Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje yesterday approved the appointment of Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero as the new Emir of Kano hours after dethroning Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The dethroned emir was sent to Nasarawa State on exile.
Hours after his removal, Sanusi II was flown to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja from where he was driven to Loko in Nasarawa State.
A credible source who spoke to him said the former emir was not visibly ruffled despite the situation he found himself.
“He was very, very calm,” the source said, adding “I spoke with him…He appeared normal, he told me all is well; he said he has submitted his fate to his Creator.”
Sanusi’s lawyer A.B. Mahmud, SAN described the removal of Emir Sanusi as “an illegality.”
He told the Channels TV last night that they were studying the situation and would take necessary action after consulting the dethroned emir.
‘Sanusi aware of imminent removal as emir’
Daily Trust gathered that on Sunday night, less than 12-hours to the removal of Emir Sanusi, heavily armed security personnel were deployed to the emir’s palace in Kano city.
A source at the palace said the former emir was aware of his looming removal.
The source said: “We were sitting at the premises of the palace when we noticed movement of some belongings of the emir and when we inquired, we were told that there is the likelihood that the emir will be removed.
“But there is nothing one can do to save the situation…His highness has already removed some of his personal belongings from the palace since yesterday because he knew he would be dethroned.”
Another source said Sanusi, who lived in the palace together with his wives and children, had invested a lot of money in giving it a face-lift. “He spent stupendous amount to make the palace befitting his status. He believed that will be the place he will live until he dies,” he said.
Dons, lawyers speak
A Professor of Islamic Political Thoughts at Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano, Professor Umar Muhammad Labdo, said the dethroned Emir Sanusi II invited “the calamity to himself by openly involving himself in politics.”
Labdo, in an interview, told Daily Trust that Sanusi involved himself in politics during the last general elections. This, he said, was against the custom of the emirate.
“It is unfortunate that the emirate is being played with by politicians, but Sanusi invited this to himself. He is too vocal against the custom. Traditional rulers have ways of contributing to governance not publicly,” he added.
He also accused the dethroned emir of trying to introduce “western things” into the emirate. “He is pro-women against men. He told women to retaliate if their husbands slapped them. This is against our culture in Africa. He is too blunt; he talks without considering the feelings of his people,” he said.
Also, a former Professor of Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria who is the Director General of Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Professor Tawfiq Ladan, said the banishment of Emir Sanusi and house arrest was not the first of its kind.
“Emir Sanusi I was a victim in 1963. Same goes to Sultan Dasuki who was moved from Sokoto to Kaduna,” he said.
“It is about the power of governors to appoint and dismiss. So, the house arrest thing is done to a very popular emir to avoid public unrest,” he added.
Also, the Pro-Chancellor of Federal University of Petroleum University, Effurun, Delta State, Professor Abdullahi Shehu Zuru, said Sanusi’s restriction is not about law but the tradition of the people. He explained that Sanusi’s grandfather also suffered the same fate when he was deposed.
“If we are looking at his removal from the law, that is clearly a breach of his fundamental human right. And tradition cannot supersede fundamental human rights,” he said.
Will Kano anti-corruption agency still prosecute Sanusi?
A source at the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission confided in Daily Trust that there is every tendency that the commission would prosecute Muhammadu Sanusi II over the alleged land racketeering to the tune of N1.2bn.
The source said, “The commission has filed an application for an exparte requesting for the vacation of the one earlier issued by a Federal High Court directing the commission to maintain the status quo.
“As soon as the order is vacated, the commission will continue with its investigation and at the end of it all, it will prosecute the deposed emir,” he said. But another source countered, saying the dethronement of the emir and his banishment will lay to rest every accusation.
“His removal is the climax of the dramas the Kano elite subjected Nigerians to. There is no way they will take Sanusi back to Kano to face any prosecution, it is not possible. I think everything has ended now,” he said.