Since Kano State Government made resolve not to appeal the November 21 judgement of a Kano High Court dissolving the four additional emirates created by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, top cabinet members had met on a number of occasions to frame a “flawless’ law and forward it to the state Assembly for passage.
On May 8, Mr Ganduje had assented to the controversial law establishing four additional emirates with first class emirs in Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya.
Observers and members of the Assembly had suspected a foul play when the House last week cut short its recess to consider a bill seeking to establish Kano State Education Development Support Board.
A number of skeptical members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the House have demanded assurance from the speaker, Abdulaziz Gafasa, that no issue, apart from the education bill, would be considered.
“The Speaker initially told us that the recess was cut in order to deliberate and pass the free education bill, but a couple of days after, the state government sent a bill on creation of emirates,” a member who preferred anonymity told DAILY NIGERIAN.
“We are yet to scrutinize the bill as the principal officers are still guarding it as personal property. But when the chips are down, we will do our best for the interest of the people.”
A copy of the bill sighted by DAILY NIGERIAN highlights at least five issues that may directly or indirectly affect Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II, who is at loggerheads with the governor.
Right to Appoint Kingmakers — and King himself
Although the governor by law reserves the right to approve the appointment of the emirs on the recommendation of kingmakers, in the new bill, “the Governor shall in consultation with the Emirate Councils of Kano, Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya Emirates apppoint Kingmakers for the Emirates.”
The governor perhaps reserves this right in view of the hardline position taken by the kingmakers of Kano Emirate — Madaki, Makama, Sarkin Bai and Sarkin Dawaki Maituta — to remain within Kano emirate and sue the government for placing them under the new emirates.
Ganduje to Approve Emirates’ Budget
Section 25 appears to be targeted Mr Sanusi, who was previously probed by the state anti-corruption agency for allegedly spending funds without appropriations. This section of new law says “at the end of each financial year, the controller of each Emirate Council shall prepare and submit the budgetary proposal of the Council for the next succeeding year to Governor for his approval.”
The governor can downgrade emirs
According to Section 12 of the law, “The governor may grade the office of an emir as first, second or third class.”
Although insiders told DAILY NIGERIAN that the governor is considering a “political solution” or a “win-win” situation to downgrade the new emirs to second class status, it is however unclear whether the provision was made to target the Emir of Kano.
Ganduje’s enormous powers
An emir may risk sack for failure to attend the meetings of Kano State Council of Chiefs, which comprises the five emirs in the state, Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Local Government, 5 chairmen of local government councils (one from each emirate), 10 kingmakers (two each from five emirates), Chief Imam of each emirate, representative of the Business Community, two representatives of the security agencies (to be appointed by the governor).
According to Section 13 of the law, the governor after due inquiry and consultation with the State Council of Chiefs may depose any emir if he is satisfied that:
(a) the deposition is required in accordance with the tradition or is necessary for the preservation of custom and tradition or peace, order and good governance.
(b) where the Emir consciously and intentionally fails to attend meetings of the Council for 3 consecutive times without a valid and reasonable excuse.
(c) where the Emir commits act of gross misconduct; or
(d) where the Emir abuses office; or
(e) where the emir commits an act of immorality or acted in unethical manner that is not compatible with societal values and the ethics of his office
Emirs will only advise governor when requested to do so
According to Section 6 (2) of the law, “the Council may at the request of the governor advise him on: (a) Any matter relating to the maintenance of public order within the state or any part thereof; or (b) Such matters as the governor may direct.”