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Kaduna court reinstates paramount ruler dethroned by El-Rufai

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The National Industrial Court in Kaduna has nullified the dethronement of Chief Jonathan Pharaguwa Zamuna, the paramount ruler of Piriga Chiefdom in Lere Local Government. The ruling was delivered on Monday.

Justice Bashir Attahiru Alkali stated that the Industrial Court had the jurisdiction to hear the case and ruled that the former Governor el-Rufai’s government did not follow due process when dethroning Chief Zamuna. The judge declared the act unconstitutional, illegal, unfair, null, void, and of no effect.

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The court ordered that Chief Zamuna be reinstated to his throne and that all his salaries and privileges be restored. Additionally, the Kaduna State government was instructed to pay Chief Zamuna N10 million in damages for breaching his fundamental rights. The government must comply with the judgment within 30 days.

Henrietta Iorkumbul Esquire, representing the claimant’s lead counsel, Napoleon O. Idenala Esquire, emphasized the importance of fair hearing for justice and the rule of law.

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James Kanyip Esquire, representing the lead counsel for the Kaduna State government, declined to comment on the judgment.

Speaking to newsmen, Chief Zamuna expressed his gratitude, stating he was thankful that justice and fairness had prevailed.

Former Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, had announced the deposition of Chief Zamuna and another ruler on May 22, 2023.

The announcement followed recommendations from the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, in line with Section 11 of the Traditional Institutions Law No. 21 of 2021.

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This was stated in a press release signed by the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hajiya Umma Ahmad.

Chief Zamuna approached the industrial court, arguing that he was not given a fair hearing as he was neither queried nor invited to present his side of the story regarding the allegations against him.

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