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Ganduje challenges court’s jurisdiction over Sanusi’s alleged sale of emirate’s property

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
19 March 2020   |   3:35 am
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has filed a fresh application before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has filed a fresh application before Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case involving the deposed emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II, and his alleged illegal sale of emirate property.

Sanusi had secured an interim injunction granted by Justice Allagoa on March 6, 2020, restraining Kano government from investigating him over alleged land racketeering, pending the determination of the originating motion fixed for yesterday.

When the case came up for hearing, Ganduje’s counsel, who is Kano Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ashiru Hashim, brought to the court a fresh application bordering on the powers of a federal high court to dispense on a state agency.

But counsel to the dethroned emir, Nasiru Dangiri (SAN), countered that the court possessed required constitutional powers to hear and determine all matters brought before it.

Dangiri cited section 272 of the constitution, which gives a federal high court power to dispense upon matters over the lower courts.

Sanusi lawyer equally referred the court to its last judgement on the same subject.

However, Justice Allagoa has fixed March 23, 2020, for ruling on the application on jurisdiction and continuation on hearing of the substantive motion.

Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission had opened fresh investigation on the illegal sale of land running into N2.6 billion and Sanusi was fingered.

Before Sanusi was dethroned as emir, the commission had summoned him to appear before it on March 9, 2020, to clear himself on the allegation.

Chairman of the commission, Muhuyi Magaji, during one of the press briefings, told journalists that the commission was entering a new investigation brought forward by a whistleblower on December 29, 2019, and declared that the land case has no relation with the N2.3 billion misappropriation investigation.

“Preliminary findings suggest that a company, Country Wide House Limited, served as a corporate vehicle to allegedly launder over N2 billion being proceeds of several hectares of land in Darmanawa phases I and II and Bubbugaji, under the former right of occupancy CON-RESS 2016-503 illegally sold to Messer Family Home Fund Limited at the alleged instance of His Highness, the Emir of Kano,” he said.

Although in suit No. K/208/2019, Dikko & Mahmoud challenged the powers of the commission to initiate criminal complaints, the commission had drawn the attention of the court to an appeal which was affirmed by the Kano high court judgement which settled the powers of the commission to investigate allegations of corruption against any person in the state.

But Justice Allagoa instructed the commission, Kano Commissioner for Justice and Governor Ganduje to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive motion.