Tension as court orders Sanusi’s eviction, Kano court halts enforcement

There is palpable fear among residents as the leadership tussle in the Kano Emirate further got shrouded in crisis of legitimacy, thus creating some moment of tension among the people of the state.

This development followed conflicting judgements as a Kano State High Court and the Federal High Court, both sitting in Kano, issued conflicting orders over who occupies the choice throne as the Emir of Kano.

Before now

Prior to the latest order, Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu had, Monday, ordered the eviction of the 15th Emir Bayero from the Nassarawa mini palace.

Granting the order which also came via a motion on notice, the court issued an interim injunction restraining Bayero and four other dethroned emirs from parading themselves as emirs, pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by applicants.

The order came amid the state government’s appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene by moving out the deposed 15th Emir of Kano from the state.

While the state High Court ordered the Nigerian Police, the State Security Service (SSS) and Nigerian military from evicting the reinstated Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II from the palace, the FHC, on the contrary, ordered the newly installed Emir to vacate or be evicted from the palace.

Sanusi, alongside the four kingmakers of Kano: Madakin Kano Yusuf Nabahani; Makaman Kano Ibrahim Sarki Abdullahi; Sarkin Bai Mansur Adnan and Sarkin Dawaki Maituta Bello Tuta, are the applicants in the suit.

The respondents are the Kano state Commissioner of Police, Inspector General of Police, the Director Department of State Security Services, the Chief of Defence Staff and the 15th Emir, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.

…Order by State High Court

 However, in a fresh development, Justice Aliyu of the Kano State High Court handed down the restraining order via a motion on notice filed by Bashir Yusuf Muhammad, counsel to all the applicants in a suit marked: Suit No. K/1019/2024.

Granting the order, Justice Aliyu also retrained the security agencies from arresting or harassing the emir and his kingmakers.

The judge held: “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.

“That an order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the Respondents from attempting to hijack, pick, commandeer, confiscate any of twin spear of authority, the Royal Hat of Dabo, the Ostrich-feathered shoes, the knife and sword of the Emir of Kano as well as symbols of authority pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That an order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the Respondents from taking further steps in connection with the matter or maintaining status quo of staying all action pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“That it is further ordered that the Respondents are restraining from interfering with the functions, duties of the 1″ Applicant as the Emir of Kano pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated 28 May, 2024.”

The motion on notice has been adjourned for hearing June 13, 2024.

…The FHC’s counter order  

 But in a counter order, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, ordered the eviction of Emir Sanusi II from Kofar Kudu Palace.

 It also ordered the Police to ensure all rights and privileges due to the 15th Fulani Emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero, be given to him.

After hearing from Bayero’s team of lawyers led by M.L Yusufari, SAN,  the Presiding Judge, Justice S. A. Amobeda, said the order was made in the interest of justice and maintenance of peace in Kano State.

The order was given in suit no FHC/KN//CS/190/2024.

It reads: “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 3″, 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 Sate and to evicting anything, anybody residing within the palace illegally pending the hearing and the determination of the originating summons.”

Hearing of the suit was adjourned to the 4th of June.

…Anxiety

The ongoing royal debacle is generating some tension among residents who feared what could be the consequence of the drama, escalated by the conflicting judgements.

A resident, who spoke under anonymity, said: “The issuance of the two court orders is really showing the mood of the people as that of apprehension and complete loss of direction with the supporters of the different camps helplessly watching the unfolding drama. 

“Why won’t we worry? There is every reason to be my brother. The conflicting judgements have clearly demonstrated that the backers of the two monarchs are in a power tussle. The order by the Kano High Court appears to have made no impact as Aminu Ado Bayero still holds sway attending to scores of eminent guests trooping to his palace to pay him homage.” 

“The Federal High Court order that Sanusi be evicted is a source of worry to us, knowing what Kano is. I just want to appeal to fellow residents not to get involved in this show of power. They are one and the same. As a non-Indigene, I must confess that my heart is already in my mouth,” said another anonymous respondent who works in a federal agency in the state.

As at the time of filing this report, even the most legal pundits were kept guessing as to where the pendulum would swing in the face of the current situation where two Emirs were still holding sway at their different palaces. 

About Kehinde Osasona, Bode Olagoke, Abuja and  Bashir Mohammed, Kano 

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