A High Court in Kaduna State has taken a significant step by nullifying the banishment of Chief Jonathan Parguwa Zamuna, the paramount ruler of Piriga Chiefdom in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
This banishment had been ordered by the former Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Justice Nasiru U. Sadiq, presiding over the Kaduna High Court in Kafanchan, delivered this judgement in a case involving the breach of fundamental rights. The judge emphasized that the banishment order contradicted section 41, subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The Constitution clearly states that every Nigerian citizen is entitled to unrestricted movement and residence within Nigeria. It explicitly prohibits the expulsion of any Nigerian citizen from the country or any restrictions on their entry or exit.
It’s worth noting that a similar restriction on the movement of the deposed traditional ruler of Arak Chiefdom in Sanga Local Government Area, Brigadier General Iliya Yammah (Rtd), was nullified by the Court three weeks ago.
Former Governor El-Rufai had announced the deposition of these two paramount rulers on 22nd May 2023, citing recommendations from the Ministry of Local Government Affairs and provisions of Section 11 of the Traditional Institutions Law No. 21 of 2021.
In response to the court’s decision, Barrister Napoleon O. Idenala, the Lead Counsel representing Chief Zamuna, expressed satisfaction with the judgement. He also highlighted the significant personal trauma that the deposed chief had endured since the banishment order was issued, including the loss of his wife, brother, and sister within four months.