The deposed Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has instructed his team of lawyers to challenge his detention and banishment to Nasarawa State.
Addressing a press conference on behalf of Sanusi, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud said the banishment and detention is inconsistence with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom.
He also gave an insight into the drama that surrounded his removal and the refusal to grant his request to relocate to Lagos
“The Emir informed the Commissioner of Police that his friends had sent an aircraft to fly him and his family to Lagos and requested that they should be provided with necessary security to the airport so that he could leave.
The Commissioner refused saying that was not their instruction.
They were willing to allow the family to leave for Lagos but he was to be flown to Abuja then onwards taken to Nasarawa State.
It was clear to us that both the Emir and ourselves were helpless and the police and other security agents were willing to take any measure and use force to achieve their objective.
In order not to jeopardize the Emir’s safety or the safety of any member of his family or indeed other persons around, the Emir decided to cooperate and proceed in the vehicles provided by the operatives.
We accompanied the Commissioner of Police to the Nigerian Airforce base in Kano where the Emir was put on a private aircraft and departed at about 6.40pm.
The family subsequently boarded the aircraft arranged by his friends and departed for Lagos about 15 minutes later.”
“The archaic practice of banishment of deposed Emirs, a colonial practice has no basis under Nigerian law or the Constitution. We are totally perplexed at the resort to this practice in present day Nigeria by its political leaders.
The illegality of this practice was pronounced by the Nigerian Court of Appeal in Attorney General Kebbi State v. HRH Alhaji Al Mustapha Jakolo and ors 2013 LPELR 22349/CA where the Court pronounced it as illegal and unconstitutional and gross violation of the rights of the Emir. This is what the court said in that case:
” The banishment and deportation from Kebbi State by the Governor of Kebbi State….of the first respondent to Lafia in Nassarawa State and later to Obi also in Nassarawa State is most unconstitutional and illegal’
“We call on the authorities, in particular the Inspector General, the Director General of Department State Services and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to ensure the immediate release of HH Muhammadu Sanusi II so that he can be reunited with his family”
“We are concerned about the personal safety and security of HH Muhammdu Sanusi II and wish to call on all well meaning Nigerians and the International Community to bring their influence to bear to ensure that HH Muhammadu Sanusi regains his liberty immediately and to guaranty his safety and security”
“The legal team of HH are working both in Kano and Abuja and unless he is released immediately, we will be taking appropriate legal action”
“According to instructions we received from the Emir through his Chief of Staff, we are directed to take legal action to challenge the legality of the Emirs detention and banishment. We are of the firm view that this action is illegal and unconstitutional. Section 35 of our constitution guarantees every citizen the right to personal liberty. The basis of the denial of personal liberty are set out clearly in this Section of the Constitution. None applies to the case of the Emir”
Also speaking in the deposition, Mr Mahmoud the act was carried out illegally but added that it is left to the deposed Emir to decide next line of Action in thus regard
“This action is our view is illegal and unconstitutional. The Kano State Emirate Council Law which was recently enacted by the Government of Kano State does not give the State Executive Council or the Governor of Kano State the powers to unilaterally remove the emir.
The reason given in the letter of deposition of the Emir dated 9th March, 2020, was alleged ‘disrespect to lawful instructions from the authorities’.
The Emir was also alleged to have ‘refused to attend official programmes and meetings organized by the Government’, As far as we are aware, there has not been any notice of such disrespect ever given to the Emir or querry issued to him for refusal to attend official functions. He was never given any opportunity to defend himself against those charges. Section 13 of the Kano Emirates Council Law 2019 cited in the letter of deposition empowers the Governor to depose an Emir only after due inquiry and in consultation with State Council of Chiefs.
We are not aware of such due inquiry nor are we aware that the Kano State Council of Chiefs was at any time summoned to any meeting much less discuss the removal of the Emir or give any advise to the Governor on the deposition. Muhammadu Sanusi II was the Chairman of the Council and if such meeting was summoned, he would have been aware. He would have informed us.
In our view the action was patently illegal and unconstitutional and a clear abuse of power.
Be that as it may, the decision to challenge the removal is solely that of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II. At this moment no such instruction has been given to us.”