Yusuf Nabahani (Madakin Kano) & Others vs The Speaker Kano State House of Assembly and  The four King makers of The Kano Emirate represented by a team of notable Senior counsel comprising A. B. Mahmoud SAN
Chief Adeniyi Akintola SAN, Dr. Garba Tentengi SAN
Mr. Suraj Saeda SAN
Mr. Nassir Dangiri SAN leading a team of 11 other lawyers were in court yesterday 3rd June 2019 before Hon. Justice A T Badamasi for hearing.

You may very well recall that the case instituted by the kingmakers is an action challenging the creation of new Emirates and the appointment of four new emirs in Kano.

The Kano state Govt. was on the 23rd May issued with an order by the Hon. Justice Badamasi of the High Court restraining them from;

– Taking any action or further action in the implementation of the Kano State Emirs and Deposition Amendment Law 2019 which was passed recently by the State House of Assembly.

-Doing anything that will adversely affect the Kingmakers or the Emir of Kano pending the hearing of the Interlocutory Application for Injunction which came up on the same day.

The Kano state house of Assembly speaker and others were equally represented by a team of counsels including the State Attorney General Ibrahim Mukhtar who is leading two other lawyers.

The court resumed on the 3rd of June with the most respected silk AB Mahmoud arguing the case for the KingMakers.

AB Mahmoud explained to the court why the injunction to maintain status quo was ordered and why the the four newly appointed Emirs should be restrained from parading themselves as Emirs until the determination of the substantive suit is made.

In his argument, the learned silk asked the court to grant the injunctions and informed the court that the Applicants had met all the laid down criteria which includes:

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-Demonstrating that an arguable and triable case has been established.

– He also drew the attention of the court to the irreparable damage to the applicants as well as the wider public that the controversial law seeks to achieve by overturning settled tradition and heritage that has existed for over 1000 years.

-He argued that the idea that the house of assembly could establish new emirates is based on a fundamental misconception that the Kano Emirate itself is a creature of statute.

– That there is no specific law establishing the Emirate!

– That the Emirate exists merely as a historical fact and recognized as part of the tradition and cultural heritage of the Kano people.

– That the powers of the Governor in the appointment or deposition of Emirs is limited and circumscribed by law.

– That his powers under the existing law is only that of confirmation of the appointment which in the first place is made by those entitled by tradition to appoint in accordance with the tradition.

– That under the purported amendment of the law, they completely omitted the provisions relating to appointments of Emirs by replacing Sec 3 of the existing Law with a new Sec 3 which only deals with the creation of the State Council of Chiefs and the purported creation of the four new emirates.

– That No section in the new law specifically empowers the Governor to appoint or even confirm the appointment made by the Kingmakers.

– That there is no evidence that indeed the Kingmakers exist in the new Emirates or they have ever met to appoint and recommend to the Governor for confirmation.

– That the appointment is a process and not an act to be performed by the Governor acting alone.

The respected SAN therefore submitted that the claim by the Government that the action has been completed is a farce and urged the court to discountenance it.

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He urged the court to place the executive and legislature in their rightful place by sending a clear message that no one is above the law and the courts will not tolerate anyone foisting a fait-accompli on the courts.

– That the legislature is acting under a delusion as to the extent of its powers which does not include legislating to obliterate or distort cultural heritage.

The learned Silk drew attention of the Hon court to;

– The conduct of the respondents not only in the hurried passage of law in matter of 48 hours with no opportunity for any public participation;

– The defiance of the Respondents by proceeding to implement and appoint new emirs despite their knowledge of the proceedings before the court and the service of the courts order.

This the learned silk condemned as illegal and an invitation to anarchy.

The former Attorney-General in his response on behalf of the respondents argued;

– That the actions of passing the law and the appointment of the Emirs has taken place and was completed before they were served with the court order.

– That the law was duly passed by the elected representatives of the people and assented to by an elected governor.

– That No one has complained and people are going about their normal business.

On the issue of speed in passage of the law, he said this was only a reflection of the efficiency of the administration for which they deserve commendation.

He also argued;

– That no one has a right to be consulted before a law can be legitimately passed.

That the House of Assembly can legislate to change a tradition or custom and there is nothing unusual about changing the Emirate or its composition or modernizing tradition.

He claims that the new emirates will bring development closer to the people.

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– That the people are happy as can be seen in the absence of any protests.

In responding to the argument on the requirement of Kingmakers to be in place in the new emirates to appoint and recommend to the governor for confirmation as required by tradition, he submitted that the Governor’s action can be justified under the doctrine of necessity.

At the conclusion of the proceedings there was a mild drama as the former Attorney General tried to persuade the court to discharge the existing restraining order on the ground that it was improperly obtained and that in any event it has already lapsed under the rules of court.

AB Mahmoud objected that such an application cannot be made orally and he was taken by surprise. If the Attorney-General was unhappy with the order made, he ought to come formally on notice to discharge the order.

The SAN instead drew attention to the impending Sallah festivities and the need to avert any possible breach of the peace through the conduct of the respondents which seeks to distort centuries old traditions including the colourful Durbar which is a national and international event.

He urged the court to restrain the new emirs from parading themselves as such until the court rules on the substantive application.

In a brief ruling the Judge dismissed the application by the Attorney General and said such an application ought to have been made formally on notice to the other party and not orally in court.

On AB Mahmoud’s request, the Judge ruled there are already sufficient orders in place both of the court and of Judge Saminu Nasiru in the sister case to protect the subject matter.

He accordingly adjourned the case to 14th June for ruling on the substantive application for injunction by the Kingmakers.

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