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CJN invites chief judges of federal, Kano courts over conflicting orders on emirship tussle

Olukayode Ariwoola, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) Olukayode Ariwoola, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN)

Olukayode Ariwoola, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), has summoned the chief judges of the federal high court and the Kano state high court over conflicting orders on the emirship tussle in Kano.

Both courts have issued conflicting interim injunctions on the tussle between Aminu Bayero, the dethroned Emir; and Muhammadu Sanusi II, the reinstated Emir.

The orders have exacerbated the tension and chaos in the state.

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

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On Tuesday, Amina Adamu Aliyu, a judge at the Kano high court, restrained the police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigerian Army from removing Sanusi as Emir.

The judge also restrained the respondents from “attempting to hijack” the symbols of authority meant for the Emir of Kano pending the determination of the suit.

On the same day, S.A. Amobeda, a judge at the federal high court in Kano, ordered the removal of Sanusi from the official residence of the Emir of Kano.

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Amobeda ordered the police to ensure that all rights and privileges of an Emir are accorded Bayero.

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

In a statement, Soji Oye, director of information at the National Judicial Council (NJC), said the chief judges are scheduled for a meeting with the CJN on May 30.

“Sequel to the conflicting judgements emanating from the Federal High Court, and Kano State High Court of Justice on the chieftaincy matter in Kano State, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON, has summoned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, and Chief Judge of Kano State High Court, Justice Dije Aboki for an emergency meeting in his chambers tomorrow Thursday May 30, 2024,” the statement reads.

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“The meeting which is a prelude to whole scale investigation by the National Judicial Council is to enable the CJN have a proper briefing on this very disturbing development by the two respective Chief Judges.

“NJC will conduct an emergency meeting next week, where the subject judges are likely to be invited and subjected to serious investigations.”

THE CONTROVERSY

On May 23, Sanusi was reinstated as Emir by Abba Yusuf, Kano governor, at a colourful ceremony in government house.

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The Kano house of assembly had repealed the law which Abdullahi Ganduje, 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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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”.

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A detachment of soldiers have 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 issued by the federal court on May 23.

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Amid the controversy, supporters of Bayero took to the streets to protest the dethronement.

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