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Sanusi’s banishment unconstitutional —Deposed Emir’s lawyer

A senior lawyer to the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), has contended that the banishment of the former Emir after his dethronment was unconstitutional, as he could not be deprived of his freedom.

Mahmoud, who spoke on Channels Television on Monday night, also insisted that Sanusi’s removal is reversible, if contested in the court of law.

It would be recalled that the former Emir was dethroned on Monday by the Kano State Government led by Governor Abdulahi Ganduje for alleged insubordination and lack of respect for the office of the governor amongst other reasons, and banished to Nasarawa State.

According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the removal was not surprising but most embarrassing given that Sanusi was not given any fair hearing just as due process was not observed in the matter.

He said: “He has been in various legal tussles with the state government over the last two to three years. So, this did not come to us as a surprise. We were so much embarrassed at the manner in which it was done without giving him any fair hearing or observing any due process.

“However, the government has announced its decision dethroning him and he was this evening (Monday evening) taken into custody and flown to Abuja.

“We are going to be in touch with him to discuss which line of action to take as his lawyers. And we as lawyers, of course, we believe that this action was illegal and unconstitutional. And more so, the aspect of banishment, under the constitution, nobody can be deprived of his liberty under the manner he has been deprived of his. Nevertheless, we will be in touch with him and hopefully, come up with the next line of action in due course.

“The next line of action would depend on the instruction from the Emir. There are two aspects to it – the dethronement and the banishment. We will be consulting with him.

“I had a meeting with him before he was taken to custody and at that point, he has not taken a decision on whether he is going to pursue this matter in court or not.

“Of course, we will give him time to come up with a decision on his dethronement. But as far as his liberty is concerned, we are very firmly clear that this is an illegal act and we will be considering what line of action to take hopefully by tomorrow (Tuesday) when I speak with him.”

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On the possibility of reversing the dethronment, Mahmoud said he and his team were confident that the court would reverse the decision of the Kano State Government should Sanusi decide to challenge the action.

“An action that is illegal can be reversed by the court of law and that is why we have the written constitution and courts in place. Under the constitution of the country, whenever the executive branch of government takes an action that is unconstitutional or illegal, the courts are there for all citizens to seek redress.

“We are confident given the fact of this case that if the Emir was to challenge the action, it would be reversed because the action, in our view, is repressing and illegal,” he said.

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