Illegal detention: Deposed Emir Sanusi gives 24-hour ultimatum

• Says his banishment unconstitutional

• As ex-Emir arrives in Awe

From Mustapha Adamu, Kano and Miriam Humbe, Abuja

The deposed emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll has vowed to take legal action against the Kano state government over what he described as unlawful detention after his dethronement on Monday.
The state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje removed Sanusi on grounds that the monarch does not respect authorities and Kano State Emirate Law 2019.
Immediately after his deposition, the dethroned emir was banished to Nassarawa State by security operatives, a decision that he vowed to challenge in court.
He was flown to Abuja on Monday night via a private jet and was driven first to Loko, a remote part of Nasarawa state arriving at about 3am on Tuesday.
The former Kano emir was to be later moved from Loko to another location in Awe local government of Nasarawa state due to security concerns in Loko, according to reports yesterday.
However, Sanusi’s legal team, led by Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, SAN, in a press briefing yesterday said they received instruction from the deposed emir to challenge his detention and banishment in court.
Mahmoud argued that from their view, the detention is illegal and unconstitutional, urging the government to review the decision within 24 hours or risk legal action.
“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.
“We informed the Commissioner of Police that it was illegal and violation of his constitutional rights to remove him to Nassarawa State against his wish. The Emir informed the Commissioner of Police that his friends had sent an aircraft to fly him and his family to Lagos and requested that they should be provided with necessary security to the airport so that he could leave.
“The Commissioner refused saying that was not their instruction. They were willing to allow the family to leave for Lagos but he was to be flown to Abuja then onward to be taken to Nassarawa State,” Mr Mahmoud said.
He added that “It was clear to us that both the Emir and ourselves were helpless and the police and other security agents were willing to take any measure and use force to achieve their objective. In order not to jeopardize the Emir’s safety or the safety of any member of his family or indeed other persons around, the Emir decided to cooperate and proceed in the vehicles provided by the operatives.
“We accompanied the Commissioner of Police to the Nigerian Airforce base in Kano where the Emir was put in a private aircraft and departed at about 6.40pm. The family subsequently boarded the aircraft arranged by his friends and departed for Lagos about 15 minutes later.
“Gentlemen, we have not spoken to the Emir since yesterday but we understand they are at their destination somewhere in a remote part of Nasarawa 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.
“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,” he said
“We are concerned about the personal safety and security of HH Muhammdu Sanusi II 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 guaranty his safety and security,”
He disclosed that the legal team of Mr Sanusi are working both in Kano and Abuja and unless he is released immediately, they would be taking appropriate legal action.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties, (CUPP) Spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere who addressed newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, urged the former Emir to seek redress in Court to set aside this “barbaric and obnoxious action for the good of the nation and others who may be silenced and treated like him.
“In the event of going to Court, we have set aside the sum of N3million as independent contribution to his legal team to aid the redress of this obnoxious barbaric attack on our constitutional democracy and traditional institutions by a gang of incompetent and shameless institution destroyers”.
“We will challenge, as a group dedicated to the promotion of democracy, the banishment proclamation in Court as such is barbaric and a direct plot to enslave and hunt out of existence perceived enemies of an incompetent and corrupt weakened regime that is hustling for Chinese loan to remain afloat after wasting national wealth through misappropriation and misapplication.
“Let it be made clear to Governor Ganduje and APC leaders that, Kano is not Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kenya where Miguna Miguna was banished from the country and forced into a plane and was dropped in Dubai. This is not British colonial controlled Bonny kingdom where Jaja of Opobo was deposed and exported out of his kingdom. Democracy and Constitutionality have brought a new dawn and ended the barbaric acts of yesterday”, he said.

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