The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi ll, was banished to Loko Local Government Area of Nasarawa State in line with tradition and for peace to reign in Kano.
The managing director of Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Bappa Dan’agundi, said this to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday morning.
Mr Dan’agundi is the state government representative who accompanied the police to evict Mr Sanusi from the emir’s palace on Monday and moved him to Nasarawa State.
His presence at the palace on Monday drew a protest from some members of the royal family loyal to the deposed monarch.
According to Mr Dan’agundi, Mr Sanusi’s uncle and chief of staff, Munir Sanusi, and one domestic staff are staying with him on exile, while his family members have been taken to Lagos.
“As you know in our culture, whenever an emir was deposed, he is banished to another town. I look at it as a tradition or security reason. He is staying with his chief of staff, Munir Sanusi (Dan Buran of Kano) and a domestic staff, while his family moved to Lagos while we were leaving Kano (Airport on Monday). We are just leaving the town (loko),” Mr Dan’agundi said.
Mr Sanusi’s grand father, Muhammad Sanusi l, was also deposed in 1963 and banished to Azare town, now in Bauchi State. He was accused of misappropriation of Kano Native Authority’s funds. But former governor of Kano State, Late Abubakar Rimi, brought him back to Wudil town where he died in the early 1990s.
However, a legal practitioner, Abubakar Yekini, has condemned the state government’s decision of banishing Mr Sanusi, describing it as unconstitutional.
He cited the case between Kebbi State government and the deposed Emir of Gwandu, Mustapha Jokolo, in which the court ruled against the government.
“The court ruled that the Governor of Kebbi State has no right to act outside the clear and unambiguous provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (applicable to this case).
“Section 35 (1) of the said Constitution provides that every citizen of Nigeria is “entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty” except in the circumstances set out in subsections (a) to (f) thereof. Section 40 of the same Constitution provides that “every person is entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons.
“On the issue at hand, Section 41(1) of the Constitution is germane and it provides thus: “41 – (1) Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.”
Mr Yekini said the court declared that “The banishment and deportation from Kebbi State by the Governor of Kebbi State, on or about the 3rd of June, 2005 of the 1st respondent (Emir of Gwandu) to Lafia in Nasarawa State and later to Obi, also in Nasarawa State, is most unconstitutional, and illegal.
“By the said banishment and deportation, the 1st respondent has been, unduly and wrongfully denied his constitutional rights “to respect for the dignity of his person”; “to assemble freely and associate other persons” – including the people of Gwandu Emirate of Kebbi State; and to “move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof” as respectively provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.” Per ADUMEIN, J.C.A. (Pp. 72-73, paras. E-D).”