Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday denied been involved in the dethronement of Muhammadu Sanusi II by Kano State government.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has no involvement whatsoever in the dethronement of HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II from the position of Emir of Kano. All such insinuations are untrue, malicious and politically motivated,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said on Wednesday.
Shehu said such insinuation is “unfair and disingenuous of opposition politicians.”
“As outlined in the Constitution, the appointment or removal of emirs and other traditional leaders is strictly within the jurisdiction of state governments,” Shehu noted.
The presidency is reacting a claim by Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor. The former governor, who installed Sanusi as emir in 2014, said “Buhari is interfering in the affairs of Kano State.”
Kwankwanso said he was hinted by the state officials that the president ordered the Sanusi’s dethronement.
Sanusi is a fierce critic of the Nigerian Government, Kano State leadership and the northern establishment.
Kano State government removed Sanusi on Monday citing graft. The state accused Sanusi of the “Emir is in total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the governor and other lawful authorities” and said his removal was effected to “sanctity, culture, tradition, religion and prestige.”
There were unconfirmed reports that he supported the opposition against Kano State Umaru Ganduje when he sought reelection in 2019.
After winning the reelection, Ganduje, who was the deputy governor to Kwankwaso, ordered the balkanisation of the Kano Emirate into four smaller units – The government said the vision was necessary to better administer the emirate.
After his dethronement, Sanusi was banished to a neighboring Nasarawa State.
Managing director of Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Bappa Dan’agundi, said he was banished in line with tradition and for peace to reign in Kano.
Dan’agundi is Kano state government representative that accompanied the police to evict Sanusi from the emir’s palace on Monday.
“As you know in our culture, whenever an emir was deposed, he is banished to another town. I look at it as a tradition or security reason. He is staying with his chief of staff, Munir Sanusi (Dan Buran of Kano) and a domestic staff, while his family moved to Lagos while we were leaving Kano (Airport on Monday). We are just leaving the town (loko),” Dan’agundi said.
However, Sanusi’s legal team has threatened a lawsuit following the banishment. The team lead AB Mahmoud on Tuesday (SAN) described the arrest and banishment of Sanusi as unlawful and threatened to sue the Kano State government if his client is not released within 24 hours.