The Federal High Court in  Kano has fixed June 13 to rule on whether or not it has the jurisdiction to entertain a suit on the Kano emirate crisis.

Justice Abdullahi Liman adjourned for ruling after entertaining argument and counter-argument by the counsel for the applicant and the respondents.

Thursday’s proceedings was held amid heavy security presence.

There has been tension in Kano city since May 23 when the state House of Assembly repealed the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019, which broke the Kano emirate into five, leading to the dethronement of the 14th Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, and his replacement with Aminu Ado Bayero as the 15th Emir of Kano.

On May 24, Governor Abba Yusuf, acting on the newly passed  Kano Emirate Council Law of 1984 and 2024, reinstated Sanusi as the 16th Emir of Kano, edging out Bayero.

Bayero would, however, not go down without a fight.

The suit before Justice Liman was filed by the Sarkin Dawaki Babba of the Kano Emirate, Aminu Dan’Agundi, who is challenging the process that led to the repeal of the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019.

The repeal of the Kano Emirate Council Law 2019 by the Kano lawmakers also led to the dethronement of the dethronement of four other first-class Emirs of Rano, Gaya, Bichi, and Karaye, who were installed in 2020 by former governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Justice Liman, entertaining an ex parte application in Dan’Agundi’s suit on May 24, issued an order restraining the governor from going ahead with enthroning Sanusi pending the determination of the suit.

Governor Yusuf, however, faulted the order and went on with Sanusi’s enthronement.

Named as respondents in the suit are the Kano State Government; the Kano State House of Assembly; the Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly; the state’s Attorney General; the Kano Commissioner of Police; the Inspector General of Police; the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; and the Department of State Services.

The matter was scheduled for hearing on Monday, it was, however, stalled by the organised labour nationwide strike.

When the matter resumed for hearing on Thursday, counsel for the applicant, M.S. Waziri, told the judge that he had filed a written address centring on whether or not the court had the jurisdiction to hear the suit.

Waziri said, “On the issue of jurisdiction, in compliance with the order of the court, we have filed a written address dated 6th June and hereby adopt same and maintain that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter because the issue is of fundamental human rights is at stake.”

Waziri argued that his client “as a member of Kano Emirate Kingmakers ought to have been involved in the reinstatement of the new emir.”

“My Lord, a breach of fundamental rights has no timeline. I urge the court to proceed with the case,” he said.

But the counsel for the first and fourth respondents, Mahmoud Magaji (SAN),  urged the court to decline the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

According to him, the law has gone through legislative processes, first, second and third and the order came only after the action was done.

“The applicant is neither a member of the House of Assembly nor the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs. The applicant may not need to be consulted,” Magaji argued.

Counsel for the second and third respondents, Ibrahim Wangida, aligned with Magaji’s submission and urged the court to decline jurisdiction.

Wangida said, “The 2019 Kano Emirate Council Law, which gave the power to the applicant at the time of filing his action, was abolished, so he ceased to be a kingmaker as of the time he filed the action because the governor had already accented to the law.”

On his part, counsel for the fifth and sixth respondents, Sunday Ekwe, told the court that his clients were not in any way involved in the matter, because only the police had the duty to maintain peace.

After listening to all the counsel, Justice Liman adjourned till June 13 for ruling.