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Sanusi wanted to be in Lagos but was forced to Nasarawa, says lawyer

Haleem Olatunji

Abubakar Mahmoud, one of the lawyers representing Muhammadu Sanusi, former emir of Kano, says after the dethronement, the ex-monarch wanted to move to Lagos state, but was forced to Nasarawa.

The Kano executive council chaired by Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the state, had removed Sanusi from the throne on Monday, replacing him with Aminu Ado Bayero, one of the sons of his predecessor.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, Mahmoud said he was at the palace when the letter of dethronement was brought to Sanusi, who acknowledged it.

He said the commissioner of police refused to grant Sanusi’s wish to move to Lagos, saying the directive given in the letter – for him to travel to Nasarawa – must be obeyed.


“In the letter of deposition, it was stated that the Emir was to be removed to Nassarawa State. We requested to know if he was under arrest and if so we needed to see the warrant. The Commissioner of Police informed us that he was not under arrest,” he said.

“We informed the Commissioner of Police that was illegal and violation of his constitutional rights to remove to Nassarawa State against his wish. The Emir informed the Commissioner of Police that his friends had sent an aircraft to fly him and his family to Lagos and requested that they should be provided with necessary security to the airport so that he could leave.

“The Commissioner refused saying that was not their instruction. They were willing to allow the family to leave for Lagos but he was to be flown to Abuja then onwards taken to Nassarawa State. It was clear to us that both the Emir and ourselves were helpless and the police and other security agents were willing to take any measure and use force to achieve their objective.


“In order not to jeopardize the Emir’s safety or the safety of any member of his family or indeed other persons around, the Emir decided to cooperate and proceed in the vehicles provided by the operatives.

“We accompanied the Commissioner of Police to the Nigerian Airforce base in Kano where the Emir was put a private aircraft and departed at about 6.40pm. The family subsequently boarded the aircraft arranged by his friends and departed for Lagos about 15 minutes later.”

The lawyer said from Abuja, Sanusi was taken on a journey of seven hours by road till he arrived at a remote location in Nasarawa.

Mahmoud said this was done to traumatise the former monarch, adding that he has been unable to reach Sanusi all through the day.

He called on Nigerians, the international community and other stakeholders to intervene in the matter to ensure the safety of the former emir.

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