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Why street harassment cases in Kano are under-reported




Zulaiha Danjuma


The coordinator National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Shehu Abdullahi has identified three factors that increase the number of under-reported cases of street harassment in Kano state

Mr. Abdullahi told KANO FOCUS that the three factors are; Non regard of Street harassment as a form of sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Stigma, and Lack of awareness

Non-regard of street harassment as a form of SGBV

Mr. Abdullahi said the reason why street harassment cases are under-reported is because it is not considered as a case of SGBV by victims

“Throughout the year 2023 they were not more than 10 cases of street harassment that got reported to the commission, unlike cases of rape that we have a lot of data”

“Victims do not take it as serious as they take other cases of sexual and gender based violence”

“The number of street harassment cases are usually minimal, especially if the incident has not gotten to the level of certain sexual abuses” Mr. Abdullahi said


Mr. Abdullahi said most of the cases that relate to street harassment are usually entangled in work related relationships

“We receive cases of sexual harassment in public places concerning clients, visitors or even work colleagues”

“If a married woman is been harassed in a public place due to the work sitting by a client or colleague she may feel awkward to report because of the interpretation society will give to the whole case if it’s exposed”

” Even her husband may start to suspect a fowl play, that may affect her work,” he said.

Lack of Awareness

The coordinator said many people are not aware that street harassment could lead to other forms of sexual and gender based violence, hence, they do not considered street harassment as a serious offense be to reported.

“No matter how small an offense is if it is not reported and handle by the provisions of the law there will definitely be an increase of such offense.

“When people are not punished for committing offenses like street harassment, more people will take it upon themselves to commit more of such offense” he said.

Victims shared their experience

Some victims of various forms of street harassment shared their experience with Kano Focus. One of them is Aisha Abdulkadir, a tertiary student and an intern at a popular local radio station in Kano state

Ms. Abdulkadir said the kind of street harassment experience she had was of verbal abuse and derogatory comments

“It was on 1st may 2023 I was going to my class three security guards in my school started making sneak noises and hissing at me to get my attention.

“I was on a call as I walked towards them I didn’t respond to them while they made efforts to get my attention, so when I got close enough they started to yell and shout insulting and derogatory words at me.

“They queried me for not responding to their call and I told them that I didn’t know they were speaking to me since they didn’t address me directly.

“Then they just started to verbally haul abused and insults at me and even threatened that they had the right to rusticate me from the school, ” she said.

Maryam Lamin (not her real name) had a similar experience while working on the streets of Sharada in Kano state

She suffered verbal abuse from a young man just for turning down his romantic advances.

“I was working to see a friend that lived few blocks away from where I met the boy who started to follow me and profess love to me.

“He asked for my name and my phone number which I declined, he continued to follow me and pushed me harder to give him my contact but I simply walked on and ignored him.

“At some point he got really angry and started to shout at me saying that I was not even beautiful and he was just trying to help me by speaking to me.

“He even when no to rain abuses on my mother, verbally insulting me and saying who was I to ignore him,” she recalled.

Ms Lamin went on to say that the encounter shocked her and made her sad because she had never believed she could have such an experience.

I wasn’t expecting being groped at a market

25 years old Zarah Bulma (not her real name) said when a stranger at the popular kwari market robbed his genitals against her buttocks she froze.

“I never expected such a thing, I have heard about such incidents in the market and public places but I never thought it would happen to me.

“We were all clustered together trying to move through the large amount of goods laying on the road when suddenly I felt something rub against my buttocks.

“At first I thought it was because of the cluster of people standing so close to each other so I tried to adjust and move forward a bit, when i suddenly felt a male pushing and rubbing against my buttocks.

“I froze for a split second because I was in shock, then I used my elbows to hit the man in his stomach area, immediately he hurriedly turn back and walked away.

“I never got a good look at his face I only saw that he was wearing white, ” she said.

Similarly, a journalist, Hadiza Yusuf narrated to KANO FOCUS how a man unsolicitedly showed her his genitals at a Petrol station on her way to cover a story.

“In November 2023, I was supposed to go to a local government area to cover a story with a colleague, so I had to wait for my colleague around Unguwa uku.

“Before unguwa uku there is a junction and by the junction is a Petrol station where I decided to stand while waiting for my colleague.

