Osinbajo, IBB, Abdulsalami, Dangote, Others Save Sanusi from Kano Assembly Probe
Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Kano State House of Assembly Monday suspended the probe of the Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II, following the intervention of several prominent Nigerians including acting President Yemi Osinbajo, former military rulers, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III.
The prominent Nigerians were reported to have prevailed on the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to ask the state assembly to let go of the probe in the interest of peace in the state.
Accordingly, the House resolved to drop the probe following a plea through a letter by Ganduje, which was read by the speaker, Kabiru Alhassan Rirum, on the floor of the assembly Monday.
On Sunday, a coalition of civil society groups in the state had also joined in calling on the legislators to stop the exercise.
In his letter, Ganduje said he was calling for the investigation to be dropped as a result of intervention by highly placed personalities in the matter.
These personalities, according to the letter, included the acting president; party leaders; former heads of state, Babangida and Abubakar; the Sultan of Sokoto; and businessmen and indigenes of the state, Aliko Dangote and Aminu Dantata.
Ganduje said though he was reluctant to interfere in the activities of the state’s legislative arm, he was appealing to the lawmakers to “temper justice with mercy” and allow peace to prevail.
“Much as I recognise your independence as a separate arm of government and which has the right to investigate the emir, I am pleading with you to allow peace to prevail,” he stated.
Ganduje’s letter also recalled the peace meeting with Emir Sanusi in Kaduna, where the emir had admitted his mistakes and apologised to him.
“There is no gainsaying that Emir Muhammad Sunusi II has admitted all his faults and mistakes and agreed to make adjustments. I think at this juncture, we should allow peace as has been achieved to continue,” the governor said.
After the speaker read the letter, the Kano assembly unanimously approved the governor’s plea, except the plan to repeal the law establishing the emirate.
THISDAY learnt that the House’s plan remains in the pipeline, through which the lawmakers intend to create additional emirates in the state.
Kano, being the largest northern state by population, has only one emirate council, which is run by Sanusi.
However, a lawmaker who spoke with THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, expressed dissatisfaction with the intervention by prominent Nigerians in the probe of the emir.
He said: “I am not happy at all because we were set to get to the bottom of this issue before this sudden intervention by prominent personalities.”
The decision to suspend the probe came a week after the Kano State Government’s anti-corruption agency suspended its probe into the financial dealings of the Emirate Council.
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission said it was investigating the alleged misuse of N6 billion.
But the state’s House of Assembly had launched a separate investigation of the emir, following allegations of funds misappropriation, “defamation of character, breach of oath of office/oath of allegiance, abuse of office privileges and protocol, and political and religious interference”.
The chairman of the anti-corruption body, Muhyi Gado, said the commission was suspending its probe “indefinitely”.
He said the commission could not continue as the House was also conducting an investigation.
Outspoken Sanusi has come under fire in recent weeks for criticising northern leaders and the establishment in the region for holding on to conservative Islamic values, which he said had stunted development in the region.
He also advocated against child marriage and counselled against Muslim men marrying more than one wife when their finances cannot support a polygamous set up.
He was also critical of the Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari after the governor had said God was punishing people in his state for their sins through the meningitis outbreak. Of the six northern states that recorded meningitis cases, Zamfara was the worst hit.
Even though Yari fired back at the emir, the Kano Emirate Council, which Sanusi chairs by virtue of his position, came under the search light of the state’s anti-graft commission.
When word got out that the council was being investigated, it issued a statement clarifying that contrary to the allegation that it had misappropriated N6 billion, it had spent N4.3 billion since the enthronement of Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.
It said when Sanusi ascended the throne in 2014, it had the sum of N1 billion in its coffers.
Sanusi, who was the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has also defended his lifestyle, which has been criticised for being ostentatious and flamboyant.
He said the two Rolls Royce he uses were given to him as gifts, while his friends in the banking sector had provided the private jet he uses for his foreign and local travel.