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Timeline: Major highlights of Ganduje-Sanusi feud before dethronement

The dethronement of the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido II, has generated widespread controversies amongst traditional conservatives and his sympathisers.

Turbaned as the 14th Kano Emir in 2014, Sanusi ascended the throne following the death of his granduncle Ado Bayero.

However, after series of events and clash with the Kano state government, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje deposed Sanusi and replaced him with Aminu Ado Bayero.

It should be noted that on several fora, the former Central Bank Governor, criticised the Kano state government and some of its policies. This formed the basis of  the Ganduje-Sanusi feud.a

Meanwhile, POLITICS NIGERIA, reviews major highlights of events preceding the dethronement of Sanusi.

Criticisms

In August 2016, Mr Sanusi censured the government’s foreign exchange climate, describing it as unrealistic and unhealthy for the economy.

He came back with the same criticism in December of that year, also lampooning the government for making a $30 billion loan request, leading to a public reaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In April 2017, the emir used an occasion in neighbouring Kaduna state to criticise the Kano State government for its plan to borrow money from China EXIM Bank to fund a metro line.

In the midst of those criticisms, the government launched a probe into the emirate council’s finances, following publications by an online news platform, Daily Nigerian, accusing Mr Sanusi of extravagance and embezzlement.

Kano Government queries Sanusi over corruption allegations

In June 2019, the state Government asked Mr Sanusi, to explain within 48 hours his stance on the alleged misappropriation of N3.4 billion by the emirate.

The Kano anti-corruption commission accused the Kano emirate under Mr Sanusi of mismanaging the N3.4 billion.

It was based on the report by the commission that the Kano government queried the embattled emir.

Many Nigerians believe Mr Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, is being persecuted by the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, for allegedly opposing the governor’s second term bid.

Kano Assembly stops investigation of Sanusi

The Kano State House of Assembly called off its investigation of alleged misappropriation of funds and other infractions by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.

The House resolved to drop the probe following a plea through a letter by the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, which was read by the speaker, Kabiru Alhassan Rirum, on the floor of the House.

Media reports have it that a coalition of civil society groups in the state also joined in calling on the legislators to stop the exercise.

In his letter, Governor Ganduje said he was calling for the investigation to be dropped as a result of interventions by highly-placed personalities in the matter.

These personalities, according to the letter, include the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo; party leaders; former heads of state Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; and businessmen and indigenes of the state, Aliko Dangote and Aminu Dantata.

Creation of more Emirates

In 2019, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje signed into law the creation of four new emirates. This unprecedented move saw Sanusi’s traditional domain as emir reduced. According to the law, Sanusi will only preside over 10 local government areas out of the 44 in the state.

Mr Ganduje however defended his government’s swift creation of four additional emirates.

“It is not vendetta, I am not against him (Mr Sanusi). In fact, he is supposed to be reporting to the local government chairman according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the governor was reported as saying.

But even as Mr Ganduje struggled to defend the happenings in the state, the actions of his government, in partnership with the Kano State House of Assembly, have left no room to take the governor’s words.

This development, according to critics, alters existing traditional structure.

Alleged request to dethrone Emir Sanusi

In December 2019, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje said he has received a letter from 35 civil society organisations calling for the immediate dethronement of Sanusi for disobedience to constituted authority.

Mr Ganduje’s spokesperson, Abba Anwar, in a statement said the CSOs are concerned that Mr Sanusi is making efforts to create a state within a state.

Mr Anwar did not list the 35 CSOs but said their request was signed by Ibrahim Ali, described as the chairman of the coalition.

Court dismissed recommendations to suspend Sanusi

The Federal High Court in Kano, in February, dismissed the preliminary report of the state Public Complaint and Anti-corruption Commission (PCACC) which recommended the suspension of  Sanusi, pending investigations into alleged financial misappropriation of the emirate’s funds.

Justice O. A. Egwuatu said PCACC did not give the emir an opportunity to be heard before releasing the report on him, adding that such an omission was against the principle of fair hearing.

The emir had sued PCACC, the governor of Kano State and the state Attorney-General. He asked the court to declare that the findings of PCACC contained in its preliminary report issued on June 6, 2019, were a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing and contrary to the rules of natural justice.

Mr Sanusi also asked for an order of the court to quash the preliminary report as it relates to his indictment for fraud, misappropriation, as well as the recommendation for his suspension by the commission.

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