Ms Yusuf added that a few trailers were packed inside the Petrol station which provided a temporary shade.

“So I stayed by the side of two trailers blocking the sun and shielding me from the full glare of the public.

“When suddenly a man started walking up to me unzipped his trousers and brought out his genitals.

“I was shocked, and the man start saying I should come and take, I was shocked and wandered what he meant by that statement.

“He continued to walk up closer to me saying that I should come and take, so I just pretended that I didn’t know what he was talking about, ” she said.

Ms Yusuf said she was shocked that a man well dressed and looking responsible could exhibit such behavior.

“I then had to leave the place and I went and stood at the main road, when he saw that I moved away he then pretended that nothing happened and zipped up.

“But he didn’t leave, he stood and kept on watching me, then he walked closer to me again and stood beside me then started saying in Hausa ‘zo muje mana’ (come lets go), this was while i was now standing at the main road and not inside the petrol station anymore.

“I then left that place again, so he would leave me alone but he kept following me. So, I stood my ground and refused to move any further, because I knew he couldn’t do anything crazy in the full glare of the public, then he got tired and left, ” she said.

According to UN Women harassment is any improper and unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or perceived to cause offense or humiliation to any person. Street harassments are any verbal, physical or physiological harm done to people in public spaces

The UN women said harassment may take either forms of words, gastures, or actions which tend to annoy, alarm, demean, intimidate, belittle, humiliate or embarrass another or which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

In Nigeria, according to a 2019 report by Guardian Newspaper with support from Code for Africa Lagos state ranked the highest state with market harassment experiences in the country with a figure of 71.1%. The report also said that among the demography largely affected by this kind of street harassment were females between the ages of 21-25 and 31-35, representing a percentage of 26.5% and 21.7% respectively.

Despite the fact the Guardian Newspaper report did not capture incidents of street harassment in Kano state, Kano Focus gathers that the perpetration of varying kinds of street harassment exist in the state.

But these incidents are rarely if ever reported to security agencies or in the media for different socio-cultural reasons, among others.

The issue of street harassment though not explicitly stated in the Penal code, which stand as the body of law used in Kano state and other Northern states in Nigeria.

The Penal code did make references to harassment in Section 285, where is says this, ” Whoever commits an act of gross indecency upon the person of another without his consent or by the use of force or threats compels a person to join with him in the commission of that act, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years and shall ; he liable to fine”.

KANO FOCUS reached out the Kano state police command through it’s public relations officer SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa on whether the command receives and handles cases of alleged street harassments.

However, Mr. Kiyawa was not available to speak to the reporter as of the time of filing this report.

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Kwankwaso celebrates Eid el Kabir with Kwankwasiyya Political Movement



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


The Kwankwasiyya political movement also known as Kwankwasiyya Development Foundation on Tuesday celebrated a grand Eid-el-Kabir reception at the residence of the leader of the movement, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.

KANO FOCUS reports that the event was attended by the Supreme Leader of the Kwankwasiyya movement Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso together with other top Kano NNPP Government functionaries and teeming supporters.

The special Sallah celebrations in Kano brought together leadership of the party as well as friends and well wishers from within and outside Nigeria.

Mammoth crowd of Kwankwasiyya loyalists

Local and National musicians and artistsr from Nupe, Tiv and Jos in North Central to North West, and Southern Nigeria had a field day with display of different dance steps from across the country.

Prominent among those who graced the occasion are Ali Jita, Nazifi Asnanic and Bashir Dandago.

Addressing the mammoth crowd, the national leader of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has said an average Kano person doesn’t want injustice.

He stressed that the Kwankwassiya people were peaceful but have always had to contend with their political enemies. He said, “In 2019, we won the governorship election in this state but enemies of the state went against us through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the courts and so on. What happened is now a history.

“It was the same thing in 2023. We won the election overwhelmingly and there were a lot of efforts by enemies of the state who are the minority here to take it, but by the grace of God, he decided that justice would be done. And I am sure that has gone a long way to maintain peace and order in the state.

“But it looks like the enemies are at it again, going by what is happening on the issue of the emirate council.

“On the contrary, people were further reinforced and working very hard to ensure that more people join this movement. And I am not surprised because the average Kano person doesn’t want injustice. That’s why we are here.”

