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‘Rights violation’: Court fixes Nov 30 for judgment in Sanusi’s suit against DSS, IGP

Anwuli Chikere, judge of a federal high court in Abuja, has fixed November 30 to deliver judgment in a fundamental human rights suit filed by Muhammadu Sanusi, former Emir of Kano.

The administration of Abdullahi Ganduje had removed Sanusi as emir on March 9, 2020, over “total disrespect to the office of the governor”.

He was subsequently banished and taken to Awe LGA in Nasarawa, where he was confined until he was released on March 13, 2020, following an interim order for his release.

The inspector-general of police (IGP), the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), the attorney-general of Kano and the attorney-general of the federation are the respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020.

Sanusi accused the respondents of breaching his fundamental human rights.

At the resumed court session on Thursday, lawyers in the suit made their final arguments.

Abubakar Mahmoud, Sanusi’s lead counsel, said his client’s complaint was about the alleged violation of his fundamental rights in relation to the manner he was treated after he was deposed.

“This is not a chieftaincy matter. The applicant (Sanusi) is not challenging the respondents’ action as regard his removal as Emir of Kano, but the way he was bundled to Abuja and banished to a remote location,” Mahmoud said.

He also faulted the respondents’ claim that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit on grounds that the alleged violation did not occur in Abuja.

He argued that it was clear from the way his client was treated that his rights were violated, and as such, he is entitled to seek protection from the court.

Responding, Victor Okoye, lawyer to the IGP, faulted the competence of the suit and queried the court’s jurisdiction to hear it.

Okoye noted that the instrument conveying the ex-emir’s banishment was authored and endorsed by an official of the Kano state government, thus, the appropriate venue for Sanusi to seek redress for the alleged violation of his rights was a court in Kano state.

Okoye urged the court to either strike out the case or dismiss it.

Godwin Agbadua, lawyer to the DSS DG, also aligned himself with the submissions of Okoye.

“Where there are infringements in sequence, the court with jurisdiction is that where the alleged infringement commenced, which by the applicant’s affidavit, is Kano and there is a federal high court in Kano,” Agbadua said.

Musa Mohammed, who represented the Kano state attorney-general, also faulted the competence of the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.

They all prayed the court to dismiss the suit.

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