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Court Declares Yahaya Bello’s Banishment of Monarch Unconstitutional as Monarch Files Appeal

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Court Declares Yahaya Bello’s Banishment of Monarch Unconstitutional as Monarch Files Appeal

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Court Declares Yahaya Bello’s Banishment of Monarch Unconstitutional as Monarch Files Appeal

A Kogi State High Court has declared the banishment of HRH Dr. Samuel Adai Onimisi by former Governor Yahaya Bello illegal and unconstitutional. The deposed Obobanyi of Ihima has now filed an appeal to overturn his deposition.

Dr. Onimisi was one of three traditional rulers deposed by Governor Bello just two weeks before the end of his tenure. The other dethroned and banished monarchs were the Ohimege Igu of Kotonkarfe, HRH Abdulrazaq Isah Koto, and the Olu Magongo, Sambola Ojoaha.

In its ruling, the High Court in Lokoja declared Section 13(1) of the Kogi State Chiefs Law, which allows the Governor to banish a traditional ruler, as unconstitutional and inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution. Consequently, the court ruled that Dr. Onimisi’s banishment was null and void.

Despite this victory, Dr. Onimisi is appealing the court’s refusal to set aside his deposition. His legal team, led by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, has filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Stay of Execution, along with an Injunction Pending Appeal, specifically challenging the court’s decision not to reverse his deposition.

The appeal and motion for stay of execution, filed on July 5, 2024, have been served on the Office of the Executive Governor of Kogi State and the Attorney General of Kogi State on the same day.

Former Governor Bello had deposed the rulers without providing specific details of their alleged offenses, citing “gross misconduct in various forms” as the reason for their removal, which he claimed was in accordance with traditional and chieftaincy laws and due process.

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