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Court orders Kano government to pay Bayero N10m over rights violation

Aminu Ado Bayero, dethroned Emir of Kano

A federal high court in Kano has ordered the state government to pay N10 million damages to Aminu Ado Bayero, deposed Emir of Kano, over breach of his fundamental rights. 

Simon Amobeda, presiding judge, made the order on Friday while delivering judgment in a suit marked FHC/CS/190/2024, filed by Ado Bayero.

The judge also restrained security operatives “from arresting, detaining, harassing the applicant.”

Amobeda held that “the act of the governor of Kano state in directing the Police to arrest the Applicant without any lawful justification is a threatened breach of the fundamental right to Liberty of the applicant guaranteed under Section 35(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered)”.

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“That, the act of the Governor of Kano State in directing the police to arrest the applicant without any lawful justification, which directive has forced the Applicant into house arrest, preventing him from going freely about his lawful business, constitutes a flagrant violation of his fundamental right to freedom of movement as guaranteed under Section 41(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).”

Consequently, Amobeda ruled that “the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents (attorney-general of Kano, Nigeria police force, IGP and Kano commissioner of police) are either by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, or any other person or authority forthwith restrained from arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the applicant or further interfering with the applicant’s fundamental rights”.

“That the 2nd respondent (attorney-general) and the government of Kano state shall pay to the applicant the sum of N10,000,000.00 only for the breach and likely breach of the applicant’s fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).”

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BACKGROUND

The controversy began in May when Muhammadu Sanusi was reinstated as emir by Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano.

Sanusi’s reinstatement followed the repeal of the law that Abdullahi Ganduje, the former governor of Kano, used to depose and exile him in 2020.

On May 23, a federal high court in Kano ordered the state government not to enforce the Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024.

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Bayero returned to Kano from a trip to Ogun and moved into a palace in Nassarawa LGA.

But the Kano governor ordered Bayero’s arrest “for creating tension in the state”.

CONFLICTING ORDERS

On May 27, Amina Aliyu, judge of a Kano high court, made an ex parte order restraining Bayero from parading himself as the Emir of Kano pending the determination of the suit.

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The court also ordered the police to take over the Nassarawa palace where Bayero has been staying since he returned to Kano.

On May 28, the same judge restrained the DSS, police and others from evicting Sanusi from the palace.

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Shortly after, Amobeda, ordered the eviction of Sanusi from the palace.

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