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Failure to serve Ado Bayero court processes stalls suit on Kano emirship tussle

Aminu Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano Aminu Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano

The hearing in a suit on the Emirship tussle at the Kano state high court was stalled on Tuesday by the failure of lawyers to serve court processes on the respondents. 

At the court session, the applicants’ lawyers said they could not serve papers on Aminu Ado-Bayero, the 15th Emir of Kano, and four other respondents.

The other respondents are Nasiru Ado-Bayero, Emir of Bichi; Ibrahim Abubakar ll, Emir of Karaye; Kabiru Muhammad-Inuwa, Emir of Rano; and Aliyu Ibrahim-Gaya, Emir of Gaya.

Abdulsalam Saleh, counsel to the inspector-general of police (IGP), told the court that attempts to serve the first to the fifth respondent with the court processes failed.

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“My lord, we filed an affidavit of service. We have done our best to ensure service was made on all five emirates but could not get to them,” Saleh said.

“There was an order from the federal high court restraining the police from arresting, intimidating, or harassing the respondents; that was why we could not serve them.”

Eyitayo Fatogun, counsel to the applicants, applied for another date to file all necessary applications for service on the respondents.

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The presiding judge, Amina Adamu-Aliyu, said the court order prohibiting the arrest of the respondents is not enough to prevent the service of documents on them.

“As far as the law is concerned, you are only serving them papers; the earlier order cannot stop you,” the judge said.

“How can you give protection to the first respondent and say you were unable to serve him?”

The judge adjourned the matter until June 24 to hear the motion on notice.

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The applicants in the matter are the attorney-general of Kano state, the speaker of the Kano state house of assembly and the Kano state house of assembly.

The applicants are seeking a court order to restrain Ado-Bayero and four others from parading themselves as emirs.

Other respondents in the suit include the IGP, the director of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Nigerian Army.

On May 27, Adamu-Aliyu issued an order restraining Bayero from parading himself as the Emir of Kano, pending the determination of the suit.

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The judge also restrained the four other emirs of the disbanded emirates from parading themselves as monarchs in Kano.

On May 28, the court also restrained the police, the DSS, and the Nigerian Army from evicting Muhammadu Sanusi II, the reinstated Emir of Kano.

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THE CONTROVERSY

Sanusi was reinstated as Emir by Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano, at a colourful ceremony in the government house on May 24.

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The Kano house of assembly repealed the law that Abdullahi Ganduje, the former governor of the state, used to depose and exile Sanusi in 2020.

The repeal paved the way for the reinstatement of Sanusi and the dethronement of Bayero.

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

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

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

A detachment of soldiers has been keeping watch over the Nassarawa palace since the arrest order.

Subsequently, Usaini Gumel, commissioner of police in Kano, said security agencies would obey the court order on Sanusi’s reinstatement.

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