A Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos, on Thursday declared Da Chief Jonathan Sunday Akuns as the substantive Clan Head, locally called the Saf of Mandung Village, and the Galadima of Daffo District in Bokkos Local Government Area.
This follows a suit filed by Mr. Akuns and four others challenging the election of a new Chief to replace him on January 16, 2010.
The election was facilitated by his elder brother, Chief Jethro Akuns against an earlier court injunction restraining it, leading to the emergence of one Mr. Zakkariah Mallo Mafulul as the Head of the Mandung clan.
Jethro Akun who held sway as Deputy Governor after the annulled impeachment of former Governor Joshua Dariye in 2006, had held that the emergence of his younger brother as Village Head was unconstitutional.
He was however said to be part of the selection process that brought his brother to power, but however turned to opposite it within months.
The case (PLD/BL4/2010) filed against Chief Jethro Akun and 10 others shortly after the election started at the State High Court sitting in Barkin Ladi but later moved to High Court 5 in Jos where the presiding Judge, Justice Daniel Longji was transferred to.
Two similar cases in 2000 under Justice P. D. Damulak (PLD/J196/2000) and 2003 under Justice F.K. Dusu (PLD/J319/2003) had ended in favour of Da J.S. Akuns.
Justice Longji in his ruling declared that Jonathan Akuns who was selected in 1997 and enthroned in 1999 remains the constitutional traditional leader of the Daffo Mandung community.
Consequently, the court declared the election held to replace him null and void.
The judge granted six other reliefs sought by the plaintiff which include an order restraining Mr. Mafulul from parading himself as the Galadiman Daffo.
Jonathan has functioned unhindered as the Clan Head (Saf) of Mandung and Galadima Daffo, with a remarkable relationship with his subjects since his selection in August 1997.
This is in spite of the fierce opposition by his brother which delayed his enthronement till 6th January 1999.