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Fresh controversy as Kano State govt. resumes probe of Emir Sanusi

THE recent moves by the Kano State government to resume investigations into alleged financial impropriety by the Kano Emirate is generating controversy as many say the moves are aimed at removing the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammad Sanusi, as the Emir of Kano.

The Kano State House of Assembly has resurrected a hitherto rested financial probe of the Kano Emirate, a move which many said is aimed at dethroning Sanusi.

Reports say the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission wrote to some officials in the Kano Emirate inviting them to appear before it to offer explanations into the Emir’s spending between 2013 to 2019.

Those invited include Mohammad Kwaru, the accountant of the Kano Emirate council; Mannir Sanusi, chief of staff to the Emir; Isa Sanusi, former principal private secretary to the Emir; and Mujittaba Falakin Kano, private secretary to the Emir. They are expected to appear before the commission on Thursday, May 9, by 12 p.m, Premium Times reports.

The letter indicated the commission invited the aforementioned staff for an alleged violation of section 26 of its enabling law in the management of emirate’s funds.

It also stated that the invitation was based on the power conferred to it under “Section 9 and 15 of Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended).”

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi.

Similarly, a bill has been introduced in the House of Assembly for the creation of an additional four emirates in Kano State namely, Karaye, Bichi, Rano and Gaya emirates.

Many say this move is a kind of plan ‘B’ for the state government in the event that the move to remove Sanusi fails.

In a report on Tuesday, TheCable quoted an unnamed Kano State government official as saying that “the governor is determined to remove the emir, and if this does not succeed, he will break the emirate into pieces to whittle down Sanusi’s power”.

Sanusi had been quite vocal in issues of girl-child education, gender equality and population control, earning himself criticisms from some of the Northern elites who felt he was unnecessarily attacking the region.

Between April and May 2017, the Kano State Assembly, as well as the state’s Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission, began a probe into Sanusi’s spendings as the Emir of Kano; but both institutions denied the investigations were politically motivated.

However, the probe was dropped after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, reportedly intervened.

Why the investigation was resurrected

The resumed efforts at probing Sanusi, many say, may be connected to the recently held governorship election in Kano State which Governor Ganduje won, albeit very narrowly.

It is believed that Sanusi worked against Ganduje’s re-election, a hypothesis that was supported by the fact that the governor lost the Kano municipal local government area during the election, hence the rumours that both men had fallen out again.

Ganduje’s opponent in the guber election was Abba Kabiru Yusuf, a son-in-law to the former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwanso.

It was Kankwanso that appointed Sanusi as Emir in 2014; Ganduje was the deputy governor at the time, but he and Kwankwanso have since parted ways.

What Nigerians are saying

On social media, many have criticised the alleged move to oust Sanusi from office, saying that the leaders of the state must not allow politics to be used to ridicule the age-long tradition of the people.

The Kano emirate is bigger than Ganduje and his political ambition and even bigger than Emir Sanusi as an individual. Dividing the Kano emirate is no less a revenge on Emir Sanusi than it is a collective insult on Kano’s history, tradition and heritage,” tweets one @ayshamudi who was also quoting another writer named Ahmad Hussain.

Another Twitter user, Ibrahim Abdullahi Aliyu, wrote: “What Ganduje is doing is degrading the greatness of Kano and Kanawa, we only know one Sarkin Yanka in Kano and it’ll still be same.”

Others, like Shehu Shyman, believes that Sanusi is “too good to be chained in as an Emir”. Shyman described Sanusi as a national asset who is even qualified to be president. This idea was also supported by another user whose name simply read ‘Lanre Lot.

However, there are some who believe that there was nothing wrong in creating other emirates in Kano State. “Kano is big enough to have more than one Emir,” tweeted one @muhee_alee.

Similarly, Badamosi Ayuba, a Twitter user wrote: “Considering the fact that Kano is the largest state in Nigeria, I believe is a good and welcome Development.”

Bashir Ahmad, a Kano citizen and the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, asked a question via his Twitter handle on whether the move to break up the Kano emirate was a good one; majority of the persons who responded said it was not and that the move was politically motivated, though there were a handful of people who supported Ganduje.

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