Court Restrains Lalong from Tampering with Jos Traditional Council


Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

A Plateau State High Court has issued an interim injunction stopping Governor Simon Lalong from tampering with the composition of the Jos Joint Traditional Council.

The injunction dated May 23, was issued by Justice Christine Dabup, after listening to Mr. Niri Darong, Counsel to “Seven Illustrious sons of Berom nation”, who had dragged the state government before the court over the creation of two traditional councils out of the Jos Joint Traditional Council.

The state government had last week created Riyom and Jos North Traditional Councils out of the current Jos Joint Traditional Council headed by the Gbong GwomJos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba.

The creation of the two councils left two local governments of Jos South and Barkin Ladi under the Gbong Gwom Jos, against the initial four local governments.

The state government also announced that the Attah Aten of Ganawuri would chair the Riyom Traditional Council, while the Ujah Anaguta will head the Jos North Traditional Council.

The Gbong Gwom immediately condemned the move, insisting that the governor has no such powers to tamper with the traditional council, especially as there is no crisis to warrant that. Irked by the governor’s move, the ‘Seven Illustrious Sons of the Berom Nation’, led by Mr. Daniel Choji, on behalf of themselves and all adult male Berom indigenes of Berom Districts in Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Governments, had approached the court to stop the move.

Joined in the suit are the Plateau State Government as the 1st defendant, while the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs are the 2nd and 3rd defendants.

Others are the Chairman, Jos North Local Government, and Chairman, Riyom Local Government, as 4th and 5th defendants respectively.

Justice Dabup said the order followed an ex-parte motion dated May 22, 2019 and filed the same day by one Da Daniel Choji of Dong, in Kabong, Jos North Local Government, in which he prayed for an interim injunction and mandatory order.

The court ruled that: “The defendants, their agents, representatives or privies are hereby restrained from tampering with the Jos Joint Traditional Council, including suspending or deposing any member of the Jos Joint Traditional Council, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“The defendants are mandated to continue to recognise the Gbong Gwom Jos as the President of Jos Joint Traditional Council made up of Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Governments, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

Dabup thereafter fixed June 11, 2019 for the hearing on the motion on notice.