- Monarch May Face Court Action Over ‘Questionable’ Spending
- How Ganduje Presented Sanusi with 3 Options
- Gov: New Emirates Can’t Be Reversed
The creation of additional emirates in Kano State on Wednesday may not be the last turbulence coming the way of the Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II, as an ongoing probe by the state government’s anti-corruption agency could lead to charges being filed against the monarch, Daily Trust on Sunday has gathered.
Sanusi’s status as the only first class emir in the state was whittled when the state government balkanized the emirate, carving out four new emirates and appointing first class emirs to rule them.
The exercise which lasted only two days, fuelled speculations that the government was going after the emir over his rumoured support for the opposition during the recently concluded governorship election.
The fresh investigation by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission as well as the bid to appoint new first class emirs by the state assembly kick-started almost simultaneously last week.
The investigation is re-launched exactly two years after the agency first announced that it was probing “outrageous and questionable” spending that had emptied the Kano Emirate Council’s account.
The former Personal Private Secretary to the emir, Alhaji Isa Sanusi Bayero, also known as Isa Pilot appeared before a team of investigators on May 9, following an invitation by the commission. Another aide of the emir is also expected to be questioned soon.
A source in the commission, who craved for anonymity, yesterday informed our correspondent that the ongoing probe on by the commission was targeting the emir, noting that “It will reach to a point where the commission will transfer the case to court for the emir to defend himself. After our findings, whoever is found wanting in misappropriating the public funds will be dragged before the court.”
A government source Saturday disclosed that Emir Sanusi, after sensing trouble at the turn of events between the state government and the palace lately, sent business tycoon, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to beg the governor to have a change of mind.
“I can confidently tell you that when the probe was renewed and the move for creation of four new emirates in the state started, the emir sent the renowned business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to Ganduje to plead with him to stop the two moves. However, Ganduje in his response told Dangote to go back and tell the emir that he should choose from three alternatives: To resign on his own or be removed from office or the government will create additional emirates in the state. Ganduje assured Dangote that one of the three options must be implemented by government since the emir will not stop playing partisan politics against him,” the source revealed.
If not for the quick intervention by Dangote, Gaanduje would have dethroned the emir.
However, the source added that even though the governor has spared the emir being removed from office, there is likelihood that after the turbaning ceremony of the four new emirs, Ganduje will transfer the emir to another emirate and replace him with one of the newly appointed emirs.
Speaking about his interface with investigators, Isah Pilot said he was given vouchers and asked to identify them. “I identified some and asked the investigators to give me some time to verify the others. I am going back to the commission tomorrow (Monday) for further questioning. I am ready to give the commission any information it will demand from me,” he said.
In 2017, the Kano anti-corruption agency said its probe stemmed from a petition on transactions which it claimed had emptied the Emirate Council’s account of the sum of N4 billion left behind by the former emir, the late Alhaji Ado Bayero, who died in 2014.
Shedding more light on the matter at the time, a source disclosed that between N150 million or 200 million was transferred from the account in a single day.
That investigation was halted after the state assembly took over the case from the anti-corruption agency and subsequently suspended it after interventions by prominent Nigerians, including former heads of state, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) two renowned businessmen, Dangote and the late Isyaka Rabi’u.
Daily Trust on Sunday could not get the comment of the chairman of Kano State anti-corruption agency, Barrister Muhyi Magaji Rimin Gado, as he was said to be out of the country.
Contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Alhaji Abba Anwar, denied the allegation that the Kano State government was witch-hunting the emir because of his alleged involvement in the last gubernatorial poll.
“The new emirates were created in order to bring development closer to the masses. It is a well known fact that the roles our traditional rulers are playing in the area of promoting health care delivery, education, agriculture and environmental protection cannot be over emphasized.
“It is based on this that the government decided to create more emirates so that these kinds of development can be spread across the nooks and crannies of the state. As far as Kano State government is concerned, Emir Sanusi did not do anything harmful to it or the governor.”
On the issue of the ongoing investigation by the state anti-graft agency, Anwar said government was not in a position to comment on it, as according to him, the commission was an independent body and government had never interfered in its activities.
Efforts to speak with Chief of Staff to emir Sanusi, Alhaji Munir Sanusi, proved abortive, as his lines could not be reached despite several attempts.
Security beefed up around Kano emir’s palace
There was presence of heavily armed policemen around Kano Emir’s Palace and the personal residences of some senior council members of the emirate yesterday, Daily Trust on Sunday observed.
Our correspondent observed that about 10 police Hilux vans were stationed at Kofar Kudu gate of the palace and another 10 around the personal residence of the Chief of Staff to the Emir, along Iyaka Road.
