By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, declared the banishment of deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II from Kano State as unlawful and unconstitutional.
Sanusi, had on March 12, 2020, sued the Inspector-General of Police and Director-General, State Security Services, SSS over unlawful confinement.
In the judgement, the court held that the Emirate Council Law, 2019, used by the state government in banishing Sanusi was in conflict with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
The court held that the restrictions placed on Sanusi after his deposition on March 9, 2020, on allegations of insubordination are a clear arbitrary violation of his right to freedom of movement and personal liberty granted by the Nigerian constitution.
She further held that the right to freedom of liberty and personal dignity granted under Section 34 of Nigeria’s constitution cannot be taken away as done by the Kano Government, Police, Department of State Services (DSS), and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) except with express order of the court.
According to Chikere, the constitution of this country is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void.
Justice Chikere agreed with Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, counsel to Sanusi, that his client was moved out of Kano to Abuja and later to Awe, in Nasarawa State against his wish.
Also joined in the motion are the Attorney-General of Kano State and Attorney General of the Federation.
The former emir, however, sought an interim order of the court releasing him from confinement of the respondents also challenged the respondents violating his fundamental human rights.
The judge subsequently voided the arrest, harassment, and banishment of Sanusi to Abuja and later to Nasarawa State and set it aside on ground of being an infringement of his fundamental human rights.
The court, awarded a N10 million fine against the respondents.
The court also issued an order directing the respondents to tender a public apology to Sanusi to be published in two major national dailies for the embarrassment caused him by breaching his fundamental human rights.