The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos on Tuesday ordered the immediate reinstatement of the banished Emir of Akko in Gombe State, Muhammad Ahmad.
Presiding Justice Ridwan Abdullah, in the judgment, said government had no cogent reason for deposing the Emir and banishing him to Bauchi State in 2004.
The court also dismissed an appeal filed by Umaru Muhammad, who was appointed Emir of Akko after the deposition of Mr. Ahmad.
The judge said the deposition was an infringement on the fundamental rights of the Emir as enshrined in the constitution and that the government did not state any reason for its action.
He said the appointment of another Emir by the government was null and void since there was no vacancy at the time.
The court granted reliefs sought by Mr. Ahmad and declared his arrest, detention, banishment and exile to Bauchi State in 2004 unconstitutional, unlawful as well as null and void.
The court said the plaintiff should be entitled to all the rights and privileges of the office and ordered a perpetual injunction against the state government and all its officials from interfering with his liberty.
It further ordered exemplary damages of N52 million to be paid to the deposed Emir for wrongful arrest, detention and exile to Bauchi state.
It also ordered N10 million general damages to be paid to the Emir.
Mr. Ahmad had told the court that he was invited to a meeting by the Attorney-General and the Governor on that fateful day and was abducted after being served a letter informing him of his deposition.
He said he was taken by security agents and dumped on the street of Bauchi and warned never to return to Gombe state.
The Emir said he was paid stipend of N50,000 monthly for his upkeep which was stopped when he sued the government.
Mr. Muhammad, the incumbent Emir, had joined Mr. Ahmad, the Attorney-General and the Gombe State Government as respondents in the suit challenging reinstatment of Mr. Ahmad.