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Court declares Sanusi’s banishment unlawful

By Murtala Adewale, Ahmad Muhammad (Kano) and Ameh Ochojila (Abuja)
01 December 2021   |   3:07 am
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

[FILES] Muhammadu Sanusi II PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Orders respondents to apologise to deposed emir, pay him N10m damages
• Kano govt condemns ruling on congress, Sanusi’s banishment, compensation

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 in Nasarawa State.

The court held that the restriction placed on Sanusi after his deposition on March 9, 2020, on the allegation of insubordination, was a clear violation of his right to freedom of movement and personal liberty granted by the 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 order.

The court also said that the movement of the applicant (Sanusi) from Kano to Abuja and Awe 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 could not 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 a valid court order was clearly a violation of his rights, unconstitutional and a breach of his personal liberty.

Justice Chikere, who subsequently voided the arrest, harassment and banishment of Sanusi and set it aside on the ground of being an infringement on his fundamental human rights, awarded N10 million 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.

IN another development, Justice Hamza Mu’azu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, nullified the All Progressives Congress (APC) ward congress that produced Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s anointed candidates.

Consequently, the court upheld the outcome of the parallel congress that produced 17,908 candidates loyal to the factional leader of the party and the senator representing Kano Central, Ibrahim Shekarau, as duly elected and ward leadership of the party.

BUT reacting to the judgment, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ahmed Lawan, has said the court has no jurisdiction to nullify the congress.

Lawan, while addressing journalists on the development at the Government House, said that government would challenge the jurisdiction and entire ruling of the FCT High Court.

Also, on the declaration compelling Kano State government to apologise to Sanusi for his banishment and award of N10 million compensation, the attorney-general contended that government would take critical cognisance of the judgment and act appropriately.

He, however, insisted that the government acted in full complement and compliance with the traditional institution of Kano State.