Further observation by our correspondent showed that 10 police patrol vehicles were equally stationed at the main entrance to the Kano State Government House, while one patrol van was kept at the personal residence of the Galadiman Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi.
Similarly, security personnel were stationed at the main entrance of the Audu Bako State Secretariat complex housing the state High Courts. One of the policemen at secretariat confided in Daily Trust on Sunday that they were conveyed to the secretariat as early as 6am.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Haruna Abdullahi, said he was not aware of the reason for the deployments and promised to find out.
But a source within Kano emir’s palace, who did not want his name in print, said security personnel were deployed to the palace to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
“What happened is that some youths staged a peaceful demonstration at the palace, and in order to prevent any chaos, the police were deployed.”
“When the protesters arrived at the palace, the Senior Special Adviser to the governor on youth, Alhaji Adamu Mukhtar Unguwar Gini, addressed the protesters before they finally dispersed,” he said.
We’ve gazetted new Kano Emirate Law, says Ganduje
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said the Kano State Emirs (Appointment and Deposition) (Amendment) Law 2019 has already been gazetted; hence it will not be reversed.
Ganduje made the statement yesterday at a ceremony organised by the newly appointed emirs of Gaya, Rano, Bichi and Karaye in appreciation of their appointment.
Governor Ganduje, therefore, urged all district heads and chief Imams under the territories of the new emirs to pay homage to them today, Sunday.
He called on the new emirs to be dedicated to promoting agriculture, health and education, adding that they should ensure that their subjects embraced the spirit of practice of dry and rainy season farming.
“We have uncovered moves by some bad elements in the state. The protest was aimed at disrupting peace in the Kano, but that would not deter our stance in creation of the new emirate councils.”
“We created the emirates in order to reduce the burden on the Kano emirate. The challenges are too weighty on Kano emirate, that is why the emirate is running away from centralization of the system. The creation of the additional emirates will allow us to re-examine history. This is not something new in Kano, it has happened before.
“We created emirates based on the aspirations and yearnings of our people. I am sure this development will lead to rapid development in the affected areas,” he said.
In his speech, the Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, assured the state government that they would give their support in ensuring security in their respective domains. Bayero urged Kano people to remain calm and embrace any policy or programme introduced by government.
He charged the youth to shun all forms of social vices, especially drug abuse, noting that no society could develop with addicted youths.
A Kano State High Court had on Friday granted an order stopping the state government from appointing new emirs for the newly created emirates.
The court, presided over by Justice Nasiru Saminu, also ordered the state government to suspend any move for demarcating the new emirates, pending the determination of a case filed before it by the minority leader and minority whip of the state House of Assembly, Hon Rabi’u Saleh Gwarzo and Hon Babangida Yusuf Sulaiman, respectively.
Controversy trails new emirates
It appears that the creation of four additional emirates in Kano State by the state government is gradually generating controversies with individuals and groups condemning it in totality and others challenging it before the court of law.
The move was started by a group called West African Institute for Legal Aide (WAILA), which hired the services of Mallam Ibrahim Salisu Chambers to present a petition before the Kano State House of Assembly requesting it to facilitate creation of four new emirates of Gaya, Rano, Karaye and Bichi out of the existing Kano emirate.
On Monday, May 6, the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, tabled the matter before the assembly and directed the Majority Leader of the House, Hon Baffa Babba Danagundi to read the petition on the floor of the House. Danagundi read the petition and then moved a motion calling on the House to adopt the report which it unanimously did. The House, therefore, adjourned till Tuesday, May 7.
When the House sat, the Speaker tabled the motion for the first reading and the entire members at the plenary endorsed it, hence it scaled the first reading unopposed. The House, therefore, adjourned till Tuesday, May 8 for the second and third reading of the motion, but it directed the House Standing Committees on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and that of Judiciary to present its report on consolidation of all laws related to Emirate Council to enable the House include the issue of creation of new emirates.
At its next sitting the next day, joint committees of the House Standing Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and that of Judiciary presented its report before the House in which it recommended that the House implement all the recommendations contained therein in the report. The major recommendation was to create four new emirates.
Member representing Dambatta stages walkout
After the majority leader of the House read the motion for the second and third reading, the House went into a closed-door meeting for almost four hours. While the meeting was on, a member representing Dambatta Local Government in the House, Alhaji Hafizu Sani Mai Daji, staged a walkout in protest of the proposed demarcation of the new emirates.
Mai Daji told newsmen that he staged a walkout from plenary because there was inequality in the demarcation of the new emirates.
He said, “Dambatta Local Government has not been given the attention it deserves. Dambatta should be given an emirate, not Bichi. The District Head of Dambatta, Alhaji Mukhtar Adnan, is the oldest district head in Kano and also a kingmaker.
