Bayero remains as courts give conflicting orders on Sanusi

There was confusion in Kano on Tuesday following two contradictory court orders relating to the fight for the throne of Kano Emirate between Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II and Aminu Ado Bayero, the deposed Emir.

While Justice S. Amobeda of the Federal High Court in Kano ordered the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Hussain Gumel, to ensure that all rights and privileges of an Emir were granted to Ado Bayero. Justice Justice Amina Aliyu of the Kano State High Court has stopped the police, the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army from evicting Muhammadu Sanusi II, the reinstated Emir of Kano, from the palace.

Amid the contradictory ruling on Tuesday, Bayero avoided the order of the state high court, which on Monday directed the police to evict him from the mini-palace in Nasarawa area of ​​the state.

Instead of evicting Bayero, the police and army beefed up security around the mini-palace.

The situation took a new turn later on Tuesday when Justice Aliyu restrained the police from evicting Sanusi from the main palace.

He gave the order on Tuesday in a case filed by the emir and four kingmakers of Kano.

Respondents include Kano State Commissioner of Police, Inspector General of Police, Director of DSS, Chief of Defense Staff and Aminu Ado Bayero.

The judge restrained the defendants from “attempting to kidnap” the symbols of authority meant for the Emir of Kano pending the resolution of the suit.

On Monday, the same judge issued an order prohibiting Bayero from presenting himself as Emir of Kano pending the resolution of the suit.

The judge also restrained the four dethroned emirs of Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye from parading themselves as emirs pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the plaintiffs.

Elimination of emirs

The judge made the order after hearing an ex parte application dated May 27, 2004, filed by Ibrahim Wangida, counsel for the plaintiffs: Attorney General of Kano State, Speaker of the General Assembly and House of Assembly of Kano State. Kano.

In his ruling on the lawsuit filed by Wangida, the judge prevented Bayero and other deposed monarchs from parading themselves as emirs in the state.

In her latest order, Justice Aliyu ruled: “That an interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, toilets, representatives and assigns, from further harassing, intimidating, inviting, arresting or invading personal or private property.” official residence of the applicants (Gidan Rumfa), their servants or any of the kingmakers of the Kano emirate from doing such acts that could interfere with the rights of the applicants generally in relation to this suit pending hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

“That an order of injunctive relief is hereby entered preventing the defendants from taking further action in connection with the matter or maintaining the status quo of suspending all action pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That an interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the respondents from attempting to kidnap, collect, seize or confiscate any twin spear of the authority, the Royal Hat of Dabo, the ostrich feather shoes, the knife and the sword of the Emir of Kano, as well as symbols of authority pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notification.”

The case was adjourned until June 13.

federal superior court

However, in a new twist on Tuesday, Justice Amobeda of the Federal High Court ordered the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Hussain Gumel, to ensure that all rights and privileges were granted of an emir. Bayero.

The judge stated that his order was issued in the interest of justice and maintenance of peace in Kano State.

The crisis in the state began last Thursday when Kano State Governor Abba Yusuf deposed Bayero as Emir of Kano, along with four other first class Emirs of Rano, Bichi, Karaye and Gaya.

He reinstated Lamido Sanusi as Emir following the repeal of the law that former Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje used to depose and exile him in 2020.

In 2020, Sanusi, the then 14th Emir of Kano, was removed for alleged insubordination to the Ganduje-led government and Bayero was instead installed as his successor.

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was also exiled to Awe, an agrarian community in Nasarawa State on the orders of Ganduje.

In the 2023 elections, Ganduje failed to produce a successor as the New Nigeria People’s Party, popularized by former Kano governor Rabiu Kwankwanso, swept almost all elective offices in the state.

In a bid to reinstate Sanusi, the NNPP-controlled state House of Assembly passed the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill, 2024, which replaced the State Emirates Council Law of Kano 2019.

The law dissolved the state’s five emirate councils: Bichi, Karaye, Gaya, Rano; including Kano, created by Ganduje.

Speaking while returning an elated Sanusi to the throne, Governor Yusuf said: “By the powers conferred on me by the Kano Emirate Council Act 1984 and 2024, and supported by the recommendation of the kingmakers, I have the singular pleasure to confirm the re-election. of Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano and head of the Kano Emirate Council.”

But two days after his deposition, Bayero returned to the state and has since stayed in the Nassarawa mini-palace.

The situation precipitated a protest by Bayero supporters in parts of the state on Sunday, but the state government downplayed the incident and also justified the reinstatement of Sanusi which it said followed due process.

