Tension In Kano As Court Delivers Judgment On Sanusi, Bayero Emirate Tussle

The Federal High Court in Kano will today deliver rulings in the suit seeking to determine the validity of the Kano Emirates Council Repeal Law 2024.

The law was used by the state governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, to dethrone the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, and also to reverse the creation of four emirates, Bichi, Rano Karaye and Gaya, by his predecessor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The law was also relied upon to re-appoint the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, who was dethroned by Ganduje in 2020, as the 16th Emir of Kano.

But a kingmaker in the former Kano emirate, Aminu Babba Danagundi, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba, challenged the propriety of the law and asked the court, through his counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), to declare the law null and void.

The judge, Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman, after hearing his motion on Friday last adjourned to today for ruling on the plea.

The judge will also deliver a ruling on a motion for stay of proceedings filed by A.G. Wakil, counsel for the State Attorney General and Kano State Government, who were joined as respondents in Danagundi’s suit.

Similarly, at the last sitting, Eyitayo Fatogun (SAN), the counsel for the State House of Assembly and its speaker, informed the court that he had filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, urging the court to stay proceedings.

The judge, however, ruled that there was no evidence that the appeal has been entered and no application for stay has been filed before the court.

Court of Appeal yet to fix a date for hearing

Findings by Daily Trust yesterday revealed that the Court of Appeal has not fixed a date for hearing the appeal filed before it.

It was gathered that this was largely because no quorum was formed for the justices of the appellate court to sit and hear the matter. While it could not be ascertained why the quorum for the justices could not be formed, sources told Daily Trust that this might be connected with the three-day holidays declared by the federal government for last Wednesday and this week Monday and Tuesday.

But court documents seen by our correspondent yesterday revealed that the appellants (the State House of Assembly and its Speaker) filed a notice of appeal, a motion for stay, a record of proceedings, and a motion for departure from the rules on June 13.

On Friday, June 14, the appellants filed a motion ex parte and affidavit of urgency, but the appellant’s brief was filed on June 19.

It will be recalled that on June 13, the Federal High Court in Kano ruled that it had jurisdiction over the chieftaincy matter and scheduled further hearings, after which the appellants attempted to file an appeal immediately but were said to have faced delays at the court registry.

The appellants filed their Notice of Appeal at the Court of Appeal registry and sought an urgent stay of proceedings at the lower court.

The appellants are seeking an order allowing the appeal and dismissing Danagundi’s suit for want of jurisdiction. The appellants also asked the appellate court to set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court delivered on June 13, assuming jurisdiction in the matter.

The appellants contended that the judge erred in law when the court assumed jurisdiction in the matter, which, according to them, is related to and bordering exclusively on chieftaincy matters outside the provision of Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

It will also be recalled that the state House of Assembly had passed the Emirates Council Repeal Bill on May 23, which was assented to by Governor Yusuf the same day.

Police deploy around court, strategic locations

Daily Trust findings show that the state capital has been on the edge since the law was passed and Emir Sanusi was reinstated, especially following the return of Emir Bayero to the city. While Emir Sanusi had taken up residence in the main Emir’s Palace located in the city centre, Emir Bayero had taken up residence in a mini palace in the Nasarawa area of the city.

The development had led to mudslinging between the state government and the federal government, but the feud was said to have been settled. However, the recent statement by the leader of the Kwankwasiyya Movement, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, that the federal government was taking advice from those who did not want peace in Kano State, ignited fresh tension.

But the police command in the state, which had also come under criticism from the state government over its role in the development, yesterday, told Daily Trust that adequate personnel and resources had been deployed around strategic areas in the state, including the court where the ruling would be delivered today, to avert breakdown of law and order.

The spokesman of the command, SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, said in a chat with Daily Trust that “deployment of security in an event like this (court ruling) is not new to the command, and this time around, like in the past, we have made adequate deployment not only at the court premises but at specific and strategic places around the town”.

SP Kiyawa said the command has been responsible in its action and duty and has been monitoring and following up on the situations with the deployment of men and resources whenever the court is sitting on cases of interest like the Kano Emirate tussle. The action of the police, he said, is to forestall a breakdown of law and order.

He advised residents of the state that do not have any business around the court area to stay off and continue with their daily activities without any fear, emphasising that the police would ensure adequate security of lives and property before, during, and after the court’s expected pronouncements.

NNPP, APC exchange fresh tackles

Meanwhile, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), the ruling party in Kano, has appealed to eminent Nigerians to dissuade the All Progressives Congress (APC) from setting Kano State and, by extension, the entire northern part of the country on fire through a manipulation of the judiciary to allegedly snatch the state from the party.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Ladipo Johnson, said in a statement yesterday that “Nigerians should realise that the unfolding development in Kano is rooted in politics, which is a dangerous thing to cultivate amidst the numerous challenges confronting the federal government, particularly on the issue of security of lives and property.

“The suffocating economy, terrorism and insurgency, kidnapping, and the daily bloodletting by criminal gangs across the country, we believe, should be major concerns of the federal government rather than dabbling into chieftaincy matters in Kano as a political weapon ahead of 2027.

“Now, the inference among the good people of Kano is that the situation is degenerating with the key objective of causing violence on a scale that would lead to the declaration of a state of emergency in Kano, thereby paving the way to take over Kano. In which case they want to achieve what they failed to achieve through the ballot box and the court”, he further alleged.

But reacting, the Deputy Chairman of the APC in Kano, Alhaji Maigari Shehu, told Daily Trust that much as people are entitled to their opinions, the latest statement from the NNPP, like those in the past, should not be given any importance than such from a “confused party.”

He said: “Everybody knows who wants to build Kano and who wants to destroy Kano. APC ruled Kano for eight years and developed the state with state-of-the-art infrastructure and human development, and the state was even the most peaceful state in the country during this period. But immediately the NNPP came on board, and destruction on a stage never before imagined started.

“Everybody knows that the NNPP-led government in Kano is a government of witch-hunting and vendetta. The problem for them now is that they have realised that the few people who voted for them in the 2023 general election have realised that they have nothing to offer. The business community and the workers are not happy with them,” he said.

The presidency had on Monday denied allegations that the federal government was planning to declare a state of emergency following the protracted impasse surrounding the emirship tussle in Kano.


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