•Dethroned Sanusi speaks, links his removal to God
•Says his predicament nothing new
•Solicits support for new Emir •Loko too local for Sanusi — Emir
•How influential northerners forced Ganduje to change Sanusi’s banishment from Opanda to Loko •Uncertainty trails deposed Emir Sanusi’s whereabouts in Nasarawa
•Stop sending me condolence messages, nobody died, Sanusi’s daughter tells twitter followers •Emir of Kano, Bayero visits father’s tomb to observe prayers
The legal team of the dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, declared yesterday, that his detention and banishment by the state government would be challenged in court. This came as the dethroned emir said he took his dethronement in good faith, linking his removal to God. This is even as uncertainty, yesterday, trailed the whereabouts of Sanusi who was reportedly flown out of Government House, Lafia, in a helicopter to an unknown destination but Vanguard gathered that he was moved to a local community in Awe Local Government Area, which is about 60km from the state capital. Leader of the legal team, Abubakar Mahmud, SAN, who noted that the action of the government was illegal, said: ‘’This action in our view is illegal and unconstitutional. The Kano State Emirate Council Law which was recently enacted by the government of Kano State does not give the State Executive Council or the governor of Kano State the powers to unilaterally remove the emir. ‘’The reason given in the letter of deposition of the Emir, dated March 9, 2020, was alleged ‘disrespect to lawful instructions from the authorities’. The Emir was also alleged to have ‘refused to attend official programmes and meetings organized by the government. ‘’As far as we are aware, there has not been any notice of such disrespect ever given to the Emir or query issued to him for refusal to attend official functions. He was never given any opportunity to defend himself against those charges. ‘’Section 13 of the Kano Emirates Council Law 2019 cited in the letter of deposition empowers the governor to depose an Emir only after due inquiry and in consultation with State Council of Chiefs. ‘’We are not aware of such due inquiry nor are we aware that the Kano State Council of Chiefs was at any time summoned to any meeting much less discuss the removal of the Emir or give any advice to the governor on the deposition. ‘’Muhammadu Sanusi II was the Chairman of the Council and if such meeting was summoned, he would have been aware. He would have informed us. In our view, the action was patently illegal and unconstitutional and a clear abuse of power. ‘’Be that as it may, the decision to challenge the removal is solely that of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II. At this moment, no such instruction has been given to us. Since the deposition was announced, I was at the Palace yesterday (Monday) afternoon in the company of one of my colleagues to consult with the Emir. ‘’We met him in good spirit in company of his family and a few associates. He told us that he was waiting for the deposition letter from Government House and was informed that the Commissioner of Police was on his way along with certain government officials. ‘’While waiting, there was commotion in the private wing of the palace as some unauthorized persons tried to gain entry into the family section. This led to some scuffle and teargas were fired by the security operatives. Normalcy was restored after the unauthorized persons along with armed security operatives retreated from the inner part of the palace. I, subsequently along with my colleagues, was able to meet with the Commissioner of Police and other security operatives and with the permission of the emir, they were led to one of his sitting rooms where the deposition letter was served on him by an agent of the state government. The Letter of deposition ‘’The Emir accepted the letter and decided to acknowledge it personally after writing some Quranic Verses in the Arabic script along with his signature. This was handed over to the government official. ‘’In the letter of deposition, it was stated that the Emir was to be removed to Nasarawa State. We requested to know if he was under arrest and if so we needed to see the warrant. The Commissioner of Police informed us that he was not under arrest. ‘’We informed the Commissioner of Police that was illegal and a violation of his constitutional rights to move him to Nasarawa State against his wish. The Emir informed the Commissioner of Police that his friends had sent an aircraft to fly him and his family to Lagos and requested that they should be provided with necessary security to the airport so he could leave. ‘’The Commissioner refused, saying that was not their instruction. They were willing to allow the family to leave for Lagos but he was to be flown to Abuja, then taken to Nasarawa State. It was clear to us that both the Emir and ourselves were helpless and the police and other security agents were willing to take any measure and use force to achieve their objective. ‘’In order not to jeopardize the Emir’s safety or the safety of any member of his family or, indeed, other persons around, the Emir decided to cooperate and proceed in the