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Court halts implementation of new Kano Emirate Law allowing Sanusi’s return

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The Federal High Court in Kano has issued a restraining order against the Kano State Government, preventing the implementation of the new emirate law, which reinstated Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

Under this law, passed by the State House of Assembly and immediately assented to by Governor Abba Yusuf, four emirates in the state were dissolved, and their emirs were removed.

Governor Yusuf’s swift reinstatement of Mr. Sanusi, four years after his deposition, came after signing the bill repealing the State Emirate Council Law 2019, which initially established five emirate councils in the state.

Former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had created the four additional emirates and appointed their emirs, including the removal of Mr. Sanusi during his tenure.

Governor Yusuf justified Mr. Sanusi’s reinstatement as fulfilling a campaign promise. He noted that the new law facilitated Mr. Sanusi’s reinstatement while removing the former emirs of Kano, Gaya, Karaye, Bichi, and Rano.

In a Thursday judgment, Justice AM Liman, in suit number FHC/KN/CS/182/2024, ordered the state government and other involved parties to halt the implementation of the new emirate law until the substantive case is heard.

The lawsuit challenging the government’s decision was filed by Aminu Dan’agundi, a title holder in Kano emirate, who holds the traditional title of Sarkin Dawaki Babba (senior counsellor).

He named the state government, the state House of Assembly and its Speaker, the Attorney-General of the state, the state Commissioner of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the State Security Service (SSS) as respondents.

The court granted: “An order of interim injunction of this honourable court suspending, not giving effect to, not implementing the operation of the Kano State Emirate Council (repeal) Law, 2024 (1445 A.H.), as they affect all offices and institutions of the Emirates Council created pursuant to the provision of the Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019 (1441 A.H.).

“This Honourable Court restraining the 5th to 8th (security agencies) from enforcing, executing, implementing and operationalizing the Kano State Emirate Council (repeal) Law, 2024 (1445 A.H.)

“In the alternative to relief 3 above, an order of of interim injunction of this honourable court for the maintenance and preservation of the subject matter and or the preservation of status quo by all the parties to this suit, pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Motion before this Honourable Court as well as an AN ORDER of accelerated hearing of this matter.

“The 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th respondents are hereby directed to ensure and maintain the peace and security in the state pending the determination of this application,” the judge ruled.

The court postponed the hearing of the fundamental rights application to June 3.

Mr. Sanusi ascended to the position of Emir of Kano in 2014 under the administration of then Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, who currently leads Governor Yusuf’s New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

His coronation followed the passing of Ado Bayero, who had ruled for an extensive period.

In 2020, Mr. Sanusi was deposed over alleged insubordination to the government of then Governor Ganduje. Aminu Ado Bayero, the son of Mr. Sanusi’s predecessor, was subsequently installed as the 15th Emir of Kano, following the subdivision of the emirate into four entities, thereby ending its status as the sole emirate of the state.

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