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Emirate Tussle: Army Can’t Enforce Court Order, Lawyers Tell FG

Lawyers under the aegis of the Nigerian Bar Association in Kano State have said it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to deploy soldiers to…

Lawyers under the aegis of the Nigerian Bar Association in Kano State have said it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to deploy soldiers to enforce a court order.

The NBA Kano Branch said this over the emirate tussle between the 15th Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, and the 16th Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II.

Governor Abba Yusuf had enacted the repealed Kano State Emirate Council law which consequently facilitated the reinstatement of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

The city has been gripped with fear as Sanusi is currently occupying the Gidan Dabo, main residence of the Palace, while Bayero is occupying Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate.

Reacting to the crisis, Chairman of the NBA in Kano, Sagir Suleiman Gezawa, condemned the Federal Government for interfering in the affairs of the state.

The association also cautioned the political office holders and security agencies to follow the due process, adding that the court must be obeyed to the letter over the matter.

The statement read, “The Kano Branch of the NBA is following with keen interest the development regarding the Repeal of Kano Emirate Council Law 2019.

“As a body of lawyers, we are deeply concerned about these developments in many ways including:

“It’s within the constitutional duty of a State Assembly to legislate and once passed it remains the prerogative of a Governor to assent to such Law.

“Once assented to by the Governor, it has become a Law and its implementation is to be done by state apparatus and of course enforced by a competent court of law.

“It’s further within the purview of courts to interpret such Law to be in tandem with other existing laws or the Constitution.

“In doing so, we urge our members to act responsibly in approaching courts with competent jurisdiction.

“A court order, once given is sacrosanct and must be obeyed. That is the motto of this association, ‘promoting the rule of law.’

“However, it must be noted that court has its own mechanism of enforcing its order, it’s not within the powers of the Nigerian Army to deploy troops to enforce court order. This is a sad reminder of the military dictatorship and must be condemned.

“Anyone found wanting or in disobedience of a court order (which is declaratory in nature) must first be proved to have been notified of the existence of the said court order by issuance of Form 48 and subsequently Form 49 notifying such person of the consequences of his or her actions. This is in line with the Sheriff and Civil Processes Act and Laws of the various States for enforcing court judgments.

“Engaging security apparatus without the officers of the Deputy Sherrif’s Department of the relevant court that made the order may appear to be self help which must also be condemned.

“As an association therefore, we call on all state actors, to be mindful of their oaths of office and for the security agencies, their scope of duties so as not to make mockery of our judicial system.

“They should as well be mindful of the fact that their actions may breach the security and peace of Kano State and they shall be held accountable in this life or the next.”

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