Pressure mounts for Sanusi’s release

Posted by News Express | 13 March 2020 | 612 times

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• Muhammadu Sanusi II

The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Thursday instituted a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order for his release from detention and confinement.

Also, lawyers and civil society groups have continued mounting pressure on the federal and Kano State governments to allow the dethroned emir enjoy his freedom.

In a fundamental rights enforcement application filed by his lawyers led by Lateef Fagbemi, Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi and Abubakar Mahmoud, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Sanusi sought for two reliefs:  “An interim order releasing him from detention and/or confinement of the respondents and restoring the applicant’s rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria (apart from Kano State) pending the hearing and determination of the Applicant’s Originating Motion.”

Respondents in the suit include the Inspector General of Police, the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS), Attorney General of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation.

The application was brought under sections 34, 35, 40, 41 and 46 of the Nigerian Constitution, and Articles 5, 6, 10, 12(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and  Enforcement) Act Cap A9 LFN 2010 and Order IV Rules 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.

The Kano State government had on Monday, March 9, dethroned Emir Sanusi II over alleged   “total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the state governor and other lawful authorities, including his persistent refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organised by the government without any lawful justification which amount to total insubordination.”

The 14th emir of Kano was hours after his removal banished to Nasarawa State, a development that elicited outcry from different quarters. He was subsequently replaced by Aminu Ado Bayero, the son of the 13th emir of Kano.

Deposed Emir Muhammadu Sanusi’s N200m library before and after two days after the development, the Kano State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Muktar said Sanusi II was only dethroned and not banished.

The deposed emir now lives in Awe town of Nasarawa State amid tight security by federal forces including the police and operatives of DSS.

And following an allegation of complicity by the former governor of Kano State, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidency in a statement on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari has no hand in the travails of the deposed emir.

The unfolding drama climaxed yesterday with the decision of the deposed emir to drag both the federal and the Kano State governments to court.

Fight for your freedom – Joda tells Sanusi

Ahmed Joda, 90, a former permanent secretary who also served as chairman of the transition committee that ushered in the President Buhari administration in 2015 has asked Sanusi II to fight for his freedom.

In an open letter to the deposed emir, Joda said, “I suggest to you that, if you are contemplating the legal route to right the wrong that has been done to you; you should abandon the thought. The Judiciary is not the way to go in this country when you are seeking justice. For evidence you have a living example in Jokolo, the Emir of Gwandu.

“In the circumstances of the present, I suggest that you only take full advantage of the fundamental rights guaranteed to all Nigerian citizens by the constitution and only go to court to enforce those fundamental human rights.

“Even this route can be frustrating, it can serve keep unjust system in the public mind and in the peoples’ court. You must protect your right to hold and to express your views; your right to associate with others and to propagate any views that are consistent with the laws of the Federation of Nigeria,” the elder statesman said.

Also, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, yesterday faulted the deposition of Sanusi II, describing it as “innate travesty of justice.”

In a statement titled, “For whom the gates open wide,’ Soyinka stressed that the conduct of the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje was at par with “repudiated” colonial order.

According to him, it is an action “that out-feudalized feudalism itself, and is synonymous with authoritarianism of the crudest temper.” The Nobel laureate said, “The record shows, in this particular instance, that it is one that embodies modernized cronyism and alienated pomp and power – never mind the cosmetic gestures such as almajiri reformation.

 “It has proved one of the worst examples of a system that enables even the least deserving to exercise arbitrary, unmerited authority that beggars even the despotism of the most feudalistic traditional arrangements.”

While hailing the deposed emir, he said Governor Ganduje was misadvised in removing Sanusi whom he described as an “Islamic scholar, royal scion and seasoned economist,” saying days of reckoning await the governor. 

Gov Sule, Emir of Lafia visit deposed monarch

Governor Abdullahi Sule and Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Sidi Bage, on Thursday visited deposed Emir Sanusi in Awe but details of their separate meetings were not made public.

The visits by the two personalities debunked speculations on the social media, that the emir had been moved out of Awe to Lagos. It was learnt that operatives of Police Explosive Ordinances Department were also deployed to join the security operatives in the house. 

Lawyers speak on Sanusi’s detention

Some lawyers spoken to said the former Kano emir is under the custody of the federal government against his wish. I

In his view, Ali Zubairu Esq. said since the deposed emir wanted to go to Lagos but was forced to be in Awe, he is a prisoner of some sorts and every prison inmate is under the custody of the federal government.

