The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, had wanted to relocate to Lagos State after his removal last Monday by the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, his legal team has revealed.
Sanusi was removed as Emir of Kano after being accused of insubordination by the state government.
In a statement on Tuesday, signed by Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud on behalf of the deposed emir’s legal team, government officials forced their client into the plane to begin his journey to Nasarawa against his will.
“I was at the Palace yesterday afternoon in the company of one of my colleagues to consult with the Emir,” Mahmoud said in the statement. “We met him in good spirit in company of his family and a few associates. He said to us that he was waiting for the deposition letter from the Government House and was informed that the Commissioner of Police was on his way along with certain government officials.
“While waiting, there was commotion in the private wing of the palace as some unauthorized persons tried to gain entry into the family section. This led to some scuffle and teargas were fired by the security operatives. Normalcy was restored after the unauthorized persons along with armed security operatives retreated from the inner part of the palace.
“I subsequently, along with my colleagues was able to meet with the Commissioner of Police and other security operatives and with the permission of the emir, they were led to one of his sitting rooms where the deposition letter was served on him by an agent of the State Government.
“The Emir accepted the letter and decided to acknowledge it personally after writing some Quranic Verses in the Arabic script along with his signature. This was handed over to the government official.
“In the letter of deposition, it was stated that the Emir was to be removed to Nassarawa State. We requested to know if he was under arrest and if so we needed to see the warrant.
“The Commissioner of Police informed us that he was not under arrest. 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.”
According to the lawyer, the government agents were willing willing to allow Sanusi’s family to leave for Lagos but he was to be flown to Abuja then onwards taken to Nassarawa State.
“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,” he said.
Mahmoud said though he had not spoken to the deposed emir since he departed Kano, he was told drove for nearly seven hours in the night and arrived at about 2.00 am this morning at the remove village in Nasarawa State.
“We understand the choice of location to detain HH Muhammadu Sanusi II was intended to cause maximum trauma and distress.
“This again is illegal and unconstitutional. 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 Emir’s 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,” he maintained.