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An Abuja division of the Federal High Court has declared as unconstitutional the banishment of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the former Emir of Kano state by the Kano State government.

The presiding judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere held that the law cited by the Kano State government in banishing Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, was in conflict with the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The judge who held that the constitution of the country is supreme, awarded a N10 million fine against the respondents and ordered them to apologize publicly in two national dailies.

What the judge ruled
Justice Chikere held that the constitution of Nigeria is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void.

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She ruled that the emirate council law 2019 used by the Kano State government in banishing the former emir was in conflict with the 1999 constitution as amended.

The judge held that Mr Sanusi cannot be denied the right to freedom of liberty and personal dignity enshrined in section 34 of the Nigerian constitution except with an express order of the court as done br the defendants.

She then declared that Mr Sanusi had the right to live anywhere, including Kano State, as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution.

The judge struck out the name of the AGF from the suit on the grounds that no reasonable course of action was disclosed against him in the suit. She also restrained the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents from further harassing the former emir.

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She, therefore, awarded a N10 million fine against the defendants and ordered them to tender a public apology to Mr Sanusi published in two national dailies for the embarrassment they caused him.

What you should know

  • Mr Sanusi was the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009 to 2014.
  • He succeeded late Ado Bayero to the throne on June 8, 2014 as the Emir of Kano.
  • On March 9, 2020, Mr Lamido was dethroned by the Kano State government and banished to Awe in Nasarawa State.
  • On March 12, 2020, Mr Sanusi had approached the court through his lawyers in an ex-parte application seeking to enforce his fundamental human rights and an order for his release from confinement.
  • In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020, while Mr Sanusi is the applicant, Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Director-General of the State Security Services (SSS), the Attorney-General of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation are the1st – 4th respondents, respectively.
  • Nairametrics reported on March 13, 2020, that the federal high court ordered the release of Mr Lamido from confinement by the Kano State government.

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