There has been tension in Akko Emirate Council of Gombe State following the refusal of the state government to honour an Appeal Court judgement delivered four years ago in favour of the deposed Emir, Muhammad Ahmed.
It will be recalled that a Court of Appeal in Jos presided over by Justice Rilwan Abdullah had in a judgment delivered in June 2014 nullified the dethronement of Muhammad Ahmad in 2004 and the immediately banishment to Bauchi.
The Gombe State Government under Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo has in recent times come under heavy criticism for infringing the court judgment.
Some aggrieved residents of Akko town are of the view that the action may degenerate to violence in the nearest future if the issue is not resolved.
Another resident said the state government under the then Governor Danjuma Goje had had no cogent reasons for deposing the emir and banishing him to Bauchi State in 2004.
According to him, despite mounted pressures from prominent Nigerians within and outside the state, Dankwambo’s government is not showing any sign of obeying the judgment, stressing that if the situation is not well managed, it may result to crisis.
He said: “Any government that is not willing to obey a court order on a very sensitive matter such as this is by implication inviting crisis into the society.
“It is very unfortunate and embarrassing that under a democratic setting, a government is refusing to act four years after a court of appeal granted this judgment. The people are getting frustrated.”
The June 2014 judgment by Justice Rilwan Abdullah of the Court of Appeal in Gombe State had described the appointment of another emir by the state government as null and void since there was no vacancy at that time, and ordered the immediate reinstatement of the banished emir.
Apart from calling for the re-instatement of the deposed emir, the Appeal Court in Jos also dismissed an appeal filed by Umaru Muhammad, who was appointed Emir of Akko after the deposition of Ahmad.
Justice Rilwan said the deposition was an infringement on the fundamental rights of the emir as enshrined in the constitution, and that government did not state any reason for its action.
The Justice then granted reliefs sought by Ahmad and declared his arrest, detention, banishment and exile to Bauchi State in 2004 unconstitutional, unlawful as well as null and void.
The court also granted that the plaintiff be entitled to all the rights and privileges of the office and ordered a perpetual injunction against the state government and all its officials from interfering with his liberty as well as ordered exemplary damages of N52 million to be paid to the deposed emir for wrongful arrest, detention and exile to Bauchi State.