Lamido Sanusi says his dethronement as Emir of Kano is unjustifiable but won’t take legal action against the Kano State Government.
The former Central Bank Governor, who has had a frosty relationship with Governor Umar Ganduje since 2017, was sent packing by the state government on Monday for “total disrespect for lawful instructions from the office of the state government”.
Specifically, the Kano State Government dethroned Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano, following an approval by the state executive council.
It also cited Sanusi’s alleged refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organised by the government without any lawful justification, which it said amount to total insubordination.
Sanusi, who said he was denied fair hearing in the process leading to his deposition, claimed his arrest order, banishment from Kano and subsequent detention in Awe, Nasarawa State, came from Abuja.
He claimed the Attorney General of Kano State, Ibrahim Muktar, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), instructed the Department of State Services and police to detain him.
Sanusi said he was harassed and rushed out of the palace without being allowed to pick up his personal belongings.
He said upon his dethronement, an unnamed friend of his sent an aircraft to Kano to convey him and his family to Lagos but that the Kano State Commissioner of Police ordered him to be flown to Abuja in another aircraft without his family members.
Sanusi stated these in the suit he filed on Thursday to challenge his detention and confinement in Awe.
The Federal High Court in Abuja where he filed the suit on Friday granted an interim order for his release.
Justice Anwuli Chikere made the interim order after lawyer for the ex-CBN chief, Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), moved an ex parte application earlier filed along with the main suit.
Fagbemi urged the court to restore the former emir’s rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria.
He applied that his client be freed from the detention and allowed to move about in Nigeria apart from Kano in the interim.
He said his client had not been charged with any criminal offence to warrant his detention.
Justice Chikere granted the application, saying, “An interim order is hereby made releasing the applicant from the detention and or confinement of the respondents and restoring the applicant’s rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, (apart from Kano State) pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s originating summons.”
The respondents to which the court order was directed are, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi; Muktar; and Malami.
Justice Chkere ordered that the order for the release of the applicant and the processes filed in the suit should be served on the respondents through any officer in their offices.
The judge adjourned till March 26 for the hearing of the main suit.
By that time, the four respondents are expected to have filed their defence.
Sanusi was first banished to Loko, a remote location in Nasarawa, before he was moved to Awe on Tuesday.
In his suit, Sanusi said he “is being subjected to inhumane treatment and discrimination of all sorts”.
He said this through his Chief of Staff (when he was emir), Da Buram Kano, who deposed to the affidavit filed in support of the suit on his behalf, said his dethronement was baseless but would not be challenging it.
The affidavit stated in part, “I verily believe the state government purportedly removed the applicant from office as the Emir Kano on March 9, 2020 without any basis or justification whatsoever and was not given any hearing on any allegation on which his removal was predicated.
“The applicant is however, not challenging his removal as Emir of Kano in this suit.”
The deponent said since Sanusi’s “forcible relocation from the Palace of the Emir of Kano to Abuja, and later Nasarawa State, he has not been able to meet or unite with his wives, children, relatives and friends and that his rights have been severely curtailed”.
He added that that before Sanusi was served his letter of dethronement, the palace was cordoned off by police and the DSS officers.
He said Sanusi informed the CP of his intention to fly with his family members on an aircraft sent to Kano by a friend, but his request was rebuffed by the police chief.
According to the aide, the CP told Sanusi that the instructions he received from Abuja was to take him to the Nigerian capital alone without his family.
Da Buram Kano said, “I know for a fact that the CP refused the applicant’s requests for protection and to carry his family with him to Lagos and stated that he had no such instructions from above, but instead directed that the applicant be flown to Abuja and then taken to Nasarawa State.