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Tension Heightens in Kano Over Sanusi - TELL Magazine

Tension Heightens in Kano Over Sanusi

Lamido Sanusi and Ado Bayero
Lamido Sanusi and Ado Bayero

Crisis is brewing in the ancient city of Kano. Tussle over the emirship stool between Lamido Sanusi and Ado Bayero is stretching the security of the populous state to a breaking point.

Ahead of Jumat prayers on May 31, information circulated that Aminu Ado Bayero would lead the prayers. But the state commissioner of Police quickly debunked that rumour and confirmed that Sanusi, as the emir, would lead the prayer, while Bayero will observe his own prayer at the Nasarawa mini-Palace.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Wednesday, summoned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, and the Chief Judge of Kano State, Justice Dije Aboki, for an emergency meeting over conflicting orders on the emirship tussle.

A federal high court in Kano, presided over by Justice S. A. Amobeda, gave an exparte order on Tuesday “in the interest of justice and maintenance of peace in Kano” as follows:

“An order of interim injunction restraining the Respondents either by themselves, their agents, servants, privies or any other person or authority from inviting, arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant, raiding, tampering with…or visiting the Applicant in order to arrest or infringe on his right or in any other way infringe or attempt to infringe the Applicant’s rights pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Motion.

“An order restraining the 3th, 4th and 5th Respondents and all other Respondents from denying the applicant to use his official residence and palace at the Emir’s Palace, Kofar…as well as enjoyment of all rights and privileges accrued to him by virtue of being Emir of Kano State and to evicting anything, anybody residing within the palace illegally pending the hearing and the determination of the originating summons.” June 4, 2024 was fixed for hearing. Amobeda was alleged to be in United States at the time, he granted the injunction.

Meanwhile, Sanusi had returned and retaken possession of the palace. However, based on the Kano Federal High Court ruling, Ado Bayero returned to Kano and settled at the Nasarawa mini-Palace, suggesting that there are two emirs in Kano.

The Federal High Court had restrained the eviction of Aminu Ado Bayero and declared: “That an order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the Respondents either by themselves, their agents, privies, representative, and assigns from further harassing, intimidating, inviting, arresting and or invading the personal or official residence of the Applicants; his servants and or any of the Kano Emirate kingmakers of doing such acts that would be capable of interfering with the Applicants’ rights generally in relation to this suit pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That an order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the Respondents from attempting to hijack, pick, commandeer, confiscate any of twin spear of authority, the Royal Hat of Dabo, the Ostrich-feathered shoes, the knife and sword of the Emir of Kano as well as symbols of authority pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That an order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the Respondents from taking further steps in connection with the matter or maintaining status quo of staying all action pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That it is further ordered that the Respondents are restrained from interfering with the functions, duties of the 1″ Applicant as the Emir of Kano pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 28 May 2024.”

The case was filed by the emir alongside the four kingmakers of Kano: Madakin Kano Yusuf Nabahani; Makaman Kano Ibrahim Sarki Abdullahi; Sarkin Bai Mansur Adnan and Sarkin Dawaki Maituta Bello Tuta.

To override this complication, the Kano State high court, presided over by Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu, countered the Federal High Court and ordered that Ado Bayero and four other deposed emirs should stop parading themselves as emirs. Consequently, the state government asked the Police to arrest Ado Bayero for threatening the security of the state.

The Forum of Northern Lawyers has described the action of Kano State government as “executive rascality.” Umar Sadiq Abubakar, the director general, said in a statement: “It has become pertinent to again address you on the executive rascality and gross disregard of the judiciary by the executive governor of Kano State, H.E Abba K. Yusuf.

“You will recall that prior to the reinstatement of deposed Muhammad Sanusi 11 as Emir of Kano, a Federal High Court granted an order restraining the Governor of Kano State and every other party concerned from reinstating Mohammed Sanusi 11 as Emir of Kano, but the executive governor of the state, H.E Abba K. Yusuf, in breach of the court order went ahead to reinstate Mohammed Sanusi 11 as Emir of Kano State.

“We know that the judiciary is conservative and therefore look up to the bar to speak for it. As an organisation of young lawyers who are irrevocably dedicated to an independent and free judiciary whose injunctions, judgements and orders must be enforced and obeyed, we are perturbed that a sitting governor who swore to protect our laws and constitution will flagrantly disregard a valid court order and engage in illegal actions that are capable of desecrating the hallowed temple of justice.

“We will not allow this to happen unchallenged. The age-long principle of constitutionalism is very clear that no man is above the law. The governor of Kano State, irrespective of how highly placed, is not an exception.”

Be that as it may, Sanusi is settling down to duty as some village heads paid him homage this week. Bayero may be on an uphill climb as traditional issues like chieftaincy are under the jurisdiction of the state government.

The view in Kano is that Sanusi was deposed by a governor and another governor has reinstated him. Sanusi had quietly left Kano after he was deposed by the Ganduje administration, and many stakeholders expect Bayero to do the same.

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