“There is no justification for creating Bichi emirate and that is why I staged a walkout from the session to show my anger because my observation is not recognised by the House.”
Again, while the House reconvened from its closed-door meeting, hundreds of people from Gaya, Rano, Bichi and Karaye local governments stormed the Assembly in solidary of creation of additional emirates
On the same day the motion passed second and third readings and the House passed it into law, it was, on the same day, taken to the state governor, who assented to the bill and assured that the new emirs would be appointed soon.
Ganduje said the four emirate councils would be independent of each other under the Kano State Government and I urged the new emirates to continue to render services to their subjects in the area of education, health, agriculture and socio-economy.
According to the new law, a Kano State Council of Chiefs shall consist of the Emir of Kano, Emir of Rano, Emir of Gaya, Emir of Karaye and the Emir of Bichi. Other members include Secretary to the State Government (SSG), commissioner for local government, chairmen of all the local government councils and at least two kingmakers from each of the five emirates and five other members to be appointed by the governor. The chairmanship of the council shall be rotational among the emirs on the basis of two-year tenure.
Soon after the governor gave his assent to the bill, a number of members of the Kano royal families, including that of the late Emir of Kano Alhaji Bayero, the late Galadiman Kano, Alhaji Tijjani Hashim, and the present Galadiman Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi started jostling for the position of emir for the newly created emirates, a source close to government revealed.
A source at a meeting convened by the state government with traditional rulers, confided in our correspondent that there was an ongoing move to post Sanusi to one of the new emirates. “To be frank with you, there is strong indication that after the appointment of the new emirs and other council members of the new emirates, government is considering transferring the present Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi ll, to one of four new emirates as emir.”
However, when some of the Kano royal family heirs were invited to Government House for a meeting on Thursday, four of them were said to have rejected the offer extended to them by the government for the appointment as emirs. A source close to Galadiman Kano, hinted Daily Trust on Sunday that the monarch turned down the offer without any hesitation.
Also, the Ciroman Kano, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, was also said to have rejected the offer while his brother, Wamban Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, said he would make consultations with his family members, friends and well-wishers on whether to accept or reject the offer.
A source close to Bayero said the monarch had on Friday summoned a meeting with his brothers at the residence of his elder brother, the District Head of Dawakin Kudu, Alhaji Yusuf Ado Bayero, where they deliberated extensively on the matter. However, the source said because it was a family meeting they were not allowed to attend the meeting, hence, he didn’t what was the stand of the family on the issue.
Ado Bayero’s son, 3 others appointed as emirs
On Friday, the Kano State government announced the appointment of Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero as the new emir of Bichi, one of the four newly created emirates. The government also upgraded three district heads of Karaye, Rano and Gaya to the status of first class emirs and appointed emirs for the remaining three new emirates.
The state’s Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, confirmed the development.
Until his recent appointment, Bayero was the Wamban Kano, a position given to him by the present emir of Kano after promoting the former Wambai, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi, to the rank of Galadima, following the death of the late Galadiman Kano Tijjani Hashim.
Other emirs are Sarkin Karaye Alhaji Tafida Abubakar ll (Karaye emirate), Sarkin Gaya Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir Gaya (Gaya emirate) and Sarkin Rano Dr Ibrahim Abubakar ll (Rano emirate).
According to the new law, Kano emirate has only eight out of the 44 local governments that were hitherto under its control. The eight local governments are Kano Municipal, Tarauni, Dala, Nassarawa, Fagge, Gwale, Kumbotso and Ungoggo. Kano was hitherto a single emirate since the establishment of Masarauta system of administration in the state. All the previous emirs that came before the incumbent ruled Kano as single entity.
Like Kano emirate, Karaye also has eight local governments under its jurisdiction. They are Karaye, Rogo, Gwarzo, Kabo, Rimingado, Madobi and Garun-Malam.
Rano emirate consists of 10 local governments of Rano, Bunkure, Kibiya, Takai, Sumaila, Kura, Doguwa, Tudunwada, Kiru and Bebeji. Rano is being ruled by the family of the late Sarkin Rano Garba Autan Bawo.
Bichi emirate has nine local governments under it. They are Bichi, Bagwai, Shanono, Tsanyawa, Kunchi, Makoda, Dambatta, Minjibir, Dawakin Tofa and Tofa local governments. Prior to its upgrading to the status of emirate, Bichi was a district set aside only for the sons of emirs. Many sons of emirs had ruled the district and most of them later became emirs of Kano.
Gaya emirate has nine local governments under its jurisdiction, comprising of Gaya, Ajingi, Albasu, Wudil, Garko, Dawakin Kudu, Warawa, Gezawa and Gabasawa local governments.