Release Sanusi Or Meet Us In Court, Deposed Emir’s Legal Team Tells Security Agencies

March 10, 2020
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The Deposed Emir Muhamamdu Sanusi 11 Legal Team on Tuesday
cried out over the safety and freedom of their client.

Leader of the Team, Mr. Abubakar Balarebe Mahmoud, a former
President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) threatened to take legal action
within 24 hours if their client is not released and reunite with his family.

According to him, deposed Emir Sanusi, “is kept in
unlawful custody,” urging security agencies to without delay ensure his
immediate release and reunion with his family or be ready to meet them in
court.

According to him, 
“we call on the authorities, in particular, the Inspector General
of Police, the Director General of Department State Services and the
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to ensure the
immediate release of HH Muhammadu Sanusi 11 so that he can be reunited with his
family.

” We are concerned about the personal safety and
security of HH Muhammadu Sanusi 11 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
guarantee his safety and security.”

Mahmoud further stated that, “I thank you for coming to
our offices this afternoon for the purpose of this press briefing on behalf of
our client Muhammadu Sanusi II who was yesterday morning, the 9th day of March
2020 deposed as Emir of Kano by the Governor of Kano  State Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who claimed
to have acted on a resolution of the Kano State Executive Council.

“This action is 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 9th March, 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
querry 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  advise 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.”

He added that, “we have not spoken to the Emir since
yesterday but we understand they are at their destination somewhere in a remote
part of Nassarawa State after driving for nearly seven hours in the night and
arrived at about 2.00 am this morning. 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 Emirs 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
Nassarawa State and later to Obi also in Nassarawa State is most
unconstitutional and illegal.”

According to him, “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.”

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