NJC Wades In, Summons 2 Chief Judges

Bayern Munich

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has issued a summon to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and the Chief Judge of Kano State High Court to appear before him over conflicting interim injunctions regarding the Kano Emirate tussle.

The Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice S. A. Amobeda, had on Tuesday issued an order for the eviction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II from the Kofar Kudu Palace, reinforcing the authority of the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.

On the same day, the Kano State High Court, presided over by Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu, issued an injunction to protect Muhammadu Sunusi and other key figures from potential harassment by state authorities.

The order prevents any interference with the Emir’s autonomy and the seizure of key symbols of his authority, such as the twin spear, the Royal Hat of Dabo, and the Ostrich-feathered shoes.
These conflicting orders have led to significant confusion regarding the rightful authority and protection of the emirs in Kano. The State High Court’s case is set for further hearing on June 13, while the Federal High Court has adjourned its case to June 4.

A statement from the director of information of the National Judicial Council, Mr Soji Oye, said, “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, OFR, and Chief Judge of Kano State High Court, Justice Dije Aboki for an emergency meeting in his chambers tomorrow (today) Thursday 30 May 2024.

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

“There is strong indication that the National Judicial Council will conduct an emergency meeting next week where the subject Judges are likely to be invited and subjected to serious investigations.”

NBA seeks punishment for Lawyers, Judges

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called for punitive actions against lawyers and Judges involved in the issuance of conflicting orders in the Kano Emirate legal tussle.
The association said the actions of lawyers and judges had not only brought utter disgrace to the profession, but also exposed the entire legal profession in Nigeria to public ridicule.

In a statement by its president, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) in Abuja, the NBA vowed to drag any lawyer found culpable in the matter before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee LPDC for deserved appropriate sanctions.

The NBA boss called on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and his counterpart in the High Court of Kano State to identify the judicial officers involved and drag them before the National Judicial Council for disciplinary action.

Part of the statement reads, “I must say, without any equivocation, that the conduct of counsel and the Courts in the handling of the proceedings which culminated in the orders issued by the Federal High Court, the Kano State High Court and again the Federal High Court, in circus, have brought utter disgrace and shame to the profession – have exposed the entire legal profession in Nigeria to public ridicule and opprobrium.

“The damage is one that would take the legal profession a long time to recover from. It is unfortunate and was totally uncalled for.

“For a country whose legal resources and expertise have for several decades been exported and positively impacted not only the African continent but the world at large, it is completely unacceptable that the processes of our courts would be deployed in the manner we have witnessed in the last couple of days, on a subject matter that is as clear as chieftaincy dispute.”

According to him, the NBA would investigate the conduct of the counsel involved with a view to commencing disciplinary action against them before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, should there be any finding of alleged professional misconduct against them.

“We have consistently maintained that the institution of the Judiciary must be guarded jealously by all (both within and outside the legal profession) including the other arms of government (Executive and Legislature), because the existence, peace, growth, development of any nation is intricately connected with the primary responsibility of the judiciary which is the dispensation of Justice,” he added.

Governor Yusuf Bans Street Protests

Meanwhile, Kano Governor Abba Yusuf has banned all public demonstrations in the state.
The governor has also ordered the arrest of those who protested on Tuesday along state road, claiming that they were students.

The announcement came in a press statement issued Wednesday morning through the office of the director-general on media, Sanusi Bature.

Governor Yusuf has also imposed stringent restrictions on all public gatherings intended for protest within the state, in exercise of the authority vested in him as the chief security officer of the state.

“By virtue of his position, the governor has directed the police, the Directorate of State Services, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to apprehend, detain, and prosecute any individual or group participating in demonstrations on Kano’s streets.

“This decisive action is a preemptive strategy aimed at averting any potential breakdown of law and order orchestrated by adversaries of the state.”

According to him, the state was in possession of credible intelligence indicating that certain prominent figures from the opposition party in Kano had devised plans to sponsor student associations and political agitators from other northwestern states to incite chaos under the guise of advocating for the dethroned Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.

He warned that individuals found on the streets of Kano engaging in protests, demonstrations, or processions of any kind will be promptly apprehended.

“Through this declaration, we caution student groups against being manipulated by troublemakers who are resolute in fomenting disorder in Kano,” he added.

Kano South Elders Insist On Return To 5 Emirates

Also yesterday, a delegation of 103 elders from Kano South Senatorial Zone, which hosts three of the abolished Emirates of Rano, Gaya, and Karaye, was at the Press Centre in Kano on Wednesday to demand the re-establishment of the five Emirates by the state government to avoid marginalisation and stall development and progress.

The delegation, consisting of former commissioners and others, was led by Musa Salihu Doguwa, a former commissioner under the Ibrahim Shekarau administration.

Doguwa called on the state government to consider the social and infrastructural development achieved after the creation of those five Emirates by the immediate past government of Abdullahi Ganduje.

“We stand here today to shed light on the immense progress and development that the upgrade of the new emirates in southern Kano brought about under the visionary leadership of the former Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje.

“This transformative initiative paved the way for urban upgrades and expansion of critical infrastructure in the capital and surrounding areas of the emirates, heralding a new era of prosperity and growth.

“It is important to note that the new emirates in Kano South, Gaya, Rano, and Karaye, evolved as separate chiefdoms with a rich historical background.

“These emirates represented a significant portion of the total population of Kano, which is currently projected to be at 15,462,200.

“Before their restoration and creation, the absence of tertiary healthcare and educational institutions in these emirates had stalled human progress and development,” he stated.

The group lamented the problem of marginalisation that hinders social and infrastructural development of the Emirates and their concentration in Kano.

“The decision to amend the regressive emirate law by the State Assembly members and hastily assented to by the current Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf is a significant setback to the progress and development of the emirates.

“This move not only stripped us of our heritage and potential for growth but also threatened to reverse the positive trajectory that had been set in motion by the previous administration,” he added.

NSCIA Cautions Against Inflammatory Comments

As the crisis rocking the Kano Emirate Council following the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano lingers, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has urged Islamic scholars in Kano to exercise caution and refrain from making inflammatory statements on the issue.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the deputy secretary general of the Council, Professor Salisu Shehu, on behalf of the secretary-general, Professor Ishaq Oloyede and sent to media houses on Wednesday.

Nigeria’s apex Islamic organisation called on the political, traditional and judicial authorities in Kano State to resolve the tussle with the fear of Allah, fairness and justice.

“The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has noticed the contradictory statements emanating from some quarters of the Ulama in Kano concerning the current traditional leadership crisis in the state.

“At this trying period for the Ummah, the Council calls on Islamic scholars, who are custodians of Islamic learning, values, and guidance, to exercise caution and refrain from making statements that can further exacerbate tension and polarise the Ummah.

“Ulama within and outside the state should prayerfully allow the current traditional leadership conflict in Kano to be handled and resolved by the political, judicial, and customary authorities,” the statement read in part.

The Council called on the people of Kano to remain calm and avoid taking laws into their hands.

 

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