On Thursday, May 23, 2024, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former Emir of Kano, was reappointed as the Emir of Kano, four years after being deposed by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. This decision follows the Kano State House of Assembly’s repeal of the 2019 law that created four additional emirates and led to Sanusi’s removal in March 2020.

The kingmakers formally selected Sanusi as the sole Emir of Kano at the Government House on Thursday, after sitting Governor Abba Yusuf signed the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law, dissolving the five emirates created under the previous administration.

The four emirs appointed by Ganduje are expected to vacate their seats within 48 hours and submit all properties to the commissioner of local governments. Sanusi has been officially reinstated as the Emir as at Friday, May 24, 2024.

Why was Sanusi taken off the Emir seat in 2020? 

Lamido Sanusi was sacked after six years as Emir of Kano in March 2020 by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. The official reason given for his removal was “total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the State Governor and other lawful authorities, including his persistent refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organised by the government without any lawful justification, which amount to total insubordination.”  

Ganduje later claimed that Sanusi’s removal was because he broke the law and it was a calculated move to save the system and culture.

Sanusi’s outspokenness against some state policies, and his political beef with Ganduje, was believed to be a factor in his removal. His criticism of the government for taking a foreign loan to build a railway was said to have upset Ganduje.

Sanusi challenged his removal as Emir and the state government’s allegations in court but failed. He also challenged the creation of the new Emirates following his deposition, but the court did not rule in his favour.

Why does Lamido Sanusi’s appointment as Emir of Kano matter? 

The reinstatement of Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano, with the official name, Muhammadu Sanusi II, holds significant political and historical importance.

Sanusi’s removal in 2020 was widely criticised as a political move by Ganduje. His reinstatement by Yusuf is seen as a restoration of justice.

The Kano Emirate has a long history, dating back over 1,000 years. Splitting it into multiple emirates in 2019 was compared to a similar controversial emirate split by Governor Abubakar Rimi in the late 1970s, which was later reversed. 

His reinstatement suggests a shift in the relationship between the emirate and the state government under the new administration.

How did the Emirate officials react to this?

The reinstallment was met with mixed reactions, one of which included a lawsuit and court order restricting his reinstallment. 

Alhaji Aminu Babba Dan Agundi, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba of the Kano Emirate, filed the application at the Federal High Court in Kano and the court has issued an order stopping the Kano State Government from enforcing the Kano State Emirate Council Repeal Law. Justice Mohammed Liman granted this order on Thursday, May 23, 2024. 

What does this imply? 

The lawsuit which was presented as a fundamental rights case is directed at the Kano State Government, the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Attorney-General, the Commissioner of Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the State Security Service.

The judge ruled, “That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into law pending the hearing of the fundamental rights application.

“That in view of the constitutional and jurisdictional issues apparent on the face of the application, parties shall address the court at the hearing of the fundamental rights application which is fixed for the 3rd of June 2024.

“That in order to maintain the peace and security of the state, an interim injunction of this Honourable Court is granted restraining the fifth to eight respondents (CP, IGP, NSCDC and DSS) from enforcing, executing, implementing and operationalising the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law.

“That parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante the passage and assent of the bill into law pending the hearing of the Fundamental Rights application.

“That this case is adjourned to the 3rd day of June 2024, for hearing of the fundamental rights application.” 

“Status quo ante” refers to previously existing state of affairs. This means that the repealed law, known as the Kano State Emirs (Appointment and Deposition) Law, which had created Rano, Karaye, Gaya and Bichi Emirates in addition to Kano, and also deposed Lamido Sanusi, are still in order.

The High court order contradicts the validity of Sanusi’s appointment as sole Emir of Kano, however the state government has officially installed him. It is unclear what will happen next.

Public Response

The new Emir has garnered a number of supporters on social media who believe that he is a good man deserving of his post after his initial sack. However, several individuals believe that he may soon be dethroned again if the next political administration does not like him.

Catch up with: Emir Sanusi Banished. Ado Bayero Crowned. Here’s What’s Happening In Kano State.



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