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Falana faults court judgement on Kano Emirate crisis

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has faulted the judgment of the federal high court on the Kano Emirate Council crisis, describing it as a bit “confusing”.

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer
Femi Falana, human rights lawyer

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has faulted the judgment of the federal high court on the Kano Emirate Council crisis, describing it as a bit “confusing”.

Falana, in an interview on Arise TV on Friday, said the Supreme Court had ruled that federal high courts do not have jurisdiction over chieftaincy matters in the country.

The federal high court in Kano on Thursday in a ruling voided the decisions of the Kano State government taken on May 23, 2024, in returning Muhammadu Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. 

Justice Muhammed Liman who presided over the case held that the defendants were aware of an interim order previously granted by the court but ignored it and implemented the Kano Emirates Council Law 2024.

However, Liman also ruled that his order did not affect the validity of the emirate law passed by the State House of Assembly.

Falana said that the Supreme Court had in the past issued two separate judgments barring federal court from entertaining suits on traditional institutions.

According to him, the judgments of the Supreme Court are binding on all authorities in the country.

The human rights lawyer said the Supreme Court had ruled that the issue of being a chief is not a fundamental right and issues of chieftaincy should not be entertained by a federal high court.

“The order is a bit confusing,” Falana said.

“But what is important, which the learned judge did not address in his ruling, is the convenient way in which two solid judgments of the Supreme Court on the limitation of the power of the federal high courts to interfere in the affairs of traditional institutions.

“It cannot be done via fundamental rights application. I listened to him, his lordship was talking about the need to respect the rule of law.

“In any country that loudly claims to pronounce and operate under the rule of law, the judgments of the Supreme Court are binding on all authorities.

“It is a mockery of the rule of law if the high court judge decides to ignore or overrule the judgments of the Supreme Court.”

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