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Court declares banishment of deposed emir Sanusi as unlawful, unconstitutional

By Ameh ochojila, Abuja
30 November 2021   |   2:04 pm
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, declared that the banishment of deposed Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II from Kano State was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Lamido Sanusi II leads the Eid al-Fitr prayers at Kofa Mata praying ground, to mark the end of holy month of Ramadan, in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano, July 6, 2016.REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja has declared as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, the banishment of the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to Awe, Nasarawa State.

The court held that the restrictions placed on Sanusi after his deposition on March 9, 2020, on allegations of insubordination are a clear arbitrary violation of his right to freedom of movement and personal liberty granted by the Nigerian constitution.

Justice Chikere held that Kano state law was in conflict with the constitution to have held the deposed Emir against his will without a valid court orders. The court also said that the movement of the applicant (Sanusi) from Kano to Abuja and Awa against his will was contrary to the constitution.

The judge further held that the right to freedom of liberty and personal dignity granted under Section 34 of Nigeria’s constitution cannot be taken away as done by the Kano Government, Police, Department of State Services (DSS), and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) except with express order of the court.

The judge specifically said that the movement of the applicant without valid court was clearly a violation of his rights, unconstitutional and a breach of his personal liberty.

The judge subsequently voided the arrest, harassment, and banishment of Sanusi to Abuja and later to Nasarawa State and set it aside on the ground of being an infringement of his fundamental human rights.

A sum of N 10 million was awarded to the former Emir as damages to be paid to him by the respondents.

The court also issued an order directing the respondents to tender a public apology to Sanusi to be published in two major national dailies for the embarrassment caused by him by breaching his fundamental human rights.

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