Bayero stays

However, Bayero has continued to remain in the Nassarawa mini-palace in defiance of the court order evicting him.

Justice Amobeda made his interim order in an ex parte application in suit number FHC/KN//CS/190/2024.

The order read: “An ORDER of interim injunctive relief restraining the Respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, toilets or any other person or authority, from inviting, arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant, conduct raids, moderate or visit the Applicant for the purpose of arresting or infringing its right or otherwise infringing or attempting to infringe the Applicant’s rights pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Motion.

”An order restraining the third, fourth and fifth respondents and all other respondents from denying the applicant the use of his official residence and palace in the Emir’s Palace, Kofar Kudu, as well as the enjoyment of all rights and privileges which corresponds to him by virtue of being Emir of Kano State, and to evict anyone residing illegally within the palace pending the hearing and determination of the original summons.”

The judge also prevented security agencies from detaining Bayero pending the determination of the lawsuit he filed.

The matter was adjourned to June 4 for hearing.

Meanwhile, Bayero has continued to defy a Kano State High Court order that restrained him and four others from parading themselves as emirs.

One of our correspondents who visited the Nassarawa mini-palace reported that security has been beefed up at the site as a combined team of the army, police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps are still guarding the palace.

All four roads leading to the palace were observed to be blocked and movement of people and vehicles was also restricted.

Only people who had genuine reasons to travel the roads were allowed through.

A Bayero supporter, who refused to reveal his name, told The PUNCH that “Aminu is still in the palace receiving visitors and other supporters.”

When asked about the execution of Bayero’s eviction order from the palace, Kano State Commissioner of Police, Usaini Gumel, said the police were part of the respondents.

Look at the list of first responders from 1 to 8 in the order, the police commissioner is not included,” he said in a text message.

Lawyer warns

Speaking on the situation in Kano, Kennedy Khanoba, an Abuja-based lawyer, called on the Federal Government to maintain faith in the rule of law.

Speaking to The PUNCH on Tuesday, Khanoba, senior partner of Khanoba Khanoba Chambers, urged President Bola Tinubu to allow the law to take its course, adding that as it stands now, the law is on the side of the state governor.

“The federal government has no choice but to stand on the side of the law. As things stand now, the law is on the side of the state governor. Yes, a Federal High Court in Kano had issued an order restraining the Kano State Government from enforcing the Kano State Emirate Council Repeal Act, but a Kano High Court ordered the deposed Emir to vacate the mini-palace of Nassarawa that it currently occupies.

“In law, when there are two court rulings, the latter ruling prevails over the first. Therefore, we hope that the federal government does not get involved in this matter at the altar of political solidarity. This is purely a question of law,” he stated.

For his part, Joe Okei-Odumakin, good governance advocate and founder of Women Arise, urged the government to prioritize peace in the ancient city above political considerations.

He noted: “The government, particularly the federal government, must understand that the peaceful coexistence of the citizens of Kano is more important than any political interest fueling the situation.

“All involved must understand the need to respect the rule of law and allow the court, where necessary, to determine the legitimacy or otherwise of those claiming the leadership of Kano Emirate, which is the reason for the tense security situation.

“Security agencies must also avoid being used by politicians who are involved in this in one way or another, and ensure that the protection of lives and properties of innocent citizens remains guaranteed.”

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center executive director Auwal Rafsanjani warned against the possible breakdown of law and order if the dispute over the emir is not addressed responsibly.

Rafsanjani stated that the fight for superiority between Bayero and Sanusi is seen “as a reckless and unnecessary provocation that could dismantle more than 1,000 years of Kano political heritage.”

He added: “CISLAC notes with alarm that the court ruling relied upon by security agents facilitated the controversial return of Emir Aminu Bayero. This ruling was issued by a judge who is currently out of the country and not in office.

“This situation raises significant concerns about the legitimacy and appropriateness of the court order. The use of an “irregular court order” to justify the invasion of Kano State by the police and other security agents is deeply worrying and exacerbates tensions.

“The attempt to usurp this power and push the State into a state of anarchy is unacceptable,” he stated, adding that CISLAC firmly believes that the autonomy of the Kano State Government must be respected in the management of its traditional institutions to avoid further conflicts. .

Rafsanjani urged the President to resist any attempt by desperate politicians to disturb the peace and harmony currently prevailing in Kano State, saying: “The federal government must not allow itself to be used as a tool to promote political interests that endanger the stability of the state. and region.”

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