vehicles provided by the operatives. The journey to Nasarawa ‘’We accompanied the Commissioner of Police to the Nigerian Airforce base in Kano where the Emir was put in a private aircraft and departed at about 6.40pm. The family subsequently boarded the aircraft arranged by his friends and departed for Lagos about 15 minutes later. ‘’Gentlemen, we have not spoken to the Emir since yesterday but we understand they are at their destination somewhere in a remote part of Nasarawa State after driving for nearly seven hours in the night and arrived at about 2.00 am this morning (yesterday). ‘’We understand the choice of location to detain HH Muhammadu Sanusi II was intended to cause maximum trauma and distress. This again is illegal and unconstitutional. According to instructions we received from the Emir through his Chief of Staff, we are directed to take legal action to challenge the legality of the Emir’s detention and banishment. ‘’We are of the firm view that this action is illegal and unconstitutional. Section 35 of our constitution guarantees every citizen the right to personal liberty. The basis of the denial of personal liberty are set out clearly in this Section of the Constitution. None applies to the case of the Emir. ‘’The archaic practice of banishment of deposed Emirs, a colonial practice, has no basis under Nigerian law or the Constitution. We are totally perplexed at the resort to this practice in present day Nigeria by its political leaders. ‘’The illegality of this practice was pronounced by the Nigerian Court of Appeal in Attorney General Kebbi State v. HRH Alhaji Al Mustapha Jakolo and ors 2013 LPELR 22349/CA where the Court pronounced it as illegal and unconstitutional and gross violation of the rights of the Emir. ‘’This is what the court said in that case: The banishment and deportation from Kebbi State by the governor of Kebbi State….of the first respondent to Lafia in Nasarawa State and later to Obi also in Nasarawa State is most unconstitutional and illegal’ ‘’We call on the authorities, in particular the Inspector General, the Director General of Department State Services and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to ensure the immediate release of HH Muhammadu Sanusi II so that he can be reunited with his family. ‘’We are concerned about the personal safety and security of HH Muhammdu Sanusi II and wish to call on all well meaning Nigerians and the International Community to bring their influence to bear to ensure that HH Muhammadu Sanusi regains his liberty immediately and to guaranty his safety and security. ‘’The legal team of HH are working both in Kano and Abuja and unless he is released immediately, we will be taking appropriate legal action.’’ My removal, will of God Meanwhile,deposed Emir Sanusi, yesterday, attributed his removal to divine act of God, saying his predicament was nothing new because only God had absolute power. Sanusi, whose reaction was contained in a video message in Hausa, said: “Power is transient, the position of Emirship is temporal. If it were permanent, I wouldn’t have ascended the throne of Emir of Kano. “Before my ascension to the throne, someone was Emir, so what happened to me should not disturb anybody. Whenever God says your time is up on the throne, if you don’t vacate peacefully, you will be forced to. “What is imperative for a leader is to complete is reign peacefully. I, therefore, thank Almighty Allah that brought my reign as Emir to a peaceful end devoid of crisis. “Greetings and salutations to the Holy Prophets of Allah, to the Islamic clerics and to my supporters all through these years. We appeal to the commune to remain calm. “Please the people of Kano, accept anyone who succeeds me as Emir, so that he will have a peaceful reign. “Almighty Allah never makes a mistake; He gives the best, so do not be worried by what happened. Whatever thing Almighty Allah willed would happen; we all hope for a good end and, therefore, May Almighty Allah help so that this episode will come to a good end. READ ALSO: Sanusi’s lawyers plan legal action over his banishment “My thanks to the Muslims who supported us through the years and to the entire people of Kano….May Almighty Allah, may Almighty Allah keep Kano peaceful,provide us with a good leader so that our land may return to us.’’ Loko too local for Sanusi — Emir However, the Emir of Loko, the remote community Sanusi was banished to in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abubakar Ahmed Sabo, said his community was too local a place for the likes of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The local chief, who spoke on VOA Hausa in an interview, yesterday, said though the deposed emir might not be staying long in his domain, the choice of a village for him to stay was not befitting of his status. “I don’t know how long he would be staying here. Only the government can say but I think he may not be staying long in our domain, “ he said. On why Nasarawa State has become so attractive to governments for deposed emirs, Alhaji Ahmed Sabo attributed that to God, and stressed that they were just prepared to give the embattled emir a befitting welcome. How Ganduje decided on Sanusi’s place of banishment