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Emirate Tussle: Judicial Orders In Kano Embarrassment To Judiciary — Falana

Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday, described the recent judicial orders in Kano State as an embarrassment to the judiciary.

Falana, while speaking on the court ruling in an interview on Arise TV, said there is a need for higher courts to address the political and judicial confusion in both Kano and Rivers states.

He said, “Sanusi was not said to have disobeyed any order, so if the order affected him, he ought to have been put on notice.”

Falana described the court’s stance as confusing with regard to the broader issue of the Supreme Court’s judgments on the limitations of federal high court powers over traditional institutions.

He further stated, “To be a Chief is not a fundamental right; it is a privilege.”

Falana said the state high court’s order in favour of Sanusi created further confusion.

He said, “The practice in the past was to allow the court of appeal to clear the confusion, and in this case, an appeal has been filed.”

Falana faulted the federal high court’s involvement in matters of traditional institutions, stressing that only state governments have legislative power over such issues.

He stated, “The constitution has made it clear that the National Assembly can only enact laws on matters in the exclusive legislative list; traditional institutions are residual.”

Speaking on the ongoing legal battle over the extension of local government officials’ tenures in Rivers, Falana referenced Section 7 of the constitution, which mandates democratically elected local government officials.

He said, “In the case of Rivers, there’s already a judgement that the amendment of the law is illegal and unconstitutional.”

Falana expressed concern over the disregard for Supreme Court decisions by political figures, calling for the media to challenge this behaviour.

He warned that the practice of extending tenures without proper elections could lead to chaos.

Falana added, “Ordinarily, the elections should have been conducted just like governorship elections.”

He also faulted the overreach of federal powers in local governance, advocating for a clearer delegation of responsibilities.

He said, “The federal government is currently over-bloated; there is a need to delegate powers to the federating units.”

Falana called for constitutional reforms to enhance the functionality and recognition of local governments, adding that these issues must be addressed to maintain the rule of law and democratic integrity in Nigeria.

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