Choice Of Emir: Zazzau Prince Drags el-Rufai To Court

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Gov. Nadir el-Rufai of Kaduna State

A couple of princes lost out in the contest for the Emir of Zazzau in Kaduna. One of the losers, Bahir Aminu, on Monday, filed a suit against Nasir el-Rufai, the Kaduna State governor, over the appointment of Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli.

Bamalli was appointed following the death of Shehu Idris, the former emir, in September.

Ustaz Usman, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and counsel to Aminu, filed the suit before a Kaduna State high court.

The plaintiff, who holds the traditional title of Iyan Zazzau, is seeking from the court a declaration that “having scored the highest number of lawful votes cast by the kingmakers and thus selected by the said kingmakers, he has thus acquired vested right to the stool of the Emir of Zazzau from the date of his selection henceforth”.

The five kingmakers of Zazzau emirate had in September forwarded a list of three shortlisted princes to the governor for consideration and appointment of the new emir, among whom were Aminu, who reportedly scored 89 marks, Munir Jafaru who scored 87 marks, and Aminu Shehu Idris, son of the late emir, who got 53 marks.

The three candidates were said to have been selected from applications received by the kingmakers from 11 princes of the four ruling houses of the emirate.

However, the governor rejected the list on the grounds that the kingmakers excluded two interested candidates, and ordered for a fresh selection process to include them.

On October 7, el-Rufai appointed Bamalli as the new emir.

The attorney-general of Kaduna state, the Kaduna State Council of Chiefs, Zazzau Emirate Council, the five kingmakers in the emirate, and the emir are all joined in the case.

Listed reliefs sought in the suit: “A declaration that the plaintiff is still the Emir of Zazzau and is entitled to all rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

“An order setting aside the purported appointment of the 10th defendant (Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli) as the Emir of Zazzau.

“An injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants from acting in the installation of the 10th defendant to the throne of the Emir of Zazzau or presenting to the 10th defendant with the staff of office until the final determination of this suit.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies, servants or through any person or persons howsoever from treating, presenting or dealing with or installing the 10th defendant as the Emir of Zazzau.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 10th defendant from parading, presenting or styling himself as the Emir of Zazzau or from putting on or wearing any paraphernalia or insignia of the Emir of Zazzau.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants from dealing with, treating, presenting, or dealing with installing the 10th defendant as the Emir of Zazzau or handing over to him the staff of office of the Emir of Zazzau”.

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