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Court declares Sanusi’s banishment unlawful

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Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja has declared as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, the banishment of the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to Awe, a remote community in Nasarawa State by the Kano State government.

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.

Justice Chikere in a judgment on fundamental human rights suit filed by Sanusi 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 and in contravention of his right to freedom of movement and association.

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 and the DSS except with an express order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

The Judge subsequently voided the arrest, detention, harassment and banishment of Sanusi to Abuja and later to Nasarawa State and set it aside on grounds of being an infringement on his fundamental human rights.

An Emirates Chieftain law of Kano State which empowers a governor to restrict or banish any deposed traditional ruler was also voided on account of being illegal, unlawful having run into conflict with provisions of the 1999 constitution.

Justice Chikere agreed with Lateef Fagbemi SAN that the country’s constitution is the supreme law and that any law which runs contrary to its provisions must not be allowed by any law court to stand or have its way or effect on any Nigerian citizen.

Justice Chikere, therefore, declared as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, the purported house arrest and restrictions placed on the former Emir by the Kano State government, Police and the Department of the State Service DSS.

Court declares deposed Kano Emir, Sanusi’s banishment as unlawful

“Fundamental rights law is weighty, inalienable and cannot be wished away as done by the respondents in the instant case.

“There is no provision in Nigeria’s supreme law that where a person is dethroned, he should be banished to another place without his consent.

“Every Nigerian citizen must be treated with dignity except where such citizen commits a capital offence.

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the three respondents, their agents and any other deriving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria was granted in favour of Sanusi against his investigation, arrest, harassment and any form of ill treatment.

A sum of N10 million was also awarded to the former Emir as damages to be paid to him by 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 in the cause of breaching his fender mental human rights.

Respondents in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020 are the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Attorney General (AG) of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) but the name of the AGF was struck out on grounds that no case was made against the office.

“From the totality of this suit, the AGF has no hand in the deposition and subsequent banishment and ought not to have been made a party in this matter”

Sanusi’s lead lawyer had in his final submission told the court that the case was not a chieftaincy matter, because his client was not challenging his deposition.

He had argued that his client’s complaint was about the violation of his fundamental rights in relation to the manner he was shabbily treated after he was deposed.

“This is not a chieftaincy matter. The applicant (Sanusi) is not challenging the respondents’ action as regards his removal as Emir of Kano, but the way he was bundled to Abuja and banished to a remote location,” the Counsel said.

He added that it is not in doubt that Sanusi, as a prominent citizen of this country, was shabbily treated in the manner he was bundled to Abuja and subsequently banished to a remote location.

The lawyer faulted the respondents’ challenge to the Abuja court’s jurisdiction to hear the case, arguing that no law supports the position that where rights violations occur across several jurisdictions, one cannot approach a court in any of the jurisdictions.

He also argued that it was clear from the way his client was treated that his rights were violated in Kano, Abuja and Nasarawa and as such, he is entitled to seek protection from the court.

Responding, lawyer to the IGP, Victor Okoye argued otherwise. He faulted the competence of the suit and queried the Abuja court’s jurisdiction to hear it.

Okoye, in challenging the jurisdiction of the court, noted that the instrument conveying the ex-Emir’s banishment was authored and endorsed by an official of the Kano State Government in Kano State.

He argued that the appropriate venue for Sanusi to seek redress for the alleged violation of his rights was a court in Kano State.

Okoye urged the court to either strike the case out or dismiss it.

Lawyer to the DG of the DSS, Godwin Agbadua argued in a similar manner and also challenged the court’s jurisdiction.

Agbadua urged the court to strike out the suit on the grounds that the alleged rights violation occurred in Kano, adding that there is a Federal High Court in Kano, before which Sanusi could seek redress.

“Where there are infringements in sequence, the court with jurisdiction is that where the alleged infringement commenced, which by the applicant’s affidavit, is Kano and there is a Federal High Court in Kano,” Agbadua added.

Lawyer to the Attorney General of Kano State, Musa Mohammed (the Director of Civil Litigation of the state’s Ministry of Justice) equally faulted the competence of the suit and the jurisdiction of the court in Abuja to hear the case.

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No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.

Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;

“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.

“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”

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Buhari jets out Turkey for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.

This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.

“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.

“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.

“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.

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