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ANALYSIS: Who banished Sanusi to Nasarawa?

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Nazifi Dawud & Mukhtar Yahya Usman

A fresh controversy is raging following a claim by Ibrahim Mukhtar, Attorney-General of Kano state and Commissioner for Justice, that the Kano state government did not banish Muhammad Sanusi II, from Kano state after removing him as Emir of Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Mukhtar made the claim during a live programme on Channels Television on Wednesday, when he was asked if the decision of the state government to expel Mr Sanusi to Nasarawa state did not violate section 35 of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, which grants citizens the right to personal liberty.

In response, the attorney-general said:

“If you listen to the secretary to the state government when he was addressing the press on the issue of the removal of the emir from office, there was nowhere he stated that the emir was banished from Kano State.

“So, the decision of the government when the emir was removed on Monday was that he was removed from office and a new one appointed. The issue of banishment was not part of the decision of the Kano State government.

“We have been hearing from the media that he has been banished but what I know is that he was taken out of Kano State, but banishment was not part of our decision. There is no such decision, to the best of my knowledge.”

Mr Muktar later confirmed to KANO FOCUS that the Kano state government did not authorize the expulsion of Mr Sanusi to Nasarawa state but that security agents decided to take him away for security reasons.

“Section 35 of the Constitution was quoted, where it talked about right to personal liberty. People are saying we breached that law but I said you cannot claim that a law was breached without getting security report on why they took him (Sanusi) to Nasarawa.

“I said it could be for his (Sanusi’s) safety, it is a possibility because I didn’t get the report. It could be for the safety of his family or the security of people in Kano state. So, because there are exceptions in Section 35, you can detain someone and other things and he may end up being the beneficiary.

“But security agents are the ones that can explain this. So, I’m saying it is too early to say that Section 35 was breached,” he said.

‘Kano government has no powers to detain Sanusi’

Mr Mukhtar also told this newspaper that the Kano state government does not have the legal powers to order for the detention of anybody.

“Because Kano state government has no authority to order the detention of someone. That is a decision of the court. Even the federal government cannot do that. But a person can be detained by an order of court.

“So, it is not possible to say that the Kano state government ordered for the detention of the Emir. Only a court can do that and that’s what I said.

“May be, the security agents took a precautionary measure to protect the emir from people who might harm him or members of his family or to prevent breakdown of law and order in Kano state. But I’m not saying this is the case, I’m only saying it is a possibility of (why they took Sanusi away),” he explained.

The contradiction

On 9 March, 2020, Usman Alhaji, secretary to the Kano state government (SSG) announced that Muhammad Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano had been dethroned and removed from office by the state Executive Council led by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Mr Alhaji, who later released a press statement, said Mr Sanusi was removed due to reasons such as “disrespect to lawful authorities” and ‘refusal to attend programmes and meetings organized by government, which is viewed as an act of insubordination”.

Less than an hour after the formal announcement, an image of the acknowledgement letter sent to Mr Sanusi informing him of his dethronement was leaked on various social media platforms, where it soon went viral.

The first paragraph of the letter, which was signed by Mr Alhaji clearly indicated that it was the Kano state government that directed Emir Sanusi’s “removal, dethronement and relocation to Nasarawa state”.

The letter reads thus:

I wish to inform you that the Kano State Executive Council under the chairmanship of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, during its sitting on 9th March, 2020/14, Rajab, 1441 A.H has approved and directed for your immediate removal and dethronement as the Emir of Kano, and also for your relocation to Nasarawa state, which is done in line with relevant section of the Kano State Emirate Council Law of 2019. 

2. Kindly note that this decision was taken due to your general disrespect to lawful instructions from the authorities, including persistent refusal to attend programmes and meetings organized by government, which is viewed as an act of insurbordination.

3. In the light of the foregoing and having made appropriate consultations with relevant stakeholder, the decision was reached to safeguard the sanctity, culture, tradition and prestige of the Kano Emirate which was established and sustained over one thousand years ago. 

4. While assuring you that a new Emir of the Kano Emirate Council, will soon be appointed, I implore you, your subjects and surbodinates to remain calm and go about your normal businesses 

5. Accept my warmest regards and best wishes please.”

How Sanusi was taken into custody by police–Emir’s lawyers

On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, a team of lawyers to former emir Sanusi led by Abubakar Balarbe Mahmoud, addressed a news conference, in which he narrated how the Emir was informed reportedly by the Kano State Commissioner of Police Habu Sani that he was instructed to transport him to Nasarawa state.

Mr Mahmoud, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) recounted how the Police Commissioner rejected Mr Sanusi’s offer to move to Lagos state in company of his family in a private jet sent by his friends to evacuate them.

The dethroned emir’s lawyer narrated what happened thus:

Since the deposition was announced, I was at the Palace yesterday (Monday 9 March, 2020) afternoon in the company of one of my colleagues to consult with the Emir. 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 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 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 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 was illegal and violation of his constitutional rights to remove 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. They were willing to allow the 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 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.”

