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Court stops reinstatement of Emir Sanusi, orders govt to maintain status quo

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Breaking: Gov. Abba Yusuf reinstates Muhammad Sanusi II as Emir of Kano

*Orders Bayero, siblings to vacate office in 48hrs

*Court stops reinstatement, orders govt to maintain status quo

Alex Enumah in Abuja, Wale Igbintade in Lagos and Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano

Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, yesterday, reinstated Muhammad Sanusi II as Emir of Kano, four years after he was deposed, saying the decision to return him to the stool is in the best interest of the state and its people.Yusuf, who signed the new Kano Emirate bill (2024) into law, declared Sanusi’s reinstatement as the 16th Emir of Kano, and pointed out that the new law would bring unity to the people of Kano as well as foster sustainable socio-economic development.

He issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the man who had replaced Sanusi, Aminu Ado Bayero; his brother, Nasiru Ado Bayero; and three other former first class monarchs to vacate their palaces and hand over all emirate’s property to the office of the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs.But, in a dramatic but curious turn of events, a Federal High Court in Kano State, last night, stopped the reinstatement of Muhammad Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano as directed earlier by Governor Abba Yusuf of the state.

The court, subsequently, ordered the Kano State Government, and the State House of Assembly to maintain status quo ante and refrain from implementing the operation of the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024 (1445 A.H.), as they affect all offices and institutions of the Emirate Council created pursuant to the provisions of the Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019 (1441 A.H.).Governor Yusuf, while justifying the decision, stated that, “Everyone should go about his or her normal activities in the state, we have done what we believe is in the best interest of the state and its people.“I want to inform the good people of Kano that today, we reappointed Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi popularly known as Muhammadu Sanusi the II as the 16th Emir of Kano, while the five former emirs are expected to vacate the palaces within 48 hours.”The governor explained that the return of Sanusi would enhance peace and prosperity, adding that the repeal of the council law is in realisation of his campaign commitments to restore the lost glory of the state and its rich cultural heritage.He  emphasised that the signing of the bill symbolised the restoration of the revered legacy of the Kano Emirate, which had stood the test of time over a thousand years.

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The House of Assembly had earlier passed the new law, which abolished the five emirates established by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.There was uneasy calm in the ancient city of Kano following the new law, as it ordered the governor to take all necessary measures to restore the status of the Kano Emirate System to its position prior to the enactment of the repealed Principal Law dated December 5, 2019.The Assembly, which passed the bill yesterday, dissolved the five emirates created by the Ganduje administration, namely, Bichi, Rano, Gaya, Karaye, as well as Kano Emirate.

The new law is titled, “Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 (1445 A.H) A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Repeal of Kano State Kano Emirates Council, Law, 2019 (1441 A.H) and for Other Matters Connected Thereto, be it Enacted by Kano State House of Assembly.”Majority Leader, and member representing Dala Constituency, Lawal Yangurasa, had sought the approval of the lawmakers to recall the laws for amendment.Yangurasa moved a motion of urgent public importance and interest during Tuesday’s plenary, presided by Speaker Jibril Falgore.The law was first amended in 2019 amid tension between Ganduje and Sunusi, which led to the fragmentation of the Kano Emirate into five distinct emirates.Subsequently, Ganduje dethroned Sanusi and had the Kano Emirate split into five, and appointed new first class Emirs.But following the victory of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) in the 2023 elections, the political godfather to the current governor, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso, had hinted that the new government would review the dethronement and balkanisation of the Kano Emirate.The amendment by the Assembly came in the wake of speculations on whether Yusuf would reverse the fragmentation of the old Kano Emirate and return it to the status quo.

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Under the repeal law, “All traditional office holders and title holders elevated or appointed to office created under the repealed Principal law, dated 5th December, 2019 shall revert to their position.“Where such positions previously existed under recognised custom and traditions prior to the enactment of the repealed Principal Law dated 5th December, 2019.”The new law said, “The commissioner responsible for local government shall oversee all transitional arrangements, including how best to deal with assets and liabilities of the abolished emirates and new structure created under the repealed Principal Law dated 5th December, 2019.”According to the 2019 amended law, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the dethroned Emir, was only in control of eight local governments councils, out of the 44 in the state. He will now revert to his former position as Wambai of Kano.

Apart from Bayero, who was said to be on official trip outside the state, the location of other dethroned emirs was not ascertained at the time of filing this report.Some residents of Kano, mostly supporters of Emir Sanusi, charged into jubilation, in expectation of his arrival to lead prayers today.Meanwhile, the exparte application dated and filed on May 23, with suit number: HC/Kn/CS/182/2024, has the Kano State Government, House of Assembly, Speaker, Attorney-General of Kano State, Commissioner of Police, Kano State, Inspector General of Police, Nigeria security and Civil Defence Corps and Department of State Security as 1st to 8th defendants.

Justices A. M. Liman made the order stopping Sanusi’s reinstatement in a fundamental human rights suit filed by Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan Agundi (Sarkin Dawaki Babba) against the Kano State Government and seven others.After hearing ‘the submissions of Ibrahim Aliyu Nasarawa, Counsel for the Plaintiff/Applicant, who moved in terms of the Motion paper, and after careful consideration of the application and submissions of Counsel, Justice Liman gave the orders.

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“That leave is granted to the Plaintiff/Applicant to issue and serve their Concurrent Originating Motion as well as all other court processes on the 6th Defendant Inspector General of Police) in FCT Abuja and outside the: jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.“That an Order of this Honourable Court marking the Plaintiff/ Applicant’s Concurrent Originating Motion as wellas all other court processes to be served on the 6th Defendant in FCT Abuja and outside the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court is granted.

“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into pending the hearing of the Fundamental Rights application.“That in view of the Constitutional and Jurisdictional issues apparent on the face of the application, parties shall address the Court on same at the hearing of the Fundamental Rights application which is fixed for the 3” of June, 2024.“That in Order to maintain the peace and security of the state, an Interim Injunction of this Honourable Court is granted restraining the 5th to 8th Respondents from enforcing, executing, implementing and operationalising the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law.“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into law pending  the hearing of the Fundamental Rights application.

“That this case is adjourned to 3rd day of June, 2024, for hearing of the Fundamental Rights application.”The court, however, granted leave to the applicant to serve the court documents on the IG in Abuja.

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