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Kano emirship tussle: court fixes June 13 for ruling on jurisdiction

A Federal High Court in Kano has fixed June 13, 2024 for ruling on the issue of jurisdiction in the case of Kano emirate tussle.

In an order passed on Thursday, June 6, the court, presided by Abdullahi Liman, also issued a court order restraining the reinstatement of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.

The suit was filed by Aminu Babba Dan Agundi and Sarkin Dawaki Babba of the Kano Emirate, seeking to restrain the respondents from enforcing the repealed law that reinstated Sanusi as the Kano emir.

The applicant also sought the enshrinement of his allegedly abused fundamental human rights, arguing that the government removed him unilaterally without his consent or notification.

Dan’agundi joined the state government, the state House of Assembly and its Speaker; the Attorney-General of the state; the state Commissioner of Police; the Inspector-General of Police; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; and the State Security Service (SSS) as respondents.

Meanwhile, while passing its ruling on May 25, the court, the court granted an ex-parte order stopping the state Governor Abba Yusuf from reinstating Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of the state.

It also stopped the state from implementing the new emirate law, which saw five emirs dethroned from their seats.

With the order of the court, the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano is expected to be put on hold.

However, the state governor ignored the order of the court, alleging that the High Court Judge Mohammed Liman passed the judgment while in America. 

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There were also issues of right jurisdiction, with the state high court also restraining the police, the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army from evicting Sanusi II, from the palace.

Meanwhile, when the case resumed for a hearing on the matter of jurisdiction, the Plaintiff and Defendant Counsels engaged in intense arguments over whether the State House of Assembly has the authority to repeal a law that had already been repealed previously. 

The counsel for the applicant, Mohammadu Wazir,  contended that the “the Federal Government has jurisdiction to entertain the case, whether the Federal Government has power to file the case or not.”

He further argued that his client, the Deposed Sarkin Dawaki Babba, was denied a fair hearing before the deposition of Emir Aminu Ado Bayero, resulting in an abuse of his rights. 

According to him, the entire process that led to the reinstatement of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II was flawed and therefore should be declared invalid.



    While presenting his case, counsel to the Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, Muhamud A. Magaji, noted that the State House of Assembly has powers to amend, repeal, or even create a law that suits the state.

    He said, “The House of Assembly needs not to consult the Plaintiff when making or repealing a Law on the Emirate titles and Chieftaincy Affairs because the whole issues rest with Kano State and nothing more,”

    He also urged the court to reject the Plaintiff’s claim that it has jurisdiction to proceed with the case.

    The presiding judge, Liman, however, adjourned the case to June 13, 2024, to rule on whether or not the court has jurisdiction to continue with the case.


    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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