By Olalekan Awojodu
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed November 30 for judgment in a suit instituted by the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, challenging his banishment to Awe, a remote village in Nassarawa State, after he was deposed as Sarkin Kano by the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje.
The Judge Thursday fixed November 30 for judgment after taking final arguments from lawyers representing parties in the fundamental rights enforcement suit
Sanusi was deposed after a resolution by the Kano State Executive Council on March 9, 2020 on allegation of insubordination. He was subsequently banished to Awe, where he was confined until he was released on March 13, 2020 following an interim order for his release, issued by Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Respondents in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020 are the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Attorney General (AG) of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
Sanusi’s lead lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), in his final submission told the court that the case was not a chieftaincy matter, because his client was not challenging his deposition.
Mamoud said his client’s complaint was about the alleged violation of his fundamental rights in relation to the manner he was shabbily treated after he was deposed.
“This is not a chieftaincy matter. The applicant (Sanusi) is not challenging the respondents’ action as regard his removal as Emir of Kano, but the way he was bundled to Abuja and banished to a remote location,” Mahmoud said.
He added that it is not in doubt that Sanusi, as a prominent citizen of this country, was shabbily treated in the manner he was bundled to Abuja and subsequently banished to a remote location.
Mamoud faulted the respondents’ challenge to the Abuja court’s jurisdiction to hear the case, arguing that no law support the position that where rights violation occur across several jurisdictions, one cannot approach a court in any of the jurisdictions.
He argued that it was clear from the way his client was treated that his rights were violated, and as such, he is entitled to seek protection from the court.
Mahmoud urged the court to grant all the reliefs sought by the ex-Emir in his suit.
Responding, lawyer to the IGP, Victor Okoye argued otherwise. He faulted the competence of the suit and queried the court’s jurisdiction to hear it. Okoye, in challenging the jurisdiction of the court, noted that the instrument conveying the ex-Emir’s banishment was authored and endorsed by an official of the Kano State Government in Kano State.
He argued that the appropriate venue for Sanusi to seek redress for the alleged violation of his rights was a court in Kano State. Okoye urged the court to either strike the case out or dismiss it.
Lawyer to the DG of the SSS, Godwin Agbadua argued in similar manner and also challenged the court’s jurisdiction.
Agbadua urged the court to strike out the suit on the grounds that the alleged rights violation occurred in Kano, adding that there is a Federal High Court in Kano, before which Sanusi could seek redress.
“Where there are infringement in sequence, the court with jurisdiction is that where the alleged infringement commenced, which by the applicant’s affidavit, is Kano and there is a Federal High Court in Kano,” Agbadua added.
Counsel to the Attorney General of Kano State, Musa Mohammed (the Director of Civil Litigation of the state’s Ministry of Justice) equally faulted the competence of the suit and the jurisdiction of the court in Abuja to hear the case.
Mohammed prayed the court to dismiss the suit.