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Banishment: Court fixes Nov. 30 for judgement in deposed Kano Emir, Sanusi’s suit

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday fixed November 30 for judgement in a suit instituted by the deposed Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi challenging his banishment to Awe, a remote community in Nasarawa State. Sanusi was deposed after a resolution by the Kano State Executive Council on March 9, 2020 on allegations of insubordination. He was subsequently banished to Awe, where he was confined until he was released on March 13, 2020 following an interim order for his release, issued by Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The trial judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere fixed November 30 for judgment after taking final arguments from counsel representing parties in the fundamental rights enforcement suit. Respondents in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/357/2020 are the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director General of the Department State Security Service (SSS), Attorney General (AG) of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). Sanusi’s counsel, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), in his final submission told the court that the case was not a chieftaincy matter, because his client was not challenging his deposition. Mamoud submitted that his client’s complaint was about the alleged violation of his fundamental rights in relation to the manner he was shabbily treated after he was deposed.

“This is not a chieftaincy matter. The applicant (Sanusi) is not challenging the respondents’ action regarding his removal as Emir of Kano, but the way he was bundled to Abuja and banished to a remote location,” Mahmoud said. Mahmoud urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought by the ex-Emir in his suit.

Responding, counsel to the IGP, Victor Okoye argued otherwise. He faulted the competence of the suit and queried the court’s jurisdiction to hear it. Okoye, in challenging the jurisdiction of the court, noted that the instrument conveying the ex-Emir’s banishment was authored and endorsed by an official of the Kano State Government in Kano State. Counsel to the DG of the DSS, Godwin Agbadua argued in similar manner and also challenged the court’s jurisdiction. Counsel to the Attorney General of Kano State, Musa Mohammed (the Director of Civil Litigation of the state’s Ministry of Justice) equally faulted the competence of the suit and the jurisdiction of the court in Abuja to hear the case. Mohammed prayed the court to dismiss the suit.

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