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Kano Emirate tussle lingers as courts give conflicting orders on Sanusi

The battle for the Emir’sKano Emirate throne between Muhammadu Sanusi II and Aminu Ado Bayero escalated on Tuesday due to two conflicting court orders.

Justice S. Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Kano, ordered Kayode Egbetokun, the inspector-general of police, and Hussain Gumel, the Kano State commissioner of police, to ensure that all rights and privileges of an Emir were given to Ado Bayero.

Meanwhile, 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 rulings, Bayero ignored the state high court order, which on Monday directed the police to evict him from the mini palace in the Nasarawa area of the state. Instead of evicting Bayero, the police and the army increased security around the mini-palace.

The situation took a turn later on Tuesday when Justice Aliyu restrained the police from evicting Sanusi from the main palace. The order was given in a case filed by the emir and four Kano kingmakers.

The respondents included the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the DSS director, 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.

The judge also issued an order restraining Bayero from parading himself as the Emir of Kano pending the suit’s determination. The judge also restrained the four dethroned emirs of Bichi, Rano, Gaya, and Karaye from parading themselves as emirs.

Justice Aliyu ruled to restrain the respondents from further harassing, intimidating, inviting, arresting, and invading the personal or official residence of the applicants, their servants, and any of the Kano emirate kingmakers. The order also restrained the respondents from taking further steps or maintaining the status quo pending the motion on notice’s hearing and determination. The case was adjourned to June 13.

However, in a new twist on Tuesday, Justice Amobeda of the Federal High Court ordered the Inspector-General of Police and the Kano State Commissioner of Police to ensure that all rights and privileges of an Emir were given to Bayero. The judge stated his order was made in the interest of justice and peace in Kano State.

The crisis began last Thursday when the Kano State governor, Abba Yusuf, deposed Bayero as the Emir of Kano, along with four other first-class Emirs of Rano, Bichi, Karaye, and Gaya. He reinstated Lamido Sanusi as the Emir following the repeal of the law that former Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, used to depose and exile him in 2020.

In 2020, Sanusi, the then-14th Emir of Kano, was removed for alleged insubordination to the Ganduje-led government, and Bayero was installed as his successor.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was also exiled to Awe in Nasarawa State on Ganduje’s orders.

In a bid to reinstate Sanusi, the state House of Assembly, controlled by the NNPP, passed the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024, which replaced the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019. The law dissolved all five emirate councils in the state, including those created by Ganduje.

Barely two days after Sanusi was reinstated, Bayero returned to the state and stayed at the Nassarawa mini-palace. This led to a protest by Bayero’s supporters on Sunday, but the state government downplayed the incident and justified Sanusi’s reinstatement. Bayero has continued to stay at the Nassarawa mini-palace, defying the court order evicting him.