CJN Summons Kano Chief Judge, Federal Judge Over Conflicting Orders

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has summoned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho; and the Chief Judge of Kano State High Court, Justice Dije Aboki; over conflicting interim injunctions regarding the Kano Emirate, causing uncertainty in the state.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has summoned the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho; and the Chief Judge of Kano State High Court, Justice Dije Aboki; over conflicting interim injunctions regarding the Kano Emirate, causing uncertainty in the state.

Conflicting court orders have trailed the Kano Emirate stool with the Federal High Court in Kano directing the eviction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II while the Kano State High Court directed the eviction of the deposed Emir Aminu Ado Bayero.

Justice Ariwoola, who is also the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), summoned the two judges to an emergency meeting in his chambers on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

A statement by the NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, said the meeting, a prelude to a whole-scale investigation by the NJC, is to enable the CJN to have a proper briefing with the two judges on the very disturbing development and the conflicting judgements emanating from the two courts with respect to the stool of the Emir of Kano.

There are strong indications that the National Judicial Council will also conduct an emergency meeting next week where the particular judges concerned are likely to be invited and subjected to serious investigations.

Recall that the Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice S. A. Amobeda, issued an order for the eviction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II from the Kofar Kudu Palace, reinforcing the authority of the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.

“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from inviting, arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant, or infringing on his rights is hereby granted,” stated Justice Amobeda.

He added, “This order ensures that Emir Aminu Bayero enjoys all rights and privileges accrued to him by virtue of his position.”

On the other hand, the Kano State High Court, under the jurisdiction of Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu, issued an injunction to protect Muhammadu Sunusi and other key figures from potential harassment by state authorities. This order prevents any interference with the Emir’s autonomy and the seizure of key symbols of his authority, such as the twin spear, the Royal Hat of Dabo, and the Ostrich-feathered shoes.

Justice Aliyu emphasised, “An order of interim injunction is granted restraining the Respondents from harassing or intimidating the Applicants or confiscating any symbols of the Emir’s authority.”

She further added, “The respondents are ordered to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

These conflicting orders have led to significant confusion regarding the rightful authority and protection of the emirs in Kano. The State High Court’s case is set for further hearing on June 13, while the Federal High Court has adjourned its case to June 4.

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