By Luka Daniel (Bauchi),
As the Chieftaincy tussle reared its ugly face in Boi village, Bogoro Local Government Area, the Galadiman Boi, Titus Bayero and Sarkin Duste Ajiyan Boi, Istifanus Landi of Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State, have filed a suit in court against the Government of Bauchi State, Bauchi Emirate Council, Bogoro Local Government Council, Local Government Service Commission and Bala Ibrahim Likita, (Village head of Boi) in Bogoro Local Government Area of the State.
In the suit, the Plaintiffs are alleging that the election that produced the village head of Boi, Bala Ibrahim Likita was marred by rigging.
The Plaintiffs, who are challenging the appointment of Likita, as the Village Head of Boi, alleged that the said election that was conducted on the 25th April 2015, which produced Likita, as the village head of Boi was marred with electoral irregularities and was conducted in total violation and disregard to the customs and tradition of the Boyawa people, adding that even a dead person participated in the election.
The Plaintiffs argued that in the election only Four kingmakers voted instead of Seven king makers that constituted the electoral college and alleged that the third defendant in the suit did not inform three title holders who are kingmakers, Ajiya, Bunu and Wambai the date and venue of the election there by disenfranchising them from legitimately voting for a candidate of their choice.
Adding that, “Their exclusion affected the outcome of the election and it was a maneuver to tinker with the votes in favor of Likita”.
While alleging that the election was conducted at the Ministry for Local Government Affairs in Bauchi against the normal place and venue of conducting the election to the position of village head of Boi, which has always been either at Boi village or Bogoro Local Government Secretariat, the plaintiffs added that the election was conducted without the mandatory traditional dinner by all the Seven Kingmakers which is a condition precedent to the conduct of any election or selection to the position of village Head of Boi.
They further alleged that vote cast by one Joshua Magaji who died sometimes in 2011 and who at the material time was not one of the kingmakers and not capable of voting has affected the outcome of the election and explained that the votes casted by the dead person is invalid.
They said two days after the election on 27th April 2015 the second Plaintiff and three other prominent members of Boi Community wrote a letter of complaint to the Governor of the State against the conduct of the election and the letter was not replied and no action was taken in that respect, only for the appointed village head to be elevated to the Position of District Head of Boi.
The plaintiffs said, “All our effort to correct the anomalies proved abortive up to 2016 when State Assembly passed a repeal law of newly created district and village Heads in Bauchi State that withdraw the appointment of the affected Districts and village heads, we expected that a new election will take place but instead of the election, Likita was again appointed the Village Head of Boi and we sent another complaint letter to the government”.
Plaintiffs asked the court to declare that Likita was not properly and validly elected or selected as village head of Boi and exclusion of some of the king makers and votes of dead person Joshua Magaji is wrongful ,unlawful, invalid, null and void, and asked the court to restrain the village head from parading himself in any manner as village head and to restrain the other defendants from further appointing or recognizing Likita as the village head of Boi and to order the Bogoro Local Government Area to conduct fresh election into the office of village Head of Boi in accordance with the native law and custom of Boyawa People.
Counsel to the Defendants Barrister Mathias Tsuwa asked the court to dismiss the suit because it is incompetent and divests court’s jurisdiction to hear and determine it.
He said the two Plaintiffs are part of the Seven Kingmakers, and when the immediate Past village head of Boi Musa Likita died in the year 2011 there was a purported election on 8th September to fill the vacant stool, in which he alleged that 70 hamlets heads who are traditionally not entitled to vote in the election of the village head of Boi were allowed to participate in that election and two people who did not belong to the two ruling families of the Boi Chiefdom were allowed to participate after which the seven kingmakers from the ruling families challenged that election in a suit no BA/184/2011 and the court directed the conduct of a fresh election with the customs and traditions of Boi people, the judgment was challenged in the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the High Court and the appellants appealed to the supreme court and the appeal is still pending in court at that time one Iliya Yaki filed a suit number BA/58/2015 to challenge the conduct of the planned election of April 2015 and the said suit was dismissed on 3rd June 2015 and the plaintiffs didn’t appeal the decision of the court.
Tsuwa alleged that the Plaintiffs with the same Iliya Yaki filed a fresh suit No Ba/108/2015 challenged the election of Likita as the new village head of Boi, the Village head objected to the jurisdiction of the court it was upheld and the case was dismissed and all the issues raised by the plaintiffs in this case have been exhaustively decided upon by this court and appeal No CA/J/10/2015 and their appeal against the judgment of court of appeal is still pending before the supreme court and cannot be re litigated upon before this court.
He said the suit is an abuse of court processes and asked the court to dismiss the suit.
The Presiding Judge Justice Aliyu Musa Liman adjourned the suit to 22nd March 2018 for hearing.