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Femi Falana: Judicial Orders in Kano an Embarrassment to the Judiciary

Femi Falana has criticised the Kano federal high court’s involvement in matters of traditional institutions.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has criticised the recent judicial orders in Kano State, calling them an embarrassment to the judiciary. Falana emphasised the need for higher courts to address the political and judicial confusion in both Kano and Rivers states.

During an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, Falana highlighted the judicial and constitutional challenges in these states. He noted, “Sanusi was not said to have disobeyed any order, so if the order affected him, he ought to have been put on notice.” 

Falana found the court’s stance confusing and pointed out the broader issue of the Supreme Court’s judgments on the limitations of federal high court powers over traditional institutions.

“To be a Chief is not a fundamental right; it is a privilege,” he added.

Falana criticised the state high court’s order in favour of Sanusi, which has created further confusion.

“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,” he said.

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

“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,” he stated.

In addressing the situation in Rivers State, Falana discussed the ongoing legal battle over the extension of local government officials’ tenures. He referenced Section 7 of the constitution, which mandates democratically elected local government officials.

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

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.

“Ordinarily, the elections should have been conducted just like governorship elections,” he remarked.

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

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

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


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