The Kaduna governor recently appointed Sanusi as the Pro-chancellor of the Kaduna State University and also made him the Vice-Chairman of the state’s investment board.
This was after Sanusi was dethroned and banished by the Kano State government.
Also, on February 16, 2020, Sanusi delivered a thought-provoking speech on the socio-economic challenges confronting the northern region during the 60th birthday anniversary of El-Rufai in Kaduna State.
The Secretary to the State Government, Usman Alhaji, made the announcement during the State Executive Council meeting which held at the Government House in Kano.
Alhaji explained that the state government took the decision to remove the traditional ruler over allegations of consistently refusing to abide by instructions given to him.
According to him, the removal was in line with the recommendation of the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission which had summoned the emir.
The commission had asked the traditional ruler to respond to a petition accusing him of selling lands belonging to the Kano Emirate to the tune of N2 billion.
But in documents obtained by Channels Television and signed by the chairman of the commission, Sanusi was accused of obstructing the investigation of the commission by securing a restriction order from a court.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, was removed from his position on Monday after a long-running row with the state government.
The Secretary to the State Government, Usman Alhaji while making the announcement on Monday said the removal was in line with the recommendation of the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The state government also stated that the dethronement was part of its move to safeguard the “sanctity, culture, tradition, religion and prestige” of the Kano State Emirate which was established over a millennium ago.
Sanusi was also accused by the state government of disrespecting lawful instructions.
While the news of his dethronement continues to generate buzz all over the media and might stir debates in various quarters, there are certain things about the now exiled emir which many should know, as these things aid to shape a full narrative about his person.
Below are seven things you should know about the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
1. Outspoken and fearless
Muhammadu Sanusi was an outspoken and fearless monarch but did not begin to show these traits only upon the accession of the throne. Prior to his becoming Emir of Kano, Sanusi was known for speaking passionately about issues regarding the polity and economy of Nigeria.
Sanusi as a traditional ruler was not shy to delve into the politics of the day, he accused political and religious leaders in the north of not doing enough for the region, adding that the lackadaisical approach to governance within the region was a major contributing factor to the widening of the poverty gap between the mainly Muslim north and the majority-Christian south.
2. A chip of the old block
Lamido Sanusi ascended the throne in 2014, taking over from his granduncle Ado Bayero. His grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi I, was the 11th Emir of Kano from 1953 until 1963.
Like in his own case in 2020, Sanusi’s grandfather was deposed by his cousin Sir Ahmadu Bello. The reason for the dethronement was also similar, Sanusi like his granddad was accused of insubordination.
3. An erudite scholar and banking guru
Born into a ruling class, son of a career diplomat who served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, China, and Canada, Sanusi went on to establish himself as an indispensable asset in the Nigeria banking and finance industry, rising from management roles in different banks to becoming the CEO of First Bank, one of Africa’s largest financial institutions.
After his education at the King’s College in Lagos, where he graduated in 1977, Sanusi proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1981. He later received a masters degree in economics two years later from the university and lectured at the faculty.
With his performance academically and his growth within the banking industry, it was no surprise when On the first of June 2009, Sanusi was nominated as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
4. Modern reformer
During his earlier role as central bank chief, Sanusi earned a reputation as a straight-talking modern-reformer, who was not afraid to speak out against corruption, even though there were some charges of graft against him, allegations which he denied.
Sanusi initiated several extensive banking reforms that were built around “enhancing the quality of banks, establishing financial stability, enabling healthy financial sector evolution and ensuring that the financial sector contributes to the real economy”.
He is credited with leading the central bank in rescuing top tier banks with N400 billion of public money and dismissed their chief executives. He also introduced a consolidation process which reduced the number of Nigerian banks through merger and acquisitions, in a bid to make them stronger and more accountable to depositors.
5. Suspended whistleblower
In 2014 Sanusi was suspended as CBN governor by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The suspension came after the former CBN Governor accused the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of not remitting some $20 billion to state coffers.
