FORMER emir of Kano Alhaji Sanusi Lamido has regained his freedom after an Abuja high court ruled that he should released from detention in Nasarawa State where he has been held since being deposed on Monday.
Earlier this week, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje removed Alhaji Sanusi from office as emir and had the police escort him to Nasarawa State. Alhaji Sanusi was initially banished to Loko village but was later moved to Awe town, where he has been held incommunicado since, surrounded by about 40 security operatives.
However, Alhaji Sanusi’s lawyer Prince Lateef Fagbemi filed an action against the illegal detention of his client and this morning, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court ordered the deposed monarch’s immediate release. Justice Anwuli Chikere ruled that Alhaji Sanusi is entitled to his constitutionally guaranteed rights to personal liberty and movement.
Also, Justice Chikere fixed March 26 to hear Alhaji Sanusi’s substantive suit challenging the right of anyone to banish him from any part of Nigeria. In the suit ruled on today, Alhaji Sanusi had asked the court to restore his right to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, apart from Kano State, pending the hearing and determination of his originating summons.
He also sought for an order granting him leave to effect service of the court order alongside the originating motion and subsequent processes on all the respondents, through substituted means. Respondents in the suit included the inspector-general of police, the director-general of the Department of State Service, the attorney-general of Kano State and the attorney-general of the federation.
Governor Ganduje had accused Alhaji Sanusi of disloyalty, alleging that he disrespected the state government’s authority and absented himself from meetings without cogent reasons. Although the dethroned emir had since accepted his fate as the will of God, he went to court to challenge the legality of his confinement to Nasarawa State.