Court stops Sanusi’s reinstatement as Kano Emir

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A Federal High Court in Kano has issued an order preventing the Kano State Government from enforcing the Kano State Emirate Council Repeal Law. Justice Mohammed Liman granted the order in response to an application by Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan Agundi, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba of the Kano Emirate.

Court documents related to the case have since circulated widely.

The Kano State House of Assembly dissolved the four newly created emirate councils on Thursday, following deliberations during a plenary session. Subsequently, Governor Abba Yusuf reappointed Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano, four years after his dethronement by former governor Umar Ganduje.

Governor Yusuf also deposed five emirs appointed by Ganduje, giving them a 48-hour deadline to vacate their official residences and palaces, and instructed them to hand over all affairs to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

In the latest legal challenge concerning the emir’s position, the respondents in the fundamental rights case include the Kano State Government, the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the State Security Service.

The court ordered that all court processes be served on the Inspector-General of Police in Abuja.

Justice Liman ruled, “Parties are hereby ordered to maintain the status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into law pending the hearing of the fundamental rights application. In view of the constitutional and jurisdictional issues apparent on the face of the application, parties shall address the court on the same at the hearing of the fundamental rights application on June 3, 2024.”

The judge further stated, “An interim injunction of this Honourable Court is granted restraining the fifth to eighth respondents (CP, IGP, NSCDC, and DSS) from enforcing, executing, implementing, and operationalising the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law.”

The term “status quo ante” refers to the previously existing state of affairs before the law’s passage and assent. The repealed law, known as the Kano State Emirs (Appointment and Deposition) Law, had established the Rano, Karaye, Gaya, and Bichi Emirates in addition to Kano. The law’s repeal means these newly created emirates have been dissolved, consolidating the Kano Emirate under a single ruler.

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