Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu

As the proposed traditional institution law controversy rages in Sokoto State, the state’s High Court has issued an order restraining Governor Ahmed Aliyu from sacking two of the 15 District Heads his government had earlier removed from their seats.

The order was sought separately by Alhaji Buhari Tambuwal and Alhaji Abubakar Kassim, the District Heads of Tambuwal and Kebbe respectively, who are among the rulers removed by the state government, on the allegation of insubordination and aiding insecurity in the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Kabiru Ibrahim Ahmed, however, ordered the governor, his

Attorney General and the Sokoto Sultanate Council to revert to the status quo, pending the determination of the suit filed before him by the complainants, who were represented by Prof Ibrahim Abdullahi, SAN.

Justice Ahmed through two orders, which were sighted by our correspondent dated, June 16, 2024, directed the defendants, their agents’ servants, privies or assigns or any person acting on their behalves to “maintain status quo and or stay all actions and or further actions in connection with all matters dealing with and or appertaining to the removal and or dethronement of Districts Heads in Sokoto State,” particularly those of Kebbe and Tambuwal,  pending the hearing and determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction duly filed before the court.

The development is coming as the state government bill for the amendment of the Local Government Law, affecting the appointment of district and village heads, to confer the government with exclusive power to appoint traditional rulers.

Already, the sacking of the 15 district heads and the proposed bill in Sokoto has generated swift reactions across the country, with the Vice President, Kashim Shettima calling on the Sokoto State Government to regard the Sultan as an idea that must be preserved and protected.

At the same time, former Vice President and PDP presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar demanded that traditional institutions must be protected from the “excesses of state governors”.

The Muslim Rights Concern in two separate statements, also warned the Sokoto State government to shelve the idea of removing the Sultan of Sokoto or whittling his powers.

Sokoto State House of Assembly had on Tuesday passed the bill for second reading which was later referred to a House Committee. A public hearing on the bill is expected to be held next week Tuesday.