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Four Kano kingmakers sue Ganduje over creation of new emirates

Four kingmakers in Kano Emirate have sued Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for creating four new emirates and appointing first-class emirs for them.

Other plaintiffs joined in the suit are the Speaker of the Kano House of Assembly, the Kano House of Assembly and the Attorney General of Kano State. Also included are the new emirs: Tafida Abubakar-Ila, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, Ibrahim Abubakar ll and Aminu Ado-Bayero.

The four complainants are Madakin Kano, District head of Dawakintofa, Yusuf Nabahani; Makaman Kano, District head of Wudil, Abdullahi Sarki-Ibrahim; Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta, District head of Gabasawa, Bello Abubakar and Sarkin Ban Kano, District head of Dambatta, Mukhtar Adnan.

In a writ of summons obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday dated May 14, the kingmakers sought nine orders to set aside the newly amended Kano State emirs appointment and deposition amendment law 2019. They also want to set aside the creation of the new emirates in Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Bichi.

The summons specifically asked the court to set aside the appointment of Messrs Tafida Abubakar-Ila, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, Ibrahim Abubakar ll and Aminu Ado-Bayero as Emirs of Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Bichi respectively.

It also requested the court “to restrain Tafida Abubakar-Ila, Ibrahim Abdulkadir, Ibrahim Abubakar ll and Aminu Ado-Bayero from parading themselves as Emirs of Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Bichi respectively.”

They argued in the writ of summons that “Kano existed for over 1000 years since 999 AD. Following the Fulani Jihad led by Shehu Uthman Danfodio of 1804 and the conquest of Kano in 1807, it became an emirate under the ridership of an emir.

“The plaintiff are the traditional Kingmakers of Kano Emirate representing the leading Fulani clans that led the Jihad in Kano, namely, Yolawa, Jo6awa, Sullubawa and Dambazawa clans. They have exercised the traditional responsibility of Kingmakers since circa 1819, in addition to being district heads and superintending over various territories within the Kano emirate.

“The defendants acting capriciously, arbitrarily and in manifest bad faith, hurriedly, without observing due process or conducting any hearing and in a pretended exercise of purported constitutional powers passed a law claiming to alter this over 1000 years of history and tradition by creating or establishing this so-called new Emirates of Bichi, Rano, Gaya and Karaye and appointing new Emirs to these so-called new Emirates.”

The writ of summons requested Mr Ganduje and seven other defendants “to enter appearance within 21 days of receiving the writ.”

The four are represented by seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and 21 other lawyers including present and immediate past presidents of the Nigeria Bar Association, Paul Usoro and A.B Mahmoud.

On Friday, the Kano State High Court restrained Mr Ganduje from appointing the new emirs pending the determination of a case filed before it by some members of the state assembly led by the miniority leader, Rabiu Saleh

Mr Ganduje, however, went ahead to ‘symbolically’ install the emirs at an elaborate ceremony, arguing that the court order was issued after the new emirs had received their letters and accepted the nominations.

Backstory

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the state government created four additional emirates after a speedy passage of the relevant bill by the state assembly.

The move has been seen as a deliberate attempt to whittle down the powers of the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, who has opposed the governor’s policies and allegedly also kicked against his reelection bid. Mr Sanusi, a former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, now heads eight local governments in the state against the earlier 44, he had influence over.

Mr Ganduje has said his action was not political but aimed at bringing governance closer to the people at the local communities.

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