Justice Christine Dabup of the Plateau High Court on Thursday ordered an out-of-court settlement in the Gbong Gwom Jos Traditional stool tussle.
Justice Dabup gave the order when Me Ada Emmanuel-Ajik, the Ada Gwom, Jos-Izere Chiefdom, Jos North Local Government announced his interest and appearance in the the case.
The Ada Gwom, through his counsel, Mr Nantok Dashuar, told the court that he had a motion for joinder and was ready to move it.
Dashuar said: “My Lord, we are here on behalf of Ada Gwom, Jos-Izere Chiefdom, Jos North Local Government and have a motion for joinder, which has been served on all parties.
“If it pleases your Lordship, we are indeed ready to move our motion as all parties in this case have been served.”
But Edward Pwajok, lead counsel to the petitioners, objected to the application.
He added: “My Lord, only this morning, here in this court, we were served with the said motion for joinder and it will be inappropriate for them to just move it right away.
“The practice direction is that we should be served first and given good time to study it and reply appropriately before it could be moved. He can’t serve us now and move the motion right away.”
Justice Dabup then interrupted and lamented the dimensions at which the case was taking and advised that all the parties involved in the matter should endeavor to sit on a round table and discuss.
He said: “It’s my candid advice to all of you, the parties involved in this case, to go and dialogue among yourselves and resolve this matter.
“Plateau is our State and we have to protect her image from being bastardized. We shouldn’t be seen to be ones bastardizing it.
“I hereby order the director of civil Litigation of the State Ministry of Justice to go and inform Governor Simon Lalong of the need for this matter be settled amicably without the court getting involved.
“l will adjourn this case to give you the room and opportunity to settle the matter out of court. But if at the end of the day you couldn’t settle, then we shall take Ada Gwom’s motion for joinder.”
She then adjourned the case until October 2 for report of settlement and/or hearing of motion for joinder.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Governor Lalong had created two traditional councils out of the Jos Traditional Council, which did not go down well with the Berom nation, which filed a suit challenging such an action.
Aggrieved by that action, seven of the “illustrious sons of Berom nation”, had on May 23 dragged the state government before Justice Christine Dabup of State High Court V, challenging the Governor and the State Government.
As the case began at the High Court, interested parties began to show up in the court announcing their appearances and motions for joinder.
The first was the Ataa Aten, Yakubu Chaimai, who declared his intention on June 11, when the matter was first mentioned and adjourned in his instance, followed by another paramount ruler, the Ujah of Anaguta, Chief Jauro Magaji, who joined on June 24.
Nevertheless, the Ada Gwom, Jos-Izere Chiefdom, Jos North Local Government, is the third interested party as it stands.