From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Deposed Emir of Kano State and former Governor of Central Bank (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday, secured a major victory as Federal High Court in Abuja declared as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, his banishment to Awe, a remote community in Nasarawa State by the Kano state government.
Justice Anwuli Chikere, in her judgment, held that the restrictions placed on Sanusi after his deposition on March 9, 2020, on allegation of insubordination is a clear arbitrary violation of his right to freedom of movement and personal liberty granted by the Nigerian constitution.
The judgment was based on the fundamental human rights suit filed by Sanusi.
Justice Chikere agreed with Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, counsel to Sanusi, that his client was moved out of Kano to Abuja, and later to Awe, in Nasarawa state, against his wish and in contravention of his right to freedom of movement and association.
She further held that the right to freedom of liberty and personal dignity granted under section 34 of Nigeria’s constitution cannot be taken away as done by the Kano government, Police and DSS except with express order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
The judge subsequently voided the arrest, detention, harassment and banishment of Sanusi to Abuja and later to Nasarawa state, and set it aside on ground of being infringement to his fundamental human rights.
An Emirates Chieftaincy Law of Kano state, which empowers a governor to restrict or banish any deposed traditional ruler was also voided on account of being illegal, unlawful having run into conflict with provisions of the 1999 constitution.
Justice Chikere agreed with Lateef Fagbemi SAN, that the country’s constitution is the supreme law and that any law which runs contrary to its provisions must not be allowed by any law court to stand or have its way or effect on any Nigerian citizen.
A sum of N10 million was awarded to the former emir as damages to be paid to him by the respondents.
The court also issued an order directing the respondents to tender public apology to Sanusi to be published in two major national dailies, for the embarrassment caused him in the cause of breaching his fender mental human rights.
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