Sanusi had written to Jonathan detailing that the NNPC had not remitted over $49.8 billion proceeds of crude oil sales. The NNPC responded that no money was missing thus leading to the constitution of a reconciliation committee whose findings were debated.
Unsatisfied with the reconciliation process, Sanusi brought the matter to the attention of the Senate. a forensic audit was carried out by PwC and the result poked holes in the arguments put up by the NNPC and the Ministry of petroleum, but no one else bore the brunt than the whistleblower himself.
6. Controversial accession
There are some who believe that Sanusi’s willingness to become Emir of Kano was politically-motivated.
Those who champion this thought, say Sanusi accepted the appointment of the throne in a bid to avoid fraud charges from his tenure at the Central Bank.
For some, the rightful heir to the throne was his cousin, and to this effect, some protested saying Sanusi was not the right one to ascend the throne.
Sanusi, however, was crowned Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II on 9 June 2014, as he became the Emir of Kano, he automatically became a leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, the second-most-important Muslim position in Nigeria after the Sultan of Sokoto, leader of the larger Qadiriyya Sufi order.
7. Perceived as a dissident
During his time as Emir of Kano, many saw Sanusi as a dissident to Northern norms.
He received many criticisms from conservatives in the North, for making several comments on socio-political issues impacting the region.
Some of those comments that earned him criticisms include the calls for an end to child marriage, building more schools instead of mosques, and infrastructural development.
He also called for population planning and said that polygamy is increasing poverty in the region.
Also part of his calls were certain solutions proffered to solving the almajiri issue.
In November 2014, after Sanusi urged his followers to fight Boko Haram, the Great Mosque of Kano was bombed, with over 150 killed.
Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the insurgent group Boko Haram, accused Sanusi of deviating from Islam and threatened his life; Sanusi replied that he is “safe with Allah”, and likened Shekau’s extremist comments (describing Sufis as unbelievers) to those of the heretical Islamic preacher Maitatsine.
While on the throne of the Kano Emirate, Sanusi spoke out on government policies, breaking with royal tradition. He criticised the state government of misplaced priorities and it is believed that this stirred the investigation into corrupt practices within the Emirate.
Though the investigation was later called off by the state legislature following intervention by the ruling class, the government headed by Ganduje went on to create a law that saw to the rise of four new Emirates, thereby receding the powers of Sanusi.
The Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission has ordered the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, to appear before it on Monday, March 9, 2020.
The anti-graft agency said this in a statement on Thursday as the Kano Emirate requested for another day for the monarch to appear before the body.
Emir Sanusi was supposed to appear before the agency on Thursday to answer questions on alleged illegal sales of land belonging to the emirate.
According to the Chairman of the Commission, Barr. Muhuyi Rimingado, the investigations are not related to any other probe of the Emir.
He said: “Preliminary findings suggest that a company, Country Wide House Ltd. served as a corporate vehicle to allegedly launder the sum of over N2bn being proceeds of several hectares of land in Darmanawa phase I and II and Bubbugaji, under the former right of occupancy CON-RESS 2016-503 illegally sold to Messer family home fund limited at the alleged instance of His Highness the Emir of Kano.”
Rimingado also claimed that “Investigation further revealed that some of the proceeds of the sales remitted to the Emirate Council’s bank account can be traced to the companies of interest to His Highness.”
According to the body, the investigation of the Emir followed information brought to it by a whistleblower, on the 29th of December 2019.
The Kano State government says it will continue the investigation into the alleged financial misappropriation of over 3.4 billion naira against Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Mr Muhyi Magaji Rimingado, the executive chairman of Kano State public complaints and anti-corruption commission reaffirmed this while reacting to the ruling of the Federal High Court in Kano that quashed the interim investigation report.
At a press conference on Monday, February 24, Mr Rimingado stated that though the court has nullified the report on the basis of non-invitation of the Emir, his commission will go ahead with its investigation and invite Emir Sanusi in compliance with the court ruling.
He