Kano Emirate: Bayero Stays As Courts Give Conflicting Orders On Sanusi

Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero

There was confusion in Kano on Tuesday following two conflicting court orders concerning the tussle over the Kano Emirate throne between Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II and Aminu Ado Bayero, the deposed emir.

While Justice S. Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Kano, ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Hussain Gumel, to ensure that all rights and privileges of an Emir were given Ado Bayero, Justice Justice Amina Aliyu of the Kano State High Court restrained the police, the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army from evicting Muhammadu Sanusi II, the reinstated Emir of Kano, from the palace.

Amid the conflicting ruling on Tuesday, Bayero shunned the order of the state high court, which on Monday directed the police to evict him from the mini palace in the Nasarawa area of the state.

Rather than evicting Bayero, the police and the army beefed security around the mini-palace.

The situation took a new turn later on Tuesday when Justice Aliyu restrained the police from evicting Sanusi from the main palace.

He gave the order on Tuesday in a case filed by the emir and four kingmakers of Kano.

The respondents include the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the director of DSS, the Chief of Defence Staff, and Aminu Ado Bayero.

The judge restrained the respondents from “attempting to hijack” the symbols of authority meant for the Emir of Kano pending the determination of the suit.

On Monday, the same judge issued an order restraining Bayero from parading himself as the Emir of Kano pending the determination of the suit.

The judge also restrained the four dethroned emirs of Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye from parading themselves as emirs pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicants.

Emirs’ removal

The judge gave the order after hearing an ex-parte application dated May 27, 2004, filed by Ibrahim Wangida, the counsel to the applicants-Attorney General of Kano State, Speaker House of Assembly and Kano State House of Assembly.

In his ruling on the application filed by Wangida, the judge restrained Bayero and other deposed monarchs from parading themselves as emirs in the state.

In her latest order, Justice Aliyu ruled, “That an order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the respondents either by themselves, their agents, privies, representative, and assigns from further harassing, intimidating, inviting, arresting and or invading the personal or official residence of the applicants (Gidan Rumfa), his servants and or any of the Kano emirate kingmakers of doing such acts that would be capable of interfering with the applicants’ rights generally in relation to this suit pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.’’

But two days after his deposition, Bayero returned to the state and has since stayed at the Nassarawa mini-palace.

 The situation precipitated a protest by Bayero’s supporters in parts of the state on Sunday, but the state government downplayed the incident and also justified Sanusi’s reinstatement which it said followed the due process.

Bayero stays

However, Bayero has continued to stay at the Nassarawa mini-palace in defiance of the court order evicting him.

Justice Amobeda handed down his interim order in an ex parte application in suit number FHC/KN//CS/190/2024.

The order read, “An ORDER of interim injunction restraining the Respondents either by themselves, their agents, servants, privies or any other person or authority from inviting, arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant, raiding, tempering with or visiting the Applicant’s in order to arrest or infringe on his right or in any other way infringe or attempt to infringe the Applicant’s rights pending the hearing and determination of the Originating Motion.

‘’An order restraining the 3rd, 4th, and 5th respondents and all other respondents from denying the applicant to use his official residence and palace at the Emir’s Palace, Kofar Kudu, as well as enjoyment of all rights and privileges accrued to him by virtue of being Emir of Kano State, and to evicting anybody residing within the palace illegally pending the hearing and the determination of the originating summons.’’

The judge also restrained the security agencies from arresting Bayero pending the determination of the suit he filed.

The matter was adjourned until June 4 for a hearing.

Meanwhile, Bayero has continued to defy a Kano State High Court order which restrained him and four others from parading themselves as emirs.

One of our correspondents who visited the Nassarawa mini-palace reported that security had been beefed up at the place as a combined team of the army, police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps are still guarding the palace.

It was observed that the four roads leading to the palace have been blocked while human and vehicle movement have also been restricted.

Only people who had genuine reasons to ply the roads were allowed to pass.

A supporter of Bayero, who declined to disclose his name, told The PUNCH that “Aminu is still in the palace receiving visitors as well as other well-wishers.”

When asked about the execution of the order evicting Bayero from the palace, the Kano State Police Commissioner, Usaini Gumel, said the police were part of the respondents.

Look at the responders list 1-8 in the order, Commissioner of Police is not included,’’ he said in a text message.

Lawyer warns

Speaking on the situation in Kano, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Kennedy Khanoba, called on the Federal Government to keep faith with the rule of law.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Khanoba, the lead partner of Khanoba Khanoba Chambers, urged President Bola Tinubu to allow the law to take its course, adding that as it is now, the law is on the side of the state governor.

“The Federal Government has no option but to stay on the side of the law. As it is now, the law is on the side of the state governor. Yes, a Federal High Court in Kano had issued an order stopping the Kano State Government from enforcing the Kano State Emirate Council Repeal Law but a Kano High Court has ordered the deposed emir to vacate the Nassarawa mini-palace he presently occupies.

“In law, when there are two rulings by the court, the latest ruling takes precedence over the former. So, we expect the Federal Government not to get involved in this matter on the altar of political solidarity. This is purely a matter of law,” he said.

On her part, a good governance advocate and founder of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin, urged the government to prioritise peace in the ancient city over political consideration.

She noted, “The government, particularly the Federal Government, must understand that the peaceful coexistence of the citizens of Kano is more paramount than whatever political interest is fueling the situation.

“Everyone involved must understand the need to abide by the rule of law and allow the court where necessary, to determine the legitimacy or otherwise of those laying claim, to the leadership of the Kano Emirate which is the reason for the tense security situation.

 “The security agencies must also avoid being used by politicians who are involved in one way or the other in this, and ensure that the protection of the lives and properties of the innocent citizens, remain guaranteed.”

 The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Rafsanjani, warned against the possible breakdown of law and order if the emirship tussle is not addressed with responsibility.

 Rafsanjani stated that the fight for superiority between Bayero and Sanusi is seen “As a reckless and unnecessary provocation that could dismantle over 1,000 years of Kano’s political heritage.”

 He added, “CISLAC notes with alarm that the court ruling, which security operatives are relying on facilitated the controversial return of Emir Aminu Bayero. This ruling was issued by a judge who is currently out of the country and not in office.

“This situation raises significant concerns about the legitimacy and appropriateness of the court order. The reliance on a ‘kangaroo court order’ to justify the police and other security operatives’ invasion of Kano State is deeply troubling and exacerbates tensions.

“The attempt to usurp this power and push the state into a state of anarchy is unacceptable, he said, adding that CISLAC firmly believed that the autonomy of the Kano State government in managing its traditional institutions must be respected to avoid further conflict.

Rafsanjani urged the President to resist any attempts by desperate politicians to disrupt the peace and harmony currently prevailing in Kano State, saying, “The Federal Government must not allow itself to be used as a tool to further political interests that jeopardise the stability of the state and region.”

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