In his address the Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano state, Dr Yusuf Kofarmata said, the event was to celebrate Sallah with the leader of Kwankwasiya Movement and NNPP Leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

While congratulating Muslims for a peaceful Sallah celebrations, the Commissioner urged the gathering to reflect on the lessons and build a better society.



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Kano Emirate Tussle: State Assembly alleges bias, asks Appeal Court to take over proceedings



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


Ahead of the ruling of Justice Abdullahi Liman of the Federal High Court, Kano, on a motion filed by Aminu Babba Danagundi, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba, challenging the legality of the Kano Emirates Council (Repeal) Law 2024, the Kano State House of Assembly has asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Kano to stay further proceedings at the Federal High Court pending the hearing of the appeal before the appellate court.

KANO FOCUS reports that the call came as All Progressives Congress (APC) described comments credited to the presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the 2023 election, Rabiu Kwankwaso, that the ruling party was trying to take Kano State through the backdoor by declaring a state of emergency, as disappointing and insensitive.

Liman had scheduled ruling on the legality of the Kano Emirates Council (Repeal) Law 2024 for Thursday, June 20, 2024, just after he dismissed an application for a stay of proceedings by Eyitayo Fatogun, representing the Kano State House of Assembly.

Dissatisfied, Kano State House of Assembly, in Appeal No: CA/KN/ /26/2024 filed by its lawyer, Fatogun, prayed for an order of injunction restraining the respondents, their privies, servants or any other person or authority, deriving power, authority, rights or privileges from any of the respondents particularly the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh respondents from enforcing or attempting to further enforce the repealed Kano State Emirates Council Law, a law which was no longer extant, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal before the Court of Appeal.

The appellant also prayed the court to stay execution of all orders, particularly the ex-parte order granted on May 23, 2024 by the lower court pending the hearing and determination of the appeal presently before the court.

The respondents are Alhaji Aminu Babba Danagundi; Kano State Government; Attorney General of Kano State; Commissioner of Police, Kano State; Inspector General of Police; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; and Department of State Services.

In its motion on notice brought pursuant to Sections 6 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution, Order 7 Rule 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules and under inherent jurisdiction of the court, the appellant prayed the court to take over the entire proceedings, alleging that there were conflicting orders of the Kano State High Court and the Federal High Court on same subject matter.

In its application for an urgent date, the appellant stated that the Federal High Court in Kano on or about June 13, 2024, had delivered its ruling in a suit filed for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of a king maker as it related to the Kano State Emirate Council (repeal) Law 2024 made by the House of Assembly of Kano State and duly assented by the executive governor of Kano State.

In the said ruling, the court in its wisdom, held that it had jurisdiction in a chieftaincy matter, and subsequently adjourned to June 14, 2024, for the hearing of the several applications filed by the applicant, particularly the application seeking to nullify the Kano State Emirate Council (repeal) Law 2024.

The appellant further stated, “On the 13th day of June 2024, we immediately attempted to file our Notice of Appeal but were denied the opportunity by the Registry of the Federal High Court in Kano on the grounds that it was well after 2pm and they would not take processes anymore.

“Of great interest is that the registry continued to take processes for filing in other matters, which were not related to the above mentioned suit.

“We, therefore, filed the notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal Registry and filed alongside an application for departure from the rules.

“On the 14th of June 2024, the Registry of the Federal High Court did not open till 9am due to hostility and fear of collecting processes from us for filing. We also applied for the ruling of the 13th day of June 2024, assuming jurisdiction, but as suspected, the ruling is not yet ready.

“We compiled records with the documents we were served, though uncertified but largely the documents filed by the plaintiff at the lower court and were given an appeal number as indicated above. We certainly would compile supplementary records shortly upon receipt of the proceedings and ruling.

“We consequently filed a motion for stay of proceedings or further proceedings before His Lordship.

“It may be of interest that your Lordship be informed that all these issues were brought to the attention of His Lordship. Hon Justice A. M Liman but in a short ruling today refused an application for stay of proceedings, despite becoming aware of the motion pending in the Court of Appeal.”

The appellant submitted that an appeal shall be deemed to have been entered in the court when the record of proceedings in the court below had been received in the Registry of the court.

He stated, “Where there is an application before a higher court for a stay of further proceedings in the lower court, a decision by the lower court, which will render the result of such application nugatory, should be avoided.

