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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Why federal court assumed jurisdiction in Kano emirship suit 

Why federal court assumed jurisdiction in Kano emirship suit 

The Kano division of the Federal High Court on Thursday ruled that it has jurisdiction to entertain the suit filed by Alhaji Amini Babba Danagundi on Kano Emirate.

Presiding Judge, Hon Justice A. M. Liman, reasoned that the   applicant’s claims were predicated on fundamental rights breaches and not on chieftaincy suit.

READ ALSO: KANO: Two emirs get parallel court orders laying claim to Gidan Rumfa Palace

Justice Liman said the matter before him has nothing to do with Aminu Ado Bayero, Muhammadu Sanusi or their claims to emirship.

He  clarified that the matter was purely that of the protection of the fundamental rights of the applicant, saying counsel to the respondent was mistaken on their assumption that the matter concerns chieftaincy issues.

He concluded that his court has an inherent jurisdiction to entertain, hear, and make determinations on the matters before him, adding that he still has jurisdiction to continue hearing it.

One of the counsel to the applicant told Nigerian Sketch that they were seeking their client’s “right to cultural protection, cultural development and cultural identity.”

He said “our position was that you cannot erase one’s right to cultural identity by a law which the culture predates. Our client’s culture predates even the constitution, not to talk of the new law..”

He added, “Their preliminary objection to our application was that the Federal High Court does not have jurisdiction over chieftaincy matters. But we have argued that we are not before the court over chieftaincy or emirship claims. You can see that Muhammadu Sanusi was not a party to the suit.”

By saying that the restraining order of the court had been given before the state governor pronounced Muhammadu Sanusi as a reinstalled emir, the court’s ruling tends to imply that all actions taken by Kano State governor were illegal.

The continued hearings in the suit will determine whether Kano State House of Assembly’s amendment of the state’s chieftancy law was also illegal.


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