Six members of the Oga royal family of Obi Chiefdom have dragged the Nasarawa State government to court over the re-selection and appointment of Aliyu Dangiwa Orume as the Osuko (Paramount ruler) of Obi chiefdom.
The plaintiffs who are suing for themselves and other members of the Oga ruling house insist that the re-selection and installation of Aliyu Orume who is the first defendant in the suit, was illegal.
Also joined in the suit are the Nasarawa State Governor as the third defendant, Ibrahim Okposhi as the second defendant, Nasarawa state commissioner of Justice and his local government affairs counterpart, Obi local government council and the Obi Traditional council.
In a writ of summons filed before the Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the ‘purported re-selection of the 1st defendant as the Osuko pursuant to the purported Nasarawa State amended local government law 2009 is illegal and contravenes the Nasarawa State Legal Notice No.3 of 2006.
They plaintiffs also seek a perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant (Orume) from parading, holding out or presenting himself in any manner, form or way as the Osuko of Obi.
Part of the reliefs sought also include an order of the court mandating the defendants to comply with the Nasarawa State legal Notice 3 of 2006 and re-conduct the selection exercise for the stool of Osuko of Obi Chiefdom.
Hearing into the suit which will be handled by the Nasarawa State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Aisha Aliyu Bashir, is slated for 4 April, 2022.
It would be recalled that in 2007, some members of the Oga ruling Family of Obi dragged the Nasarawa State government and others including Orume to court where they challenged his (Orume’s) selection and appointment.
Specifically, the Plaintiffs contended that a quorum was not formed on the day Orume was said to have been selected as only one king maker instead of three as constitutionally guaranteed, voted on the said election date.
The plaintiffs said the action of the state government was illegal, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever because ‘the selection and installation process of Orume contravened the Nasarawa State Legal Notice No.3 of 2006 and the Obi local government modification of Native Law and Custom.
However, in its judgement, the Nasarawa State High Court II held that Orume was duly selected.
Dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, the Plaintiffs approached the Makurdi Division of the Court of Appeal, which on 14 December 2021, invalidated Orume’s purported selection and installation.
In its unanimous decision, the Court held that one person cannot select a chief and since quorum was not formed on the day Orume was purportedly elected, his selection and declaration by the Nasarawa State government is illegal.
In a verdict read by Justice Agube, the court nullified the selection process held in May 2007, which produced Orume as the Osuko of Obi.
Justice Agube, who resolved the issues formulated for determination in the case against the respondents and in favour of the appellants, overturned the judgement of the lower court.
Barely one week after the appeal court verdict, the Nasarawa State government on December 28, 2021, announced the re-selection of Orume as the Osuko of Obi using one Kingmaker like it did before the Appeal court’s dethronement.
The re-selection, which the plaintiffs insisted, contravenes the Obi Local Government (Modification of Native Law and Customs relating to the selection of the Osuko) order 3, is what informed the latest litigation.