Court nullifies Sanusi’s reinstatement as Kano Emir

A combo of Emir Muhamnmadu Sanusi II (L) and Emir Ado Bayero (R)

Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court, Kano, has set aside the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of the prestigious Kano Emirate.

Though the judge, on Thursday, refused the application to declare the amended Kano Emirate law null and void, he overturned all the actions taken by Governor Abba Yusuf after the controversial law was amended by the Kano State House of Assembly on May 23, 2024.

Justice Liman faulted the governor’s assent to the bill and the presentation of an appointment letter to Emir Sanusi on May 24, 2024 despite an order of court directing all parties to maintain status quo.

The judge said he listened to the statement of governor in the media after assenting to the law, and he was convinced that the respondents (the governor and Kano State House of Assembly) were aware of the order of maintaining status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motions on notice in the court.

Justice Liman said the mess in the state could have been presented if the respondents complied with the court order, which would still have allowed them to carry out their assignments.

The politics of the ancient and prestigious Emirate of Kano has thrown up some controversial twists and turns in the last ten years. While not as dramatic and shocking as the popular American fantasy drama series, ‘Game of Thrones’, its latest twist is the stuff of a movie script where either a centuries-old tradition or politics wins.

Two royal families have been in a supremacy battle in the ancient city: the Bayero and the Sanusi families. Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II beat Aminu Ado Bayero to succeed the latter’s father, Emir Ado Bayero, in 2014.

Three months shy of six years later, he would be deposed for his predecessor’s son, Aminu Ado Bayero, amid a fallout with the state governor at the time, Abdullahi Ganduje.

Four years and a change of administration later, Governor Yusuf re-appointed Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as Kano Emir after the state Assembly amended a controversial law that broke the emirate into five.

However, a kingmaker in one of the former emirates Aminu Babba Danagundi, challenged the propriety of the law and asked the court to declare the repealed law null and void.