The Nigerian Army has firmly denied any involvement in the ongoing emirate dispute in Kano State, countering claims made by the Kano state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The controversy erupted after a Federal High Court in Kano issued an ex-parte order on Thursday, which prevented Governor Abba Yusuf from reinstating Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II. The court also suspended the implementation of a new law that aimed to abolish the four emirates of Bichi, Gaya, Karaye, and Rano.

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Despite the court’s directive, Governor Yusuf proceeded to reinstate Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. He justified his actions by asserting that the judge who issued the order was not physically present in Nigeria at the time. Following this, it was reported that the Nigerian Army was involved in enforcing the court order to prevent Sanusi’s reinstallation.

In response, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, issued a statement on Sunday categorically denying the Army’s involvement in the emirate dispute. He clarified that the Army’s role was solely to ensure that there was no breach of security.

“Contrary to insinuations by the Kano state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, as published by Premium Times on May 26, 2024, troops of the Nigerian Army have not been involved in the Kano state emirate tussle and are not enforcing any court order.

Their actions are limited to taking proactive steps to prevent any potential breakdown or breach of security that might arise from the Kano Emirship tussle,” the statement read.

Major General Nwachukwu emphasized that the primary concern for the Nigerian Army and other security agencies is to prevent any breakdown of law and order in the state, which could be exploited by adversarial non-state actors. He further stated, “The Army will intervene only if it becomes evident that the security situation is beyond the capacity of the police.”

Sanusi’s reappointment marks his return as the 14th Emir of Kano, exactly 1,545 days after his deposition. Governor Yusuf approved his reappointment last week following his assent to the Kano State Emirates Council (Amendment number 2) Bill, 2024, which was passed by the House of Assembly. This new law repealed the laws enacted by the former governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, which created five emirates and facilitated Sanusi’s deposition on March 9, 2020.

In light of this development, Governor Yusuf issued an order for the five former emirs to vacate all official residences and transfer former emirate properties to the deputy governor within 48 hours.

Consequently, the Kano State House of Assembly held a special session presided over by Speaker Jibrin Falgore, where they dethroned the five emirs and abolished the emirates established by Ganduje. During the resumed proceedings, the Assembly passed the Kano Emirates Council Law (repeal bill) 2024 after it successfully went through the second and third readings.

The Kano State Emirates Council (Amendment number 2) Law, 2024, sponsored by the Majority Leader and Dala Constituency representative, Lawan Hussaini, aims to consolidate the emirate structure under the authority of the Governor, restoring Sanusi to the throne and dissolving the new emirates established by the previous administration.