Court Nullifies Banishment of Deposed Emir Sanusi

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  •  Awards N10m damages against Kano, DSS, police

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday nullified the banishment placed on former Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, by the Kano State Government.

Justice Chikere, in a judgment, held that the banishment breached the fundamental rights of the former emir as well as contravened provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The Kano State Government, had in March 2020, banished Sanusi to Awe, a remote community in Nasarawa State after it deposed him as the Emir of Kano.

Angered by the action of the Kano State Government, Sanusi had approached the court to nullify it being an illegality, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Others sued alongside the Kano State Government included the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Delivering judgment in the suit on Tuesday, Justice Chikere held that the restrictions placed on Sanusi after his deposition on March 9, 2020 on allegation of insubordination was a clear arbitrary violation of his right to freedom of movement and personal liberty granted by the Nigerian Constitution.

She agreed with Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), counsel to Sanusi, that his client was moved out of Kano to Abuja and later to Awe, in Nasarawa State against his wish.

The judge further held that the right to freedom of liberty and personal dignity granted under section 34 of Nigeria’s Constitution cannot be taken away as done by the Kano State Government, the police, DSS and AGF except with express order of a court of law.

The judge subsequently voided the arrest, harrassment and banishment of Sanusi to Abuja and later to Nasarawa State and set it aside on rhe grounds that it infringed on the applicant’s fundermental human rights.

Accordingly, the court awarded the sum of N10 million as damages against the Kano State Government, police and DSS.

In addition, Justice Chikere ordered the respondents to tender a public apology to Sanusi to be published in two major national dailies for the embarrassment caused him in the cause of breaching his fundamental human rights.