“This unfortunate attitude in disregarding the process of the Court of Appeal bothers on judicial impertinence. it is an affront on the authority of the Court of Appeal. All the courts established under the constitution derive their powers and ‘authority’ from the constitution.

“His lordship went ahead to hear an interlocutory application seeking to nullify the Kano State Emirate Council (repeal) Law 2024, which is the subject matter of the suit before My Lord.

“All entreaties, including learned silk, Eyitayo Fatogun SAN’s recusing himself and applying that the matter be adjourned so that the parties he was representing could get other legal representation, fell on deaf ears as his lordship went ahead with the hearing of the motion.

“The effect of the grant of the motion heard by my lord, of the Federal High Court, when His Lordship delivers ruling on Thursday, the 20th of June 2024, is that the Emirate Council law as it is in force in Kano may be nullified, and the present Emir of Kano, HRM, Lamido Sanusi, may be removed from his palace as the police have hinted on carrying out the orders of the Federal High Court.”

They argued that the Federal High Court had determined the entire appeal based on jurisdiction as the court had continued to assume jurisdiction.

The appellant further averred, “It would set a bad precedent of lower courts choosing not to respect the decisions or proceedings of the higher court

“The Federal High Court with its disposition might grant the orders prayed for and cause that the five emirates and their emirs, some of whom have left the state for peace to reign would then have to return, causing chaos and uprising in the state

“The loss of lives, which might be occasioned by the ruling, may be rather too much, as the peace in the state may be breached.

“It is in the interest of justice that the Court of Appeal takes over the entire proceedings as there are conflicting orders of the Kano State High Court and Federal High Court on the same subject matter.”

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Kano Emirate tussle: Federal, industrial Courts lack jurisdiction on chieftaincy matters – Falana



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


Human Rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, on Tuesday, said the Federal High Court and the National Industrial Court have no jurisdiction to determine chieftaincy matters.

KANO FOCUS reports that Falana, in a statement he personally signed, accused both courts of separately conferring, “jurisdiction on themselves to determine chieftaincy matters.”

Falana described both decisions as, “highly erroneous” as they cannot be justified under sections 251 and 254(C) of the Constitution. Adding that both courts conveniently overruled the judgments of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal on the subject matter.

He said, “The intervention of the Federal High Court in the dispute arising from the deposition of Emir Ado Bayero & Co. as well as the restoration of Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is a brazen repudiation of the decision of the Supreme Court in the celebrated case of Tukur v Government of Gongola State (1987) 4 NWLR (117) 517 where it was held that “The question raised in this claim is not a fundamental right question.

“As in the first prayer, the right to be Emir is not guaranteed by the Fundamental Rights provisions of the Constitution and the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction whatever in the matter. The Court of Appeal was, therefore, not in error of law to hold that the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction to grant the two reliefs.

“Since the apex court has said that the right to be an Emir is not a fundamental right under chapter four of the Constitution, the Federal High Court sitting in Kano ought to have declined jurisdiction to continue to entertain the dispute over the chieftaincy matter in Kano. In any case, the allegation of infringement of the fundamental rights of the Applicants is an ancillary claim to the substantive reliefs emanating from the deposition and reinstatement of the embattled emirs.”

In FCMB Plc v Nyama (2014) LPELR-23973 AT 19-20, the Court of Appeal held that: “Now it is settled that where an application is made under the fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, a condition precedent to the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction is that the enforcement of fundamental rights of the securing of enforcement thereof should be the main claim and not the accessory claim. Where the main or principal claim is not the enforcement of fundament right, the jurisdiction of the court cannot be properly exercised under Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules.”

A Federal High Court in Kano last week ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the human rights violation case filed by the dethroned Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, and senior councillor, Aminu Dan’agundi, following the reinstatement of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II.

The court issued an ex-parte order preventing Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano from reinstating Sanusi until a substantive suit against the reinstatement is resolved.

The order also opposed the abolishment of four emirates—Bichi, Gaya, Karaye, and Rano—under a bill previously passed by the state House of Assembly.

Ending his submission, Falana said, “I submit, with profound respect, that section 254(C)(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended has not conferred jurisdiction on the National Industrial Court to hear and determine chieftaincy matters.

“However, a traditional ruler who was deposed by a state governor without fair hearing is not without a legal redress.”

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