prominent and leaders of Adara for scraping Adara Chiefdom, the second biggest traditional council outside Zazzau Emirate, on Kaduna State.

Malam el-Rufai reportedly scrapped the Chiefdom in 2018, less than a month after the traditional ruler of Adara Chiefdom, Agom Adara III, Maiwada Galadima, was abducted, held hostage in the bush and killed.

“Three leaders of Adaraland, the majority ethnic group in Kajuru and Kachia local government areas (LGAs) in Southern Kaduna, Friday appeared in a Kaduna High Court to challenge the 2018 scraping of Adara Chiefdom by Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.

It could be recalled that in a development that surprised the state and angered the Adara people, Governor Nasir el-Rufai ordered the scrapping of Adara Chiefdom, the second biggest traditional council outside Zazzau Emirate. “It happened less than a month after the traditional ruler of Adara nation, Agom Adara III, Maiwada Galadima, was abducted, taken hostage in the bush and later killed.”

In a statement, the Adara Development Association (ADA) kicked against the abolition of their chiefdom and alleged that the policy may have a link with the murder of their monarch. 

The three title holders sued on behalf of the entire Adara people, home and abroad, and joined the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of Kaduna State and Kaduna State Ministry of Local Government And Chieftaincy Affairs.

The case, with reference No: KAH/KAD/72/2021, was filed in January, 2021, by Bar. J.A. Achimugu (SAN) on behalf of the plaintiffs, Mr. Sani Maza Waje (Madakin Adara), Mr. Audi Dalhatu (Talban Agom Adara) and Mr Awemi Dio Maisamari (National President of Adara Development Association).

The plaintiffs are seeking, among others, “the restoration of Adara Chiefdom and the Adara Traditional Council, which was abrogated by Governor Nasir el-Rufai by an Executive Order gazetted on the 29th May, 2018, and released in November, 2018, just after the abduction, killing and burial of the Chief of Adara Chiefdom, His Royal Highness Agom Adara III, Maiwada Raphael Galadima.”

The plaintiffs are also challenging as “null and void the creation of Kachia Chiefdom and Kajuru Emirate from Adara Chiefdom, as both were strange, unwanted by the Adara people as it does not reflect their identity, tradition and faith.”

Furthermore, the Plaintiff refer to the development as “disturbing, insulting and unfair that 40 Adara communities that are 98% non-Muslims would be forced under a hurriedly created ‘Kajuru Emirate’ of which Hausa/Fulani Muslims occupy one village.”

According to them, the law that established the Adara Chiefdom does not give Governor Nasir el-Rufai the leverage to use his executive powers and abrogate the Chiefdom without going through the legislative process.

The case, which came up for hearing yesterday at the Kaduna State High Court 13, presided by Justice Bilkisu Mohammed was, however, adjourned for 29th September, 2021, as Counsel to three defendants, S.B. Mohammed, filed and objection on behalf of the Defendants, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case.

Speaking to journalists after the adjournment, the Counsel to the plaintiffs, Barrister Achimugu (SAN), explained that, “The matter was delayed till today for mention so that a date can be given to us for hearing. But the Defendants came up with a motion to release the preliminary objection they filed earlier in January. The preliminary objection is that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear this matter,” he said.

“We are not opposed to them being heard. Because of that, the matter had been adjourned. We are also asking that we be allowed to apply our response to their preliminary objection. So the preliminary objection is set for hearing on both sides.

“That’s why the case was adjourned to the 29th of September so that both sides can be heard and then the court would now decide whether it has jurisdiction or not,” he said. 

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