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Ruling on Kano emirate crisis strange, confusing – Prof Yadudu

Renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, has described the ruling on Kano emirate crisis as “strange and baffling”. Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman of a Federal…

Renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, has described the ruling on Kano emirate crisis as “strange and baffling”.

Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman of a Federal High Court in Kano had, on Thursday, ruled on the suits filed before him over the Kano Emirate crisis.

A kingmaker in the former Kano emirate, Aminu Babba Danagundi, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba, had challenged the propriety of the repealed Kano Council Law which Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf used to depose the 15th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, and reversed the status of the emirs of Bichi, Rano, Gaya, and Karaye emirates to that of district heads, following the collapse of their emirates into Kano Emirate.

Based on the law, the governor had also re-appointed the 14th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, as the 16th Emir of Kano.

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Danagundi had asked the court, through his counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), to declare the law null and void.

While the court declared the actions taken by the governor as “null and void”, it stated, however, that its ruling did not affect the validity of the Kano Emirates Council (Repeal) Bill 2024, which was passed by the Kano State House of Assembly.

The development had dashed hopes that the simmering disagreement over the most appropriate claimant to the throne of the Emir of Kano would end.

Reacting to the issue in an interview with Daily Trust, the erudite Professor said the development was not helpful for the judicial process, stressing that the judge assuming jurisdiction on the fundamental human rights aspect and refusing the same on the validity of the substance of the case -the Kano emirates law- has “muddled up the case, and it is very unbecoming of a judge who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal”.

Yadudu clarified that while he was not accusing the judge of any impropriety, the pronouncements were unbecoming.

“How can you say the actions taken in pursuant of a law are set aside, and then say you are not delving into the validity of the said law?” he queried.

Prof. Yadudu said further that the judge had more or less held that he lacked jurisdiction on the issue by transferring the case to another judge, but still went ahead to set aside the governor’s actions.

He said that the ex-parte order should no longer be of any currency because it is being challenged at the Appeal Court, and the judge himself admitted knowledge of this by granting a stay of proceedings and also deciding not to grant an order to nullify the law.

“All these are avoidable. It is not helpful for the judicial process. It is strange and doesn’t speak well of the judge. The question of whether the governor’s actions came before and after the exparte order is a question of fact or evidence. It seems from the record that the order came after.”

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