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Court reinstates monarch dethroned by El-Rufai, awards N10m damages

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The National Industrial Court has nullified the dethronement of the monarch of Piriga Chiefdom in Lere council of Kaduna, Chief Jonathan Pharaguwa Zamuna.

The court also ordered the Kaduna State Government to pay damages of N10 million to Zamuna within 30 days of the judgement.

Former Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai dethroned Zamuna on 22 May 2023, a few days before the end of his tenure.

Zamuna’s removal was after a communal clash that claimed two lives and houses burnt.

He, however, approached the industrial court on his removal for lack of fair hearing on the allegations against him.

The development was coming five days after a panel by the Kaduna State Assembly alleged that the government of El-Rufai misappropriated public funds.

Delivering his judgement which lasted for 53 minutes, Justice Bashir Attahiru Alkali, having established that the lndustrial Court has the jurisdiction to entertain the case, averred that the government of ex-Governor el-Rufai did not comply with due process in dethroning the Piriga third class monarch.

The judge declared the monarch’s removal as unconstitutional, illegal, unfair, null and void.

The court ordered the reinstatement of Zamuna back to the throne with all salaries paid and privileges accorded him restored.

Reacting to the ruling, Henriata Yokunbo, the lawyer who represented the lead Counsel to the claimant, Napoleon ldenala, described the judgement as a fair one that is key to justice and the rule of law.

James Kanyip, who represented the lead Counsel to the Defendant and the government of Kaduna state, however, declined comment on the ruling.

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