Nigeria: Kano Emirates Controversy - Court Gives Ganduje Condition Before Acting On New Law

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10 December 2019

A High Court in Kano on Tuesday granted an interim injunction to stop the Kano State Government from taking any action on the Kano emirates controversy without consulting some allies of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje last week signed a new law approving the creation of four new emirates and the appointment of first-class emirs for each of them. The law also establishes the council of chiefs.

Many observers believe the governor took the action to whittle down the power and influence of Mr Sanusi, who hitherto was the only first-class emir in Kano.

A similar law passed earlier by the Kano parliament at the behest of Mr Ganduje was recently invalidated by the court which said the due process was not followed.

A new law was presented to the parliament and passed into law within three days last week.

Sanusi's poisoned chalice

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Ganduje controversially appointed Mr Sanusi as the head of the council of chiefs, while the four newly appointed emirs are members.

The governor also ordered Mr Sanusi to call a meeting of the council of chiefs.

Many believe the governor's appointment of Mr Sanusi as head of the council of chiefs was a poisoned chalice as Mr Sanusi was opposed to the creation of the new emirates. Also, the governor's directive that the Kano emir calls a meeting of the council of chiefs was seen as a prelude to possible disciplinary actions against Mr Sanusi should he refuse to call such a meeting.

The Court Order

Perhaps to stop Governor Ganduje from moving against Mr Sanusi or acting on the new law, some Kano kingmakers loyal to the emir filed an 'ex-parte' motion at the Kano High Court.

Justice Ahmed Badamosi granted the interim order requested by the kingmakers while the main suit continues.

The judge ruled that Mr Ganduje should not take any action under the new 'Kano States Emirates Council Law, 2019' without consulting with the plaintiffs.

"That an order of interim injunction, is hereby made restraining the 3rd respondent, from taking away the functions and powers of the applicants under the Kano States Emirates Council Law, 2019, or taking any steps whatsoever under the Law without consultation with the applicants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice," the judge ruled.

He then adjourned the case to December 17.

The plaintiffs in the suit are four Kano kingmakers headed by the Madakin Kano, Yusuf Nabahani.

The defendants are the Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly as the first respondent, Kano State House of Assembly as the second respondent, Governor of Kano State as third respondent, Attorney General of Kano State as fourth respondent and each of the four newly appointed emirs of Rano, Karaye, Gaya and Bichi.

Efforts to speak to Abba Anwar, the media aide to Mr Ganduje, on the court order were not successful. He did not pick or return calls made to his phone.

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