A Federal High Court sitting in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, has declared former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, banishment from the state as unlawful and a violation of his fundamental human rights.
Aside from nullifying the banishment, the court awarded N10milion damages against the Kano State Government, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the SSS, and also ordered them to offer public apology to Sanusi in no fewer than two national dailies.
The court ruled that his banishment from Kano and forceful relocation to Awe in Nasarawa State was against all known tenet of human rights of every citizen as contained in the country’s constitution.
Delivering the judgement on Tuesday, the presiding judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere, held that the manner Sanusi was forcefully removed from the palace after his dethronement and taken to Nasarawa State by state agents against his will was a vicious violation of his rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement.
While declaring the Emirate Council Law 2019 under which the Kano State Government claimed to have acted as nullity, the judge ruled that Sanusi was entitled to reside in any part of the country having committed no offence as a citizen of Nigeria.
According to Chikere, the constitution of this country is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void. Furthermore, the judge declared that the former emir had the right to live anywhere, including Kano State, as enshrined in the country’s constitution.
Sanusi, who was dethroned on March 9, 2020, had on March 12, 2020, sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police and Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS) over what he called “unlawful detention/confinement.”
Also joined in the motion with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020 are the Attorney-General of Kano State and Attorney General of the Federation as 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.
Although Sanusi was not challenging his dethronement, the former emir, however, sought an interim order of the court releasing him from the detention and/or confinement of the respondents and restoring his right to human dignity, personal liberty.
He also challenged the respondents for harassing him and violating his rights. Justice Chikere, who struck out the name of the AGF from the suit, also restrained the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents from further harassing him.