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Ganduje challenges Tofa, 20 others’ suit to quash new emirate law

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Kano State Government yesterday filed a fresh application challenging the jurisdiction of the Kano High Court to entertain the suit filed by Kano Concern Elders against the creation of new emirates.

In the preliminary objection filed by its Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Muktar, before the Chief Judge of Kano State, Justice Nura Sagir, the government also insisted that the Kano elders lacked credence to represent 20 million residents of the state.

The Kano State government insisted that only the attorney-general is entrusted under the law to institute suit of public interest litigation being undertaken by the Kano elders.

“We have filed a counter-affidavit and notice of preliminary objection against the plaintiffs/applicants who are challenging the government and state assembly’s power to establish new emirates. In our responses, we have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the governor possesses the executive powers to send a bill and sign a bill into law after due passage by the House of Assembly.

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“We also make it clear in our responses that the state Assembly equally has the power, as enshrined in the Constitution, to formulate law, which they essentially demonstrated in the passage of Kano Emirate Council Law, 2019. Before then, we filed preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the Kano elders who claimed to represent Kano people. We said no, 21 people cannot claim to represent over 20 million Kano residents, but rather, it is in their own selfish interest,” attorney-general said.

The Kano Concern Elders, under the leadership of defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) presidential candidate, Bashir Tofa; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Umar Ghali Na’Abba and 19 others, are challenging the enactment of the new Kano Emirate Council Law, 2019.

Part of the plaintiffs’ prayers include interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from given effect or further effect to the purported Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

They also demanded order restraining the five emirs from convening a council of chiefs’ meeting pursuant to the purported Kano State Emirate Council Law, 2019 pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The elders are equally seeking interlocutory injunction restraining the government from given recognition, funding, instruction to the new emirates and also restraining the new emirs from parading themselves as first class chiefs pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Meanwhile, counsel to the Kano elders, A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), lamented an orchestrated plot by the government to frustrate the case.

Mahmoud, who told the court that he only received the response of the defendants at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday, regretted what he considered an align to the law practice, claiming that the attitude of the government lawyers was not only a professional misconduct, but also amounts to attempt to bridge the hearing.

Justice Sagir, however, adjourned the case to January 27, 2020 for hearing of all applications.


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