Similarly, details of how Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, finally decided on where to banish the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammaed Sanusi Lamido, to in order to spend the rest of his life in exile, emerged yesterday, according to findings by Vanguard. Competent sources close to the arrangement confirmed to Vanguard that a sitting governor, a former National Security Adviser to the President of Nigeria and an influential industrialist all from the North, played crucial roles in convincing Governor Ganduje to change his mind from his initial plan to dispatch Sanusi to Opanda, a rural community in Tito Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The source said that it was the appeals of the three key northern leaders that made Ganduje to reluctantly agree to allow the deposed natural ruler to be moved to Loko, a more developed town, which is closer to the Nasarawa State capital. “As you know, Loko which shares a common boundary with the Agatu people of Benue, Igala of Kogi and other Nigerian tribes can be described as a mini-Nigeria, given its cosmopolitan nature and accommodation of many Nigerians. “By all considerations, Loko where the former Emir was banished to, is better than Opanda. It is also more comfortable and suitable for him,” the informed officials said. Uncertainty over Sanusi’s whereabouts However, uncertainty trailed the whereabouts of the dethroned Emir Sanusi who was brought to Loko town in Nasarawa Local Government on Monday but was, yesterday afternoon, brought to Government House, Lafia, in a police helicopter and later taken to an unknown destination in the state. Vanguard gathered that the dethroned Emir was taken to Awe Local Government, about 60km away from the state capital. Alhaji Abubakar Ahmed Sabo, the traditional ruler of Loko, told vanguard via a telephone interview yesterday that Sanusi who was brought to his domain, had been taken away by the authorities. “The Emir of Kano left my domain around 1:40 p.m. I don’t know where he has been taken to, they came with a helicopter and took him away. He has left,” the monarch declared. A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, maintained that Sanusi had been whisked away from Loko to another town in the state. “They took him in a helicopter and some people claimed that he has been taken to Awe. Honestly, I don’t know where he has been taken to,” the source said. We are not mourning — Sanusi’s daughter Reacting to the father’s dethronement, Emir Sanusi’s daughter, Khadijat, in her twitter handle, urged her followers on Twitter to stop sending her condolences, saying no one died. She also revealed how she had been the one consoling her friends after the dethronement of her father. Khadijat said: “Can you people please stop sending me ‘Innallillahi wa Inna ilayhir raji’un’ (from God we came, to God we shall return) and ‘my condolences’? We did not die.” Kano new Emir visits father other ancestors’ tombs Meanwhile, the newly appointed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, yesterday, visited the tomb of his late father, Ado Bayero, and other past ancestors to observe prayers for the repose of their souls. Bayero, who made his first outing as the new Emir of Kano, visited the Nasarawa royal house, located in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state where they were buried. The new Emir was in company of some district heads and other traditional title holders and other supporters who throng the street to catch a glimpse of the first class traditional ruler. Bayero and his entourage later proceeded to his mother’s residence at Gandun Albasa, a nearby community within the metropolis where he paid homage to her. A reliable source close to the new emir revealed that Ado-Bayero was expected to officially enter the Emir’s palace today. Ex-Gombe gov, Dankwambo kicks against Sanusi’s dethronement Immediate past governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo has aimed a veiled salvo at the Kano State government following the removal of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. Sanusi, the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor was on Monday dethroned and banished to a rural community in Nasarawa state after months of worsening relationship with the Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje. In a status update on his verified Facebook account yesterday, Dankwambo saluted Sanusi’s comportment and reaction to his dethronement, saying “* never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Choose to stay positive and be the strong person that Allah created you to be!” Alleged N2.2b land scam probe of Sanusi to resume —Kano anti-graft agency Following the dethronement of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II as emir of Kano, the state public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission says it would continue with it investigation over alleged N2.2 billion land scam against the deposed emir after the court order. The Commission’s Chairman, Mr. Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado on Tuesday disclosed the plans of the commission to continue with the investigation against the deposed emir.