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EMIRATE CRISIS: Police Ban Durbar at Eid-el-Kabir in Kano

The Kano State Police Command, on Thursday, banned all durbar activities throughout the state, ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir festivities.

The ban order was contained in a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Abdullahi, on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Usaini Gume.

There had been a crisis in the town over the repeal of the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019 by the state Assembly, leading to the dethronment of the five emirs installed in 2020 by ex-governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

The Assembly replaced the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019 with a 2024 version, collapsing the five emirates back into one and paving the way for the reinstatement of Lamido Sanusi as the 16th Emir of Kano, replacing Ado Bayero, who was the 15th Emir of Kano.

While Sanusi has been recognised as the new emir and living at the main palace, Bayero continued to lay claim to the throne but moved to a mini palace as Nassarawa.

“Apples Bite” reports that Bayero, on Tuesday, in a circular by his senior counsellor and the Galadiman Kano, Abbas Sanusi, asked the district heads to join him at the Gidan Nassarawa palace for the Sallah Durbar celebrations in the state.

He assured the district heads that he had got assurance of police protection for the durbar, with an aide to the council confirming that the police were served with the letter on the planned durbar and the acknowledgement of the letter confirming its receipt.

The Commissioner of Police, however, denied the receipt of a letter from Bayero.

A source in Kano said Sanusi was expected to lead the Eid prayers at the Sallah festivities and the development from the Bayero camp may cause a crisis in the town.

To forestall the breakdown of law and order and avoid a clash between the supporters of the two claimants to the throne, the police called off the durbar activities.

“The Kano Police Command has placed a ban on all durbar activities throughout the state for the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir celebrations.

“In furtherance, a ban on all contending parties has been placed, restraining both from conducting Durbar activities for the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebrations,” the statement noted.

The police spokesman said the measure was part of the commitment to the sustenance of peace by the state police command, in conjunction with all the relevant security stakeholders in the state.

“This measure is taken as a result of a series of security reports obtained and wide consultations made with relevant security stakeholders, to ensure the safety of the larger community,” the statement said.

The statement further assured that adequate security deployments had been put in place to ensure no breakdown of law and order in all parts of the state before, during and after the festive period.

“Worshippers are advised to conduct their normal Eid prayers at the various designated Eid praying grounds, as was traditionally done in the past.

“The command encourages continued collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders to collectively work together to build a safer and more secure environment,” the statement noted.

The development came as Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court in Kano State, on Thursday, relying on Section 42 Sub-section 1 of the Constitution, said the court had powers of jurisdiction to hear Bayero’s case.

On May 23, 2024, Liman issued an ex parte order which, inter alia, suspended the implementation of the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Law, 2024, stopping Yusuf from reinstating Sanusi, pending the determination of a substantive suit filed against his reinstatement.

He directed all parties involved to maintain the status quo ante, pending the determination of the suit filed by Sarkin Dawaki Babba and Aminu Babba-Dan’Agundi.

The defendants in the suit included the Kano State Government, the Kano State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the State Assembly, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and the Department of State Security.

However, when the case resumed on Thursday, Justice Liman said contrary to the stand of the respondents, the court had the jurisdiction to hear the enforcement of the human rights case brought by Bayero.

The judge noted, “What I find intriguing is the respondent’s total reliance on this case of Gongola, whereas Section 42 Sub-section 1 of the Constitution has spelt out the jurisdictional powers of the Federal High Court to preside over such a case.

“My respectful view is that the case of Tukur against the Gongola is indistinguishable from the present case. Section 42 Sub-section 1 and Section 32 of the Constitution vested power on our court to decide on this matter.”

In continuation of the case, the plaintiff’s counsel, Chukwuson Ojukwu, argued that the matter was ripe for hearing as to the main issues of the invalidity of the reappointment of a new emir and the deposition of Bayero.

But A. G Wakil insisted that the new motion seeking to continue hearing on the chieftaincy affairs issues was not part of the original summons and is a different application outside the matter of Human Rights Violation and the jurisdictional powers of the court, which the court had decided.

The judge explained that the matter was adjourned to Thursday for only a ruling and nothing else and then adjourned the case to Friday, noting its sensitivity.

Speaking on the development on Thursday, the police said, “In this trying period, the police will enforce the existing court order and prevail on the two contending parties regarding the Kano Emirate tussle and urge them to remain apart and respect the court order.”

Meanwhile, the Global Leader of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Group, Sheikh Muhammad Niasse, has denied a purported letter in circulation, in which he purportedly appealed to Sanusi to step down and follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.

In a counter letter written in Arabic and translated into Hausa language, signed by the Kano State Commissioner for Religious Matters, Sani Auwalu Tijjani, who doubles as the Nigerian spokesperson of the Global Tijjaniyya Leader, the Muslim group said the purported letter asking Sanusi to resign was forged and did not emanate from their leader.

“The purported letter has touched on the integrity of our leader who sees Muhammadu Sanusi II as his disciple in Nigeria, and a person with sound religious character.”

He said, “We have given those behind the purported letter to, within 24 hours, show up and explain from where it emanated and to whom it was sent, otherwise we will not hesitate in taking legal actions against them.”

He said security agencies had already been detailed on the matter, adding that anybody found behind it would soon face the full wrath of the law.

The spokesperson for the Global Tijjaniyya group said, “This is the second time this kind of letter has been forged against our Global Tijjaniyya Leader, the same thing was done during the previous administration of Abdullahi Ganduje, but this time around, anybody who is behind it will have himself to blame.”

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