Mr Mahmoud then issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Mr Ganduje to release his client, the dethroned emir from “illegal detention” or face legal action.

The lawyer explained that the emir, through his chief of staff Munir Sunusi had ordered them to challenge the legality of his detention and banishment, adding that the action by the state government is illegal and unconstitutional.

He said the basis of the denial of personal liberty are set out clearly in the relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution.

“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.

“We are totally perplexed at resort to this practice in present day Nigeria by its political leaders.

“The illegality of this practice was pronounced by the Nigerian court of Appeal in Attorney-General of Kebbi state vs HRH Alhaji Mustapha Jokolo and ors 2013 where the court pronounced it illegal and unconstitutional and gross violation of the right of the emir,” Mr Mahmud said.

“We are concerned about the personal safety and security of HH Muhammdu Sanusi II and wish to call on all well-meaning Nigerians and the International Community to bring their influence to bear to ensure that HH Muhammadu Sanusi regains his liberty immediately and to guaranty his safety and security,” he added.

Therefore, Mr Sanusi’s lawyers called on the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) and Attorney-General of the federation to ensure the immediate release of the emir so that he can re-unite with his family.

Police keep mum

KANO FOCUS had tried to get the comments of the Kano State Police Command, but the state Commissioner of Police (CP) Habu Sani Ahmadu, did not respond to a phone call and neither replied to a text message sent to him.

What lawyers say on banishment of deposed emirs

Several legal experts and human rights groups have condemned the banishment of ex-Emir Sanusi to Nasarawa state after his removal from office, describing the action as illegal and unconstitutional.

Barrister Bulama Bukarti, a famous human rights lawyer has argued that “banishment is a barbaric customary practice that was reinforced by British imperialists who did all they could to humiliate and bully anyone that disagreed with them.”

“The constitutionality of banishment & incarceration of removed emirs has been settled by the Court of Appeal in 2013 in the case of deposed Emir Jokolo of Gwandu. The Court held that the practice contravenes Sections 34 & 41 of the 1999 Constitution and thus illegal, null & void.

“The Court held that a dethroned emir has the right to reside anywhere and move freely in Nigeria and around the world. It said to allow a Governor to control the life and movement of a removed emir is akin to making the emir a slave of the Emir and slavery is unconstitutional,” Mr Bukarti wrote on his Facebook wall. 

Similarly, Auwal Musa Rafasanjani, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), averred that banishment of a deposed emir contravenes several sections of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.

“The imposed banishment of the dethroned emir to Loko Local Government, Nassarawa state, (is) nothing but clear infringement of the fundamental rights as guaranteed under Sections 34, 35, 36, 40 and most especially section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which safeguards the right of every citizen of Nigeria to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof.

“We vehemently and categorically uphold our position on citizens’ right to freedom of expression and movement as guaranteed under Section 39 and 41 of the Constitution. There is no justification for the humiliation, inhumane and degrading treatments as imposed on Sanusi upon his banishment.

“Just as the pronounced banishment by the State Government contravenes Section 35 of the Constitution which safeguards every person’s right to his/her personal liberty, stating that no person should be deprived of such liberty except in circumstances set out in Subsection 35(a-f), given the procedure permitted by law as none of such procedure is followed in the instance case.

“We are amused at the open-display of rascality and disproportionate deployment of some government mercenaries including police force and other security institutions to amplify tussles, public harassment, extrajudicial implementation of imposition of restriction of movement and personal liberty of the dethroned monarch without iota of respect to the rule of laws and various Constitutional provisions.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sincerely and constructively intervene by upholding the Constitutional provisions to ensure that the rule of laws is adhered to and the dethroned Sanusi enjoys all his rights and freedom of movement, as clear demonstration for leadership, respect for civility, democratic core values and the Constitution,” Mr Rafsanjani said in a statement.

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Yamadawa community foils armed robbery attack, kill suspect

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Abubakar Hussein (Armed robbery suspect)

Yamadawa community foils armed robbery attack, kill suspect

Nasir Yusuf

Yamadawa community in Kano metropolis have foiled armed robbery attack in the late hours Thursday which led to the arrest of two suspects.

KANO FOCUS  eye witness in the area told journalists that on Thursday around 11 pm two armed robbery suspects have attacked a resident in front of his house at Yamadawa Quarters, Gwale local government area, Kano State and attempted to snatch his Toyota Corolla Motor Vehicle.

He said upon alighting from the car, the victim used car door and knocked down one of the armed robbery suspects and took to his heels shouting at the top of his voice, which attracted the attention of members of the community.

According to the eyewitness on realizing their plan had failed, the armed robbers started shooting sprodically and snatched tricycle in an attempt to escape.

He added that the residents overpowered them and beat them handed them over to the police.