He explained that it could be that the Emir was being hosted based on affinity between Kano and Nasarawa states, explaining that the move is more of a convention and not a law.

“Does Nasarawa have such laws that once somebody is banished the state is in a position to receive such a person, and have duty to provide for that person?” he asked.

“It is more or less from the colonial convention. Since Kano cannot make law for Nasarawa State, if there are no such laws on depositions, it means it is inter-state and therefore only the federal government would take charge,” he added.

In an interview with Channels TV, Femi Falana described the dethronement and banishment of Sanusi II, as illegal. “The dethronement, the banishment and restriction of movement and detention are all clearly illegal. According to him, the emir was dethroned without being given any opportunity to defend himself.

“As if such violation of his freedom and right to fair hearing was not enough, the governor was alleged to have ordered his arrest and banishment to Nasarawa State.

“You do not impeach a governor and decide to detain him somewhere. He has the right to move freely, he has the right to exercise all his powers”. When asked if he (Sanusi) has the legal grounds to challenge the dethronement, Falana said, “for sure”.

On his part, Hamid Ajibola Jimoh Esq., said the ex-monarch is being held by the federal government considering that it is police operatives that are providing security for him.

“The question is who ordered his detention?’ If the detention is for more than 48 hours then it is illegal. So for now, he is being held illegally,” he said. 

Deposed emir evacuates 42,000 books from Kano palace

Close associates of deposed Emir Sanusi II said they have evacuated more than 42,000 books worth about N200 million from the emir’s palace in Kano.

The Falakin Kano, Mujtaba Abubakar Abba, who recently resigned as the secretary of Kano Emirate Council, told BBC Hausa Service that the deposed emir had left behind all his horses and other royal apparels for his successor, Aminu Ado Bayero.

He said the evacuation of Sanusi’s belongings started immediately after his eviction from the palace and lasted until Wednesday.

The Falakin Kano said following his exit from the palace, Sanusi’s attention was on his books more than any other thing. “His highness is passionate about his books…

He has three libraries in the palace and 42,000 books have been catalogued. He also has a consignment of books ordered from England to Lagos which are nearly 22,000.

“He asked for only one horseback saddle because of its significance. He inherited it from Ciroman Kano (his father), and Ciroma too inherited it from his father, Sarki Khalifa who also inherited it from Sarki Abdullahi Bayero. He too inherited it from Sarki Abbas,” he said. 

SERAP takes Sanusi’s case to UN

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent “an urgent complaint to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over the alleged confinement of the dethroned emir of Kano.

SERAP said: “The arrest and continued detention of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi is an egregious violation of his human rights.

The Nigerian and Kano State authorities have violated the following rights under the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 (as amended) and international law in continuing to detain Emir Sanusi: the right to be free from arbitrary detention; the right to freedom of movement; and the right to due process of law.”

In the complaint dated 11 March, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The detention of Emir Sanusi constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of his liberty because it does not have any legal justification. The detention also does not meet minimum international standards of due process.”

The complaint was addressed to Mr. José Guevara Bermúdez Chairman/Rapporteur of the Working Group.

“SERAP respectfully requests the Working Group to initiate the procedure involving the investigation of individual cases toward reaching an opinion declaring Emir Sanusi’s detention to be arbitrary and in violation of international law.

To this end, SERAP will pursue the regular communications procedure before the Working Group in order to have the ability to provide comments on any response by the Nigerian and Kano State authorities,” the organization said. 

Stay with us forever, Awe residents beg Sanusi

Residents of Awe in Nasarawa State have described the presence of the dethroned Kano emir as a blessing, saying that it has brought the community into the limelight.

Some of them appealed to the former Central Bank Governor not to leave the Awe community, assuring him of their cooperation.  They said Sanusi’s presence in the community has boosted its security and popularity.

A cross-section of those interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria, on Thursday in Awe, headquarters of Awe Local Government Area, said that they were happy to host Sanusi.  One of them, Hajiya Fatima Kande, said the community would do everything to make Sanusi’s stay memorable. Kande said members of the community would appreciate Sanusi’s permanent stay with them.

“The people of Awe are peace-loving people and we like receiving visitors from every part of Nigeria. We are hospitable people.

“We will do everything possible within our power to make the deposed emir’s stay memorable. We hope that one day he would decide to stay with us on his own forever,” Kande said.

A resident, Malam Dauda Muhammad-Awa, said that although he was initially shocked by the sad news of the emir’s removal, he considered himself lucky living in the same community with him. (Daily Trust)




Source: News Express

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