From: Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Court of Appeal, Yola Division, sitting in Jalingo, on Tuesday, reserved judgement in the appeal over the leadership tussle to the stool of Hamma Bata in Demsa Local government area of Adamawa State.
The lead judge, Hon. Justice Folake Omoleye, said that having adopted the submissions of the councils, the court would reserve the judgement for a later date.
The lower court, sitting in Yola, had ruled against the decision of the Adamawa State Government to have appointed Chief Alhamdu Teneke as the Hamma Bata instead of Chief Medan Teneke who was chosen by the King makers according to their tradition, following the death of Chief Soul Swade.
The Adamawa State Government then filed an appeal against the ruling of the lower court in Yola, challenging the decision of the lower court.
Council to the first respondent, Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), appealed to the court to dismiss the appeal for been calculated to disrupt justice, and said he was optimistic that his client would get the judgement in his favor on the strength and merit of their case.
Ozekhome decried persistent interference by political office holders into traditional institutions to the extent of depriving the people of the right to chose their leaders based on their tradition and culture.
Ozekhome said that he was at the court to upturn injustice that have been mated on his client Chief Teneke by the state government by denying him of his rightful position as the Hamma Bata, as upheld by the lower court in Yola last year.
Chief Teneke, who expressed confidence that the Appeal court would deliver judgement with fairness and objectivity, called on the people to remain calm and law abiding as the judiciary is the only true hope of the common man.
He appealed to political office holders to stop dragging political differences into affairs of traditional institutions, noting that this weakens the ability of the traditional rulers to resolve communal issues since they don’t enjoy people’s mandate.
The Hamma Bata is one of the highest and most revered traditional Stools in Adamawa State.