HeadlineKano Emirate Tussle: No End in Sight

Kano Emirate Tussle: No End in Sight

June 17, (THEWILL)- The emirship saga in Kano assumed a new dimension last week when the Federal High Court in Kano ordered the Kano State Government to pay a total of N10m in damages to the dethroned Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, over the breach of his fundamental rights, personal liberty and freedom of movement.

The order followed a fundamental rights suit filed by Ado-Bayero through his counsel, M. L. Yusufari, SAN. The motion ex parte dated May 27, prayed the court to restrain the state government from arresting, intimidating or infringing on his rights.

Respondents in the suit include the Attorney-General of the Federation, Attorney- General of Kano, Nigeria Police, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police in Kano, State Security Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Army, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Airforce.

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Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice Simon Amobeda described the order given by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, directing the police to arrest the 15th emir without any lawful justification as a threat to his fundamental rights guaranteed under Section 35(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“The act of the governor has forced the applicant into house arrest, preventing him from going about his lawful business, constitutes a flagrant violation of his fundamental right to freedom of movement as guaranteed under Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution,” the court held.

It further restrained the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents either by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, or any other person from arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating and harassing the applicant or further interfering with the applicant’s fundamental rights.

“The prayer for the cost of filing and prosecuting this suit is refused, the amount having not been specifically pleaded and strictly proved,” Justice Amobeda added.

The Federal High Court had given a hint of what to expect on Friday when on Thursday, it ruled against the Kano State Government and others challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the issue of fundamental human rights instituted by a Kano traditional holder, Aminu Babba Dan’Agundi, in connection with the emirate tussle.

Recall that the applicant, who is the traditional title holder of Sarkin Dawaki Babba of Kano emirate, Aminu Babba Dan’Agundi had approached the court seeking enforcement of his fundamental human rights claimed to have been violated by government action in the Emirate tussle.

The respondents in the suit were Kano State Government as 1st respondent, Kano State House of Assembly (2nd), Speaker of Kano State House of Assembly (3rd), Attorney General of Kano State (4th), Kano Commissioner of Police (5th), Inspector General of Police, IGP (6th), NSCDC and DSS as 7th and 8th respondents respectively.

Delivering the ruling on jurisdiction on Thursday, Justice M. Liman, held that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter concerning the applicant’s fundamental human rights.

Justice Liman gave the ruling relying on Section 42 sub-section 1 and Section 315 of the 1999 constitution as amended.

However, reacting to the ruling, the Counsel to the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Ibrahim Isah Wangida, said he would meet with his client to decide the next line of action whether or not they will take the option to appeal the ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Justice Liman then adjourned the matter till Friday for a hearing of all pending applications, saying the case was too sensitive for it to be dragged for too long.

Coming close to the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir, the Friday judgement heightened the already tense atmosphere in the state, prompting the Police to ban Durbar activities amid separate preparations by Sanus and Bayero.

According to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Usaini Gumel, the ban is part of the commitment of the state to the sustenance of the peace by the police command in conjunction with all the relevant security stakeholders.

He said that “In furtherance, a ban on all contending parties has been placed, restraining both from conducting Durbar activities for the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebrations,” Gumel said.

He, however, advised worshippers to conduct their normal Eid Prayers at the various designated praying grounds, as was traditionally done in the past.

“In this trying period, the Police will enforce the existing court order and prevail on the two contending parties regarding the Kano emirates tussle and urge them to remain apart and respect the court order,” he said.

But Emir Lamido held a peacefully conducted Durbar in Kano for which the Commissioner of Police praise him.

The Commissioner said the command encouraged continued collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders to collectively work together to build a safer and more secure environment.

He urged the people to report any suspicious movements of persons or items they came across to the nearest police station.

The ban came in the wake of preparations by both the re-installed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, and the deposed Emir Aminu Ado Bayero to stage a separate traditional Sallah Durbar in the ancient city.

Emir Sunusi, on one hand, had prepared to mount his own Durbar at his Kofar Kudu palace and some other designated parts of the city in the company of dozens of district heads loyal to him.

Bayero, on the other hand, had summoned district heads still loyal to him to stage his own at the Gidan Sarkin Nasarawa (Kano Emirate Guest House) where he has been staying since he was dethroned three weeks ago.

Thus, the police ban had thrown a spanner into the works of the two contending Emirs and has been angrily condemned by their fanatical supporters.

 

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