Sanusi’s personal liberty must be restored

Date:

UNDER the Constitution and laws of Nigeria, state governors have wide-ranging powers to appoint, sanction and sack traditional rulers. This is a carryover from our colonial heritage which effectively put traditional rulers, irrespective of the splendors of their imperial past, under the British Crown.

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With the dawn of independence, this power was transferred to regional or state governors both during military and democratic dispensations. Governors have at various times used this power to depose the Emir of Muri, Alhaji Umar Abba Tukur in former Gongola (now in Taraba State) in 1986; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki in 1996; and the Emir of Gwandu, Kebbi State, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo in 2005, to mention a few.

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The overwhelming power of governors over traditional rulers was further illustrated in a recent public outing in Port Harcourt during which Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State superciliously dressed down errant royal fathers. The deposition of the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State aroused interest because there were pending legal issues which many legal opinions have argued should have been exhausted before such action was contemplated.

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What irks Nigerians of good conscience is the continuation of the colonial and military era practice of punitive banishment and denial of constitutional rights after deposition. This is inconsistent with the way a citizen should be treated in a democratic society which Nigeria evidently is. The deposed Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo, had successfully rendered the practice of banishing deposed traditional rulers null and void through the verdicts of the Federal High Court in Kebbi and the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal in 2013. His case and that of former Emir Sanusi are identical. The banishment should not have been executed against the former monarch. It should immediately be lifted and his full constitutional rights restored.

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He must also be allowed unfettered freedom to legally challenge his deposition. The time has come when the North and indeed, the entire country do away with many archaic practices that have not allowed the North to move in tandem with the rest of the country into the modern age.

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Sanusi had been a vocal critic of many of these practices such as the Almajiri system, continued resistance to Western education by a sizeable proportion of the population and the use of religion to perpetrate violence, intolerance, discrimination and lack of inclusion which have denied the North its fair share of development, stability, and happiness. While we hope Sanusi will remain strong and vibrant, we also urge all and sundry to allow peace and order to reign in Kano.

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Chukwuma Amaechihttp://evergreennewsonline.com
A Certified Senior Editor/Creative Writer @Evergreennewsonline Media, Graphic Designer, Chemical Engineer, & a Radical Entrepreneur

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