The police spokesperson in Kano Abdullahi Kiyawa confirmed the incident in a statement issued on Thursday evening.

Mr Kiyawa revealed around 11 pm on Wednesday, police received a distress call on armed robbery at Yamadawa quarters.

He said on the receipt of the report, teams of policemen mobilized to the area where they arrested the suspects with the help of the community.

The police spokesperson identified the suspects as 24 year old Abdullahi Ismail of Sani Mainagge Quarters and 24 years Abubakar Hussein of Kankara local government area, Katsina state.

“Suspects sustained various injuries on their body and were rushed to Murtala Mohammed Specialist hospital Kano for treatment. Abdullahi Isma’il was confirmed dead by a medical Doctor.

Corpse of armed robbery suspect Abdullahi Ismail

“On preliminary Investigation, the other suspect, Abubakar Hussain confessed that, they attacked the victim with intent to rob him of his Motor Vehicle,” he said.

pistol recover from armed robbery suspects

Mr Kiyawa said the Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, has ordered transfer of the case to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Command for discreet investigation.

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Kano reviews minimum wage for varsities’ staff

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Abdullahi Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf 

Kano state Executive Council has given approval for the implementation of new minimum wage for academic and non-academic staff of the two state own universities, with a monthly release of N49, 695, 509.26 million.

KANO FOCUS recalled that the state government has earlier reversed minimum wage of civil servants from N18,000 to N30,600 in March.

The state government, however, said that accumulated arrears from the time of the approval of the new salary structure to date would be determined pending improvement of the current financial situation in the state.

The state commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, announced this on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the council meeting, held at Africa House, Government House, Kano.

He said the two institutions, Yusuf Maitama Sule University and Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil would receive monthly allocation of N24, 560, 479.72 million and N25, 135, 029.54 million respectively for the Consolidated University Academic Staff Salary Structure II (CONUASS II) and Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure II (CONTISS II).

Mr Garba said the council has also approved the award of contract for the supply and installation of two 1,500 KVA generating sets at Watari 75mld Water Treatment Plant to address acute water supply shortage to the towns and villages served by the treatment plant.

He said the contract, which is worth N355, 027, 831.20 million was awarded to Messrs Mantrac Nigeria Limited for the treatment plant designed to serve Watari-Kano Pipeline, Watari-Bagwai Pipeline and Watari-Tsanyawa pipeline each with separate pumping outlet.

The commissioner also disclosed that approval has been given by the council for the release of 11 resident doctors to pursue Residency Training Programme in different fields of specialization at various teaching hospitals in the state.

Mr Garba stated that the medical doctors were on permanent and pensionable appointment under the state Hospitals Management Board and were able to secure admissions with either Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital or Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital for the residency programme.

He said the training programme was to enable the medical officers graduate as consultants in their various fields of specialization under the state government sponsorship of the bonding policy that also stipulates the payment of monthly salary and annual project/book allowance of N372, 000.00 for the duration of the programme.

The council, the commissioner said, has also approved the creation of an additional department at the state Contributory Healthcare Management Board to handle the processing of claims for fee from facilities without using health maintenance organization.

He said the measure saves the agency substantial amount of resources and to equally comply with Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and the National Health Act which prohibits the engagement of third-party administrator to handle the claim processing.

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NCC, NigComSat signs MoU on deployment of 5G

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and Nigerian Communications Satellite limited NigComSat have signed a memorandum of understanding on the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in the telecommunications industry. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the MoU between the two agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy would lay the foundations for acquisition of Frequency Spectrum suitable for the deployment of the technology in the country.

Speaking at the occasion the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment for deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in the telecommunications industry.

Danbatta allayed fears and concerns on health and security implications over deployment of 5G, asserting Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.

According to him the resources and revenues to be earned from the deployment are so huge they cannot be ignored.

Danbatta said the NigComSat, it was discovered after investigation across the globe, had the appropriate technology to facilitate the deployment.

Danbatta said: “Amongst the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.

“The C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70% of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band, thus the importance of this Spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.

“For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. However in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites.

“The Commission initiated negotiation with NIGCOMSAT whom in our estimate could make some adjustment to its satellite operation and release part of its Spectrum holding in the band to facilitate the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.

“The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.

“The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum.

Managing Director of NigComSat, Abimbola Alale, lauded the committees set by the two agencies for doing a thorough job in the larger interest of the country.

She said the MoU would change the narratives of digital and telecommunications industry in the country.

Chairman of the NCC board, Adeolu Akande the time has come for the country to key into adoption and deployment of 5G technology.

“In recent times, precisely from the last quarter of 2019, several administrations have begun to license Spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G.

” As we speak today, 5G services have already been deployed in United States of America, South Korea, United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Kenya and many more”, Akande said.

According to him, telecommunication evolution has led to improvement in user experience witnessed from 2G, 3G and later 4G.

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