Journalism of Courage

Exiled Sanusi :SERAP writes United Nation, urges its intervention


…demands compensation, release of Sanusi

The continued detention and banishment of the dethroned Emir of Kano, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has attracted flak from the  Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and has sent an SOS to  the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

It described as arbitrary and degrading the detention and  treatment meted to Sanusi by the Kano State Government.

“The arrest and continued detention of Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is an egregious violation of his human rights.

“The Nigerian and Kano State authorities have violated the following rights under the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 (as amended) and international law in continuing to detain Emir Sanusi: the right to be free from arbitrary detention; the right to freedom of movement; and the right to due process of law,’’ SERAP said.

In a letter dated 11 March, 2020 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The detention of Emir Sanusi constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of his liberty because it does not have any legal justification.

“The detention also does not meet minimum international standards of due process.”

It, therefore, called on the Working Group to “initiate a procedure involving the investigation of Emir Sanusi’s case, and urgently send an allegation letter to the Nigerian and Kano State authorities inquiring about the case generally, and specifically about the legal basis for his arrest, detention, and degrading treatment, each of which is in violation of international law.”

SERAP is also urging the Working Group to issue an opinion declaring that Emir Sanusi’s deprivation of liberty and detention is arbitrary and in violation of Nigeria’s Constitution and obligations under international law.

“ We also urge the Working Group to call for Emir Sanusi’s immediate release.

“We urge the Working Group to request the Nigerian and Kano State authorities to investigate and hold accountable all persons responsible for the unlawful arrest, continued detention, and degrading treatment of Emir Sanusi.”

On compensation, SERAP wants the Group to request the Nigerian and Kano State authorities to award Emir Sanusi adequate compensation for the violations he has endured as a result of his unlawful arrest, arbitrary detention, and degrading treatment.

SERAP also stated: “A detention is arbitrary when it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty. Article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which confirms the right to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention, guarantees that no one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”

The complaint addressed to Mr. José Guevara Bermúdez Chairman/Rapporteur of the Working Group, read in part: “The Human Rights Committee has interpreted this right to mean that procedures for carrying out legally authorized deprivation of liberty should also be established by law and State parties should ensure compliance with their legally prescribed procedures.

“Pursuant to the mandate of the Working Group, the “Manual of Operations of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council” and the publication “Working with the UN Human Rights Programme, a Handbook for Civil Society”, SERAP, a non-governmental human rights organization, can provide information on a specific human rights case or situation in a particular country, or on a country’s laws and practices with human rights implications.
“As set forth in this Individual Complaint, the Nigerian and Kano State authorities are arbitrarily depriving the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) of his liberty and continues to arbitrarily detain him. Emir Sanusi is a citizen of Nigeria and has been detained since 9 March, 2020.

“He continues to be detained without access to the outside world.”

Stressing that Sanusi was being unjustly punished, SERAP added: “Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, Kano State of Nigeria until 9 March, 2020 and is a known critic of the Nigerian and Kano State authorities. He has for many years campaigned for universal access to quality education for Nigerian children and exposed political corruption and human rights violations in Nigeria.”

Persecondnews recalls that a letter dated March 9, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Kano State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, had informed the Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) that he had been “summarily deposed’’ from the throne of Emir of Kano by the Kano State Government.

He was accused of “total disrespect” to the governor of Kano State, Mr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, an ‘offence’, which is unknown to Nigerian and international law.”

Sanusi is currently in exile at Awe, the headquarters of Awe local Government Area of Nasarawa State after he was driven by  security agents for nearly seven hours in the night.

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