By Uche Amunike
The Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified Sanusi Lamido’s banishment from the state by the Kano State government.
The judgement, which was delivered, Tuesday, by Justice Anwuli Chikere, held that Sanusi Lamido’s banishment from Kano state after he was enthroned, was not only unconstitutional and illegal, but also a gross violation of his fundamental human rights.
This led to the court awarding damages amounting to N10m against Kano State and in the favour of the Emir Sanusi.
Recall that Sanusi was accused by the Kaduna State government of being disloyal and insubordinate in March 2020. This led to him being deposed as Emir.
Soon after that, the deposed Emir was banished to Loko village in Nasarawa state, after he was dethroned but later forcefully moved to Awe town where he was in confinement till march 2020, when the court gave the judgement that he should be granted freedom.
Even though Sanusi had accepted his fate as God’s will, he still approached the court to question the legality of his confinement in Nasarawa state.
He made a plea to the courts to restore his rights to personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria(apart from Kano State) and right to human dignity, through a suit he predicated on section 34,35,40,41 and 46 of the 1999 constitution, as amended.
Other respondents in his suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020 were the Director General of the State Security service (DSS) Inspector General of police (IGP) and Attorney General of the Federation.
In his final adoption, Sanusi’s Lawyer Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, submitted that Sanusi was not present to challenge his dethronement, but for the violation of his fundamental rights, considering the way he was treated after his deposition by the Kano State government.
The Kano state government however, has decided to head to the Appeal Court to challenge the judgement.
In reaction, the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Musa Lawan stated that they were studying the judgement to decipher their next line of action.
He stated that Lamido Sanusi’s banishment was based on the culture and tradition of the ancient city which is recognized by the law.
His words: ‘It is a tradition for years that once a King or an Emir is dethroned, he be banished. So, if I am going into that tradition, I should go into it holistically knowing that I am there to protect the tradition. If he goes to court to say he was banished and that is against his fundamental human rights, well I’m sorry to say that it means right from the word go he did not even believe in the traditional system’.
The respondents however, pleaded with the court through their respective lawyers, to strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction.
Justice Chikere however, struck out the name of the Attorney General of the Federation from the suit, with the reason that the applicant failed to establish any case against him.
In reaction to the judgment, the Kano State Attorney General, through their lawyer, Abdulsallam Salleh stated that they would study the judgment and decide on their next line of action.