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Emirship tussle: Kano govt bans public protest, demonstration

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.CJN summons two judges over conflicting orers

.Police deploy armed officers to flashpoints

.As NBA President condemns conflicting court orders

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Chigozie Ikpo, Abuja

The Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, has imposed restrictions on public gatherings intended for protests, aiming to curb potential unrest within the state.

 

This announcement was made through a statement delivered by his spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Wednesday

 

Under the new directive, Governor Yusuf has authorized the Police, the Directorate of State Security Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) to take robust measures against anyone engaging in public demonstrations.

 

According to the governor’s spokesperson, these security agencies are instructed to “apprehend, detain, and prosecute any individual or group partaking in demonstrations on the streets of Kano.”

 

The governor’s office described this measure as a preemptive strategy designed to prevent any breakdown of law and order that might be incited by state adversaries.

 

The move comes amid concerns that protests could escalate into violence, potentially disturbing peace and public safety.

 

This decision has stirred various reactions among the citizens and groups within Kano, with some viewing it as a necessary step towards maintaining stability, while others criticize it as an infringement on democratic rights to free speech and assembly.

 

The statement reads: “We are privy to credible intelligence indicating that certain prominent figures from the opposition party in Kano have 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.

 

“The state government has explicitly outlawed protests, demonstrations, or processions of any kind, and individuals found on the streets of Kano engaging in such activities will be promptly apprehended.

 

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

.CJN summons two judges over conflicting orders

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has summoned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, and a Kano State High Courr judge over conflicting interim injunctions regarding the Kano Emirate, causing uncertainty in the state.

The Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice S. A. Amobeda, 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.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from inviting, arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant, or infringing on his rights is hereby granted,” stated Justice Amobeda.

He added, “This order ensures that Emir Aminu Bayero enjoys all rights and privileges accrued to him by virtue of his position.”

On the other hand, the Kano State High Court, under the jurisdiction of Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu, issued an injunction to protect Muhammadu Sunusi and other key figures from potential harassment by state authorities. This 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.

Justice Aliyu emphasised, “An order of interim injunction is granted restraining the Respondents from harassing or intimidating the Applicants or confiscating any symbols of the Emir’s authority.”

She further added, “The respondents are ordered to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

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.

.As NBA President condemns conflicting court orders

However, The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, has strongly criticised the recent conflicting court orders concerning the stool of the Emir of Kano, describing the situation as a disgrace to the legal profession.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Maikyau expressed his dismay over the conduct of both counsel and judges involved in the cases handled by the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court, which he believes have exposed the legal profession to public ridicule and opprobrium.

The controversy surrounding the stool of the Emir of Kano has seen a series of conflicting orders from different courts, leading to confusion and raising concerns about the integrity of the judiciary.

The statement read in part:

“The conduct of counsel and the courts in handling 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.

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

Maikyau underscored the need for an urgent review of the professional conduct of both the counsel and judges involved in these matters.

He called for ethical and professional scrutiny to determine any culpability.

“Without prejudice to the subsisting actions before both the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court, it is my considered view that there is an urgent need to scrutinize the professional conduct of both counsel and the judges involved in these matters. This is to enable the relevant bodies or institutions to determine their culpability or otherwise from an ethical and professional standpoint,” he added.

He called on the respective heads of the courts to investigate the conduct of the judges and report their findings to the National Judicial Council, NJC for necessary action.

“I call on the respective heads of the courts of the judges concerned to take immediate steps to look into their conduct with a view to finding any possible abuse of their judicial offices and file a report with the National Judicial Council for necessary action,” Maikyau urged.

On the conduct of the lawyers involved, Maikyau assured that the NBA would not hesitate to initiate disciplinary actions if any professional misconduct is found.

“The NBA will investigate the conduct of the counsel involved in these cases and shall not hesitate to commence disciplinary action against them before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, should there be any finding of alleged professional misconduct against them. The Chairman of the NBA Ethics and Disciplinary Committee has accordingly been directed to invite these counsel for preliminary investigations,” he stated.

Maikyau said that the NBA is committed to maintaining professional standards and ensuring that the legal profession in Nigeria upholds its integrity and public trust.

Earlier, a Federal High Court in Kano ordered the eviction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II from the Kofar Kudu Palace, while a State High Court restrained the police and other security agencies from carrying out the eviction order.

The Federal Court had, on Tuesday, ordered the police to ensure all rights and privileges due to the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero be given to him, as the rightful Emir of Kano.

The presiding judge, Justice S. A. Amobeda, who gave the ex parte order, stated that the order was made in the interest of justice and the maintenance of peace in Kano State.

 

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