Kano Emirate Tussle: Abolishing Emirates, Deposing Emirs Have Precedents in Kano – Experts

As Kano Emirate tussle continues to take new turns with multiple court orders, experts knowledgeable about the history of the emirate have noted that abolishing emirates and deposing emirs have precedents in Kano history.

The experts and researchers in the history of the ancient royal tradition of Kano have disclosed that former Governor Abubakar Rimi had once created emirates in the old Kano State which were eventually abolished by Governor Sabo Bakin Zuwoin 1983.

“The creation of new emirates has its precedent during the Rimi administration during Nigeria’s Second Republic 1983.

He created additional emirates in Auyo, Dutse, Rano, and Gaya to work together. When Sabo Bakin Zuwo won the election against Rimi, his first major assignment was to abolish those new emirates created by his predecessor, Gov. Rimi. He did that on the very first day of his administration,” Dr Gaddafi Abubakar of Bayero University told WikkiTimes in an interview.

Dr Abubakar further noted that prior to that an emir of Hausa dynasty called Sarki Fufuna had been deposed and reinstated before the arrival of the colonial powers. According to him, during the Kano Civil War, Kano experienced one of the worst royal struggles that led to the eventual killing of an emir by his cousins, “There was also the Kano Civil War which Fulani Sullubawa experienced in which Aminu and Sanusi are part of its royal dynasty. It is a quarrel between cousins. It happened at the end of Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Bello’s reign when he wanted his son Tukur to succeed him against the children of his brother, emir of Kano Abdullahi Maje Karofi.

A Kano emirate historian, Malam Ibrahim Hussaini Dawakin Tofa, told WikkiTimes that “It is just a repetition of what has happened 130 years ago, exactly in 1894. In 1893 Sarkin Kano Bello died. Sokoto, which is the approving authority, put Galadiman Kano Tukur as the Emir of Kano. The other Princes rebelled and it took them 11 months of fighting. At long last, the rebels triumphed. They entered Kano by force which caused the legitimate emir to exile to Katsina where he was later killed.

Dawakin Tofa explained that with the current system, Kano State Governor is the legitimate approving officer of the emir that having recognized Sanusi and Palace guardians have entrusted him with the royal symbols, the reinstated emir remains.
“Three artifacts that symbolize enthronement – the twin spears, the hat of Dabo and the ostrich-leather shoes – are with Sanusi. These artifacts, after following traditional rites, have been passed to the emir,” he told WikkiTimes.

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According to Dr Abubakar with the coming of colonialism and the entrenchment of the current system of government, traditional institutions have lost their power and influence in Kano and elsewhere.
He added “These kinds of challenges started at least with the coming of the British in 1903. That was the time when power was taken away from the traditional institutions. They changed emirs anytime they wanted.

The experts observed that in post-independent Nigeria, political officeholders have continued the tradition of colonial officers where they treat traditional institutions with disdain.
Dr Abubakar advised that “traditional leaders need to distance themselves from politics. They should remain neutral as far as they are able to and the politicians too need to understand that the exaggerated power of the traditional institution cannot deny them popular votes.”

Few Hours After Eviction Order, Sanusi, Kano Kingmakers Seeks Court Protection

Legal Experts Speak

Recall that the Kano royal tussle has moved to the judiciary as the camps of Emirs Sanusi and Aminu have resorted to seeking court orders to wrestle the revered traditional stool. WikkiTimes earlier reported that a kingmaker, Aminu Babba had obtained a court order from a federal high court in Kano restraining the Kano State Government from deposing Aminu Ado Bayero and reinstating Muhammadu Sanusi.

This paper similarly reported that the Kano Government has obtained a court order restraining Aminu and four other deposed emirs of Gaya, Bichi, Karaye and Rano from presenting themselves as emirs.
On May 23, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf assented to the Kano Emirate Law that repealed 2019 Law which paved the way for balkanizing Kano Emirate into five.

Amidst conflicting court orders, Barr. Abba Hikima explained that where court orders are in conflict with each other from courts of similar jurisdiction, the first order prevails. “Where the equities are equal, the first in time prevails,” Barr Hikima said.

He explained “What this is saying is that the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court are of the same level in the Nigerian Constitution. They are courts of coordinate jurisdiction. If you are dissatisfied with their rulings, for example, you can only approach the court of appeal. Therefore, security agents or anyone that works with the law must work with the first order from the Federal High Court.

”On his part, Barr Nasir Haruna Kabara explained that the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction over any issues that the State Assembly made legislation and a governor assented to it as it is within the spheres of the State High Court.
Barr Kabara, however, clarified that the exception is on issues that involve fundamental human rights. “On issues that the State Assembly legislates and a governor signs into law, the Federal High Court has no jurisdiction. It is the State High Court that has jurisdiction. On issues of Fundamental human rights, both State High Court and Federal High Court have jurisdiction.”
He added that the Supreme Court held that on issues that involve fundamental human rights and another issue that has State Assembly legislation, the Court with the two jurisdictions shall entertain.

The legal experts concurred that the enthronement and dethronement of traditional leaders lie within the constitutional powers of the State Government and not the federal government.
On the conflicting orders, Kabara said “Both orders can subsist pending the hearing of the case.”
But Hikima said “The first order whether it was right or wrong, it must be respected and then you follow the due process to set it aside.
Barr Kabara argued further that conflicting orders don’t necessarily mean interference in the judiciary from the state and federal governments. “Judiciary is independent and each party has their reasons for approaching different Courts. But in the end, the Court will use Nigeria’s Constitution to rule on the matter.”


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