The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, declared the banishment of deposed Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, from Kano State as unlawful and unconstitutional.
Delivering judgement in Mr Sanusi’s suit, the judge, Anwuli Chikere, awarded N10 million compensation to him and against the respondents comprising the police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the Attorney-General of Kano State.
She also ordered them to tender a public apology to him in two national dailies.
She held that the Emirate Council Law, 2019, relied on by the Kano State government in banishing Mr Sanusi was in conflict with the Nigerian constitution.
According to Ms Chikere, the Nigerian constitution is supreme and any law that is inconsistent with it shall be null and void.
The judge declared that the former emir had the right to live anywhere, including Kano State, as enshrined in the country’s constitution.
The Kano State Government had on 9 March, 2020 deposed Mr Sanusi after which security agents moved him to Abuja.
The Kano State Government, through Usman Alhaji, the secretary to the state government, had said in a statement, that Mr Sanusi was dethroned because of insubordination.
Mr was later banished to Awe, Nasarawa State, where he was detained in a private home until March 13 when he obtained an interim order of the court for his release from house arrest.
But following an ex parte application filed on his behalf by his team of lawyers shortly after the banishment, the judge, Ms Chikere, ordered his immediate release.
Although the deposed emir had since been released after the court ruling, he continued to pursue the suit raising the issues of how his rights were violated with his detention and banishment.