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, NEWSPAD on Sunday has gathered. Sanusi’s status as the
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, NEWSPAD 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.
NEWSPAD 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.