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Banishment: Police asks court to dismiss Sanusi’s suit

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss a suit filed by the deposed Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over his banishment.

Recall that the Kano State Government had on March 9, 2020, deposed Mallam Sanusi after which he was banished.

He was initially banished to Awe, Nasarawa State, where he was detained in a private home until March 13.

He was, however, moved to Lagos following an interim order of the court directing his release from house arrest.

The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), following the court order moved to Lagos and later to Abuja.

The former Emir of Kano, consequently filed the suit challenging his banishment.

Sanusi, in the substantive suit, argued that his banishment and subsequent house arrest violated his right to freedom of movement.

Speaking through his lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), he prayed the court to abolish the decision of the Kano State Government.

He also asked for punitive damages against the State.

READ ALSO: Deposed Emir Sanusi Sues IGP, DG DSS For Unlawful Detention

In his preliminary objection, IGP Adamu Mohammed argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.

The IGP contended that the fundamental rights enforcement suit ought be filed in Kano.

This, according to him, is because the rights violation complained of by Sanusi followed his dethronement which took place in Kano.

He said: “The alleged infringement of the fundamental right of the applicant in this suit (Sanusi) is only ancillary to the dethronement of the applicant as the Emir of Kano, which is a matter within the jurisdiction of the High Court of a state.

“It is crystal clear from all the processes filed by the applicant that the facts that gave rise to this case arose from Kano State, where the applicant was dethroned as the Emir and flown to Abuja enroute Nasarawa State.

“It is our submission that coming into Abuja was only as a mere passage to their actual destination, which is Nasarawa State, and as such, Abuja cannot, by any stretch of reasoning, be said to be the place where the infringement occurred.”

He, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the suit.

He added that the banishment saga was a chieftaincy matter that only state High Court and not the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to hear it.

Sanusi, meanwhile, in a counter-affidavit, insisted that his suit was not about his dethronement.

He said its about his forceful ejection from the palace, banishment from Kano and eventual detainment in a private home in Nasarawa.

He argued that the infringement of his fundamental rights was not limited to Kano but was a continuous process that spanned three territories – Kano, Abuja and Nasarawa.

“The nucleus or gravamen of the applicant’s complaint is centrally on the violations of the applicant’s fundamental rights and there is no or any other complaints therein.

“The claim of the applicant, as presently constituted, does not have any colouration of a chieftaincy matter as alleged by the 1st respondent. The applicant is not challenging his deposition in this case,” he noted.

The presiding judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere fixed October 20 for hearing of the suit..

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