Deposed Kano Emir Muhammad Sanusi II says he will challenge his dethronement and banishment in court.
His counsel, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), said this during a press briefing. According to him Sanusi’s movement and his dethronement were unlawful and amounted to a gross violation of his human rights.
Meanwhile lawyers who spoke interacted with AN24.net were divided in their opinions over the legality of his banishment .
Former 2nd Vice- President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Onyekachi Ubani, said: ‘’The constitution recognises the freedom of movement and the freedom of association, so, if you banish somebody based on any law that you have enacted as a State government, the law is merely being inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution and it will be declared null and void. There is no provision for the banishment of the emir under the constitution.’’
‘’This right is a human right; it has been elevated and is not an ordinary law. If these laws have not been abrogated by any law that is superior to the constitution then I find it difficult for any man to say banishment in21st century Nigeria. ‘’ said Ubani
He further added that any cultural practice that is repugnant to justice, equity and good conscience will be declared null and void as culture cannot be superior to the constitution.
On the other hand, Wale Ogunade, constitutional Lawyer, human rights activist and President of Voters Awareness Initiative, argued that ‘’section 45 of the 1999 constitution allows government to take action in the interest of public security and if Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II continues to stay within the vicinity where there will be another Emir, he will be a security risk and that trumps the freedom of movement argument.’’
Ogunade also noted that ‘’Sanusi is not an ordinary person.
The law provides for the freedom of movement of individuals as it relates to ordinary issues but Sanusi is an institution by virtue of occupying the office of the emir of Kano and he got appointed through the instrumentality of the government. So,principle here is that he who has the power to hire has the power to fire.’’
On his part, Prince Olumide Akindiya said that although Muhammadu Sanusi ll was appointed by the Governor of Kano State, giving the governor the right to removal ‘’on certain allegations within the law or being found guilty of criminal offence’’, he has no constitutional right to banish him.
‘’On this issue of banishment, no matter any law justifying it, it is in conflict with provision of Section 1(1) & (3), particularly, Section 41(1) of the Constitution of FRN 1999 as amended because the Constitution though accommodates other existing laws by Section 315, but such law must not be inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution, and if it happens the constitution shall prevail and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void including laws made State Houses of Assemble after the Constitution. Being banished to another Nasarawa State, Sanusi had been deprived of his constitutional right to freedom of movement. ‘’
‘’The exceptions by sub section 2(a) & (b) (i) & (ii) of the Constitution to justify his deprivation of his right to freedom of movement does not count. He has not committed any criminal offence.”