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Exparte injunction from US: Why NJC won’t sanction Kano judge —Official

•Emir Sanusi storms Kano, leads Friday prayer •Protesters storm/National Assembly, Presidential Villa

THE National Judicial Council (NJC) is encouraging the entrenchment of e-proceedings in the Nigerian legal system and won’t be punishing Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman for issuing an interim order from the United States of America temporarily stopping the return of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of Kano.

Liman, of the Federal High Court, Kano, on Thursday night asked parties in the dispute over the throne to stay actions in a motion brought by Aminu Babba Danagundi, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba.

The state government disregarded the interim order and returned Sanusi to the throne.

A top source in the NJC told Saturday Tribune on Friday that the noise over the current base of the judge would be needless if Nigerians had known more about the concept of e-proceedings which is becoming a standard practice world over.

“A lot has been done by the council to bring the system to global standard practice. The judge did no wrong by hearing the motion while in the US. There is nothing to punish him for over that. The only issue is if the order he granted was frivolous. But the letter of appointment was to be given and that is the res of the matter which the court has the responsibility to preserve.

“As long as the motion isn’t speculative, the judge has the discretion to grant the interim order.

“Recently, someone petitioned a judge. The day the petition was heard here (at the council), only his lawyer was present, the petitioner was in Dubai and the proceedings were conducted electronically. He was led and cross-examined electronically. He didn’t have to be here in Nigeria to get the job done.

“It is just sad that Nigerians aren’t aware of the efforts we have made to make hearing of cases much easier. It is the trend globally and time zone doesn’t affect only Nigeria.

“There are times close to five council members won’t be physically available for meetings here, yet they participate fully, taking advantage of technology. There is nothing to sanction the judge for,” the source explained.

Meanwhile, reinstated Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II on Friday led the Juma’at prayer at the Government House, Kano.

This was after the state governor, Abba Yusuf, presented the letter of appointment to the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the 16th emir of Kano at the government house.

Speaking while presenting the letter, Yusuf said, “Sanusi is a victim of the immediate past administration who is now being restored to his rightful position to lead the people.”

The ceremony was graced by members of the Kano Emirate Council, district heads and title holders.

Governor Yusuf said after the Juma’at prayer that Sanusi would return to his lodge with members of his emirate council to continue with the business of the emirate council.

The governor said an announcement would be made later as to when the emir would move into the palace.

He admonished the emir to unite all Muslims in the state.

After Sanusi received his appointment letter and confirmation as the Emir of Kano at the Government House, all the district heads and senior council chiefs pledged allegiance to him.

The development was sequel to the signing into law of the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 by the governor on Thursday.

The amended law dissolved all the five emirates – Bichi, Rano, Gaya, Karaye and Kano – created by Ganduje in 2019 and sacked the emirs appointed, paving the way for the reinstatement of the former CBN governor who was deposed in 2020.

As Sanusi’s reinstatement was being formalised on Friday in Kano, a group of stakeholders staged a protest at the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly in Abuja, calling on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in what they called the ongoing crisis in the northwestern state.

The protesters, who marched peacefully, carried banners expressing their concerns about the situation in the state.

They urged President Tinubu to use his good offices to resolve the crisis and ensure the restoration of peace and stability in the state.

Under the auspices of the Concerned Patriots of Nigeria, the group alleged that Governor Yusuf had taken his abuse of office to another level by dissolving the traditional council.

A statement read by coordinator of the group, Abdullahi Muhammed Saleh, said: “A lot had been going wrong in the state but the Concerned Patriots of Nigeria had thought it best to allow Kano State to sort out its thorny issues. However, Thursday’s brash actions of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State, who sacked five emirs to reappoint Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi as the Emir of Kano has awoken us to the urgency of raising the alarm about the destructive excesses of the state governor.

“Since being sworn into office, Governor Abba Yusuf has a string of loutish acts that run like a hardened criminal’s rap sheet. All in the name of rubbishing his predecessor, he started with a demolition spree that has served to impoverish the people whose lives he took an oath to improve. Thus he proved himself to be anti-people.

“The governor then attempted to destroy the structures of political parties in the state. The impish fanaticism with which he pursued this illicit mission saw him intruding into the structure of other political parties, including hiring some charlatans who purportedly suspended the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, who is interestingly his predecessor. Thus he proved himself to be anti-democratic.

“This latest stunt of sacking five emirs to install his acolyte was achieved by manipulating the Kano State House of Assembly, which he had successfully turned into a rubber stamp for endorsing his illegal acts. He has eroded the autonomy guaranteed by the separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“It is inconceivable that any right-thinking person will descend low to the point of manipulating the traditional institution for political gimmicks. The humiliation meted out to the five emirs was most unbecoming and we have cause to believe that Abba Yusuf has set the stage for using the traditional institution as ancient and as esteemed as that of Kano for a political seesaw will continue since his successor will revert to the five emirates. The Kano governor has thus proven himself to be the anti-traditional institution leader.”

The statement added: “The governor’s choice of actions flies in the face of reason and has no place in a sane and civilised society. We urge Governor Yusuf to retrace his steps and stop further undermining the peace of Kano State and by implication the peace in Nigeria.

“We also condemn the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)-dominated Kano State House of Assembly that they have cemented their place as a conclave of shame to have reverted into a mere rubber stamp for the megalomanic tantrums of the state governor.

“They, alongside Governor Yusuf, have taken their desperation to an extent that could set the ancient city on fire and cause breaches in the land. We are here today to appeal to President Tinubu to intervene in the Kano Emirate crisis.

“The situation would deteriorate by the day, and we need the president’s urgent attention to prevent further breakdown of law and order. We believe that President Tinubu’s intervention is crucial at this critical moment. We are counting on his leadership to find a lasting solution to the crisis and ensure peace returns to Kano State.”

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