A high court in Kano state, presided over by Justice A. T. Badamasi, issued a provisional measure prohibiting the state governor of “taking away the powers” from the four kings of the Kano Emirate onder the Kano Emirates Council Law, 2019.
The court order, a copy of which was obtained by Latest Nigeria News, also prohibited the governor from “taking any step whatsoever under the law without consultation with the applicants pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”
These are the two instructions contained in the order.
The four kingmakers, who are the applicants in the motion on notice dated 9th December 2019 in suit No K/197/2019, are Yusuf Nabahani (Madakin Kano), Abdullahi Sarki Ibrahim (Makaman Kano), Bello Bubakar (Sarkin Dawaki Mai Tuta) and Mukhtari Adnan (Sarkin Ban Kano).
They had sought an interim an injunction against the Kano State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the house of assembly, Kano State Governor, the Attorney General of the state, and the four new emirs installed by the new law that created the four new emirate, asking the court to “restrain the 3rd respondent (the governor) from inaugurating the Council of Chiefs under the purported ‘Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019’ subject matter of which is before this Hon. Court pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”
They also sought for an order of injunction “restraining the 3rdrespondent from taking any step or doing anything in any form whatsoever to remove, depose transfer the Emir of Kano under the purported ‘Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019’ without due inquiry and consultation with the applicants who by tradition and established custom are entitled to be consulted.”
Their last prayer to the court was to give an order of injunction “restraining Chairman of the Chief of Council (Muhammadu Sanusi II) by himself, his agents, servants or privies howsoever described from convening the Council of Chiefs Meeting under the purported ‘Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019’ subject matter of which is before this Hon. Court pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”
Counsel on the two sides of the matter have refused to comment on the orders granted by the court, but a Kano-based private lawyer, who would not want to be named, said the “court has not really restrained the state governor the way the applicants had prayed.
“First, the emir of Kano was not one of the applicants. Two, the order did not restrain the Emir of Kano from chairing the Council of Chiefs’ meeting, and three, the court has effectively recognized the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019. Also, the restriction given by the court does not involve the four new emirs.
“Only the governor was restricted, but don’t forget that all the powers given to the governor by the new law have already been exercised.
“Now, the question to be asked is what is the governor’s concern with the powers of the kingmakers? Their powers are to be exercised whenever there is a vacancy, and an emir is to be chosen to fill that vacancy.”
The lawyer said further that “a critical look at the first order given tend to be saying that the governor should not do anything outside the provisions of new law. Don’t take away their powers means let them have their powers. Mind you, the order did not say under the old law, but rather under the new law.
“The second order not to take steps whatsoever before consultation with the kingmakers was actually late. Steps have been taken already. Like I said earlier, the governor has already exercised all the powers given to him by the law”, he explained.
“It is my view that almost all those who carried the news the court had stopped the governor from creating the council of chiefs or that the four new emirs have been stopped from carrying out their business were really mistaken. Perhaps they did not read the orders,” he concluded.