Deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (Muhammad Sanusi II), got his freedom back on Friday after a Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered his release from security confinement.
Sanusi had been sent to Awe, Nasarawa State, on exile moment after his dethronement on Monday.
The court heard from Sanusi’s Chief of Staff (CoS), Muhammad Mannir Sanusi, how he was evicted from the palace in Kano on the fateful day.
His CoS revealed that a large number of security personnel, comprising men of the police and State Security Service, laid siege to the palace from 12 noon on March 9 even before the conclusion of the meeting of the Kano State Executive Council where the decision to dethrone Sanusi was made.
He said the security men, who claimed to be acting on a directive from Abuja, later forced Sanusi out of the palace, prevented him from taking any of his belongings and forcefully moved him to Nasarawa State, as against his wish to be taken to Lagos State.
Sanusi’s CoS made this revelation in his deposition contained in an affidavit supporting the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the ex-emir before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
He said: “I know for a fact that as early as 12 noon on 9th day of March, 2020 and ever before the service of letter of deposition on the applicant (Sanusi), I observed an unusual presence (and in an unusually large number) of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force and members of State Security Service who cordoned off the palace of the applicant in Kano
“The cordon was accompanied by serious restriction of movement in and out of the applicant’s palace in Kano.
“At the time mentioned above, the government of Kano State was still holding its Executive Council (Exco) meeting.
“I sought to know, from one of the officers of the 1st respondent, who did not wear a badge, why the unusual presence. All I got in reply was that the order came from above in Abuja.
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“I am aware (because I was present when it happened) that the applicant informed the Commissioner of Police, Kano State, who later came in (as aforesaid) 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.
“l know for a fact that the Commissioner of Police, Kano State (as aforesaid) refused the applicant’s requests for security protection and to carry his family with him to Lagos and stated that he has no such instruction from above, but instead directed that the applicant be flown to Abuja and then onwards taken to Nasarawa State.
“In order not to jeopardize his safety or the safety of any member of his family or indeed other persons around, the applicant cooperated and proceeded in the vehicles provided by officers, under the command of the respondents.
“The said Commissioner of Police, Kano State, along with other officers under the command of the respondents, harassed and rushed the applicant out of the Emir’s Palace, Kano, without letting him take any personal belongings and personal effects, along with him, as they took him into their waiting vehicles.
“The applicant was then taken, in the company of loads of armed men, being officers under the command of the respondents, to the Nigerian Airforce base in Kano where he was put in a private aircraft to Abuja and departed Kano at about 6.40pm.
“The applicant was separated from his family, who were also carried out of the palace.
“Upon arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, he was conveyed first to Lafia, then to Loko Area of Nasarawa State after driving for about 7 hours in the dead of the night.
“On 10 March, 2020, he was taken back to Lafia and from there to Awe in Nasarawa State.
“Since his deportation or forceful relocation from Kano, he has not been allowed to move freely, to live freely, to associate with those he desires or to work in the way he desires.
“His relocation, first to Abuja, then Loko, and subsequently to Awe in Nasarawa State and separation from his family are against his wish and without his consent.
“He has never been invited by any of the respondents for the purposes of any investigation, nor in relation to any offence nor has he been convicted by any court.
“He has not been served with any order of court for his arrest and detention. The applicant has been seriously humiliated by the action of the respondents who have no right whatsoever to manhandle him.
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“The applicant is personally being detained in Nasarawa State by agents of the 1st and 2nd respondents, purporting to carry out the orders of the 3rd and 4th respondents (AG, Kano and AGF),” the CoS said.
In the substantive suit, the ex-emir is praying the court for, among others, “a declaratlon that the respondents have no power to place the applicant under house arrest, restrict his movement and/or to eventually relocate to anywhere either within or outside Kano State without a valid court order or consent of the applicant freely given.”
He is also seeking “a declaration that the applicant is entitled to adequate compensation and public apology from the respondents as provided for in Sections 35 (6) and 46 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, over the blatant violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights without following the due process of law.”
Other prayers being sought include:
*An order restraining the respondents and their agents from continuing in their acts of banishing the applicant from the city of Kano or any other place of his choice and/or otherwise in any way or manner whatsoever violating or infringing or continuing to violate or infringe upon his fundamental right to reside in any part of Nigeria as a place of his choice as duly guaranteed and enshrined in Section 41 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), as well as African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification and Enforcement Act, 2004).
*An order directing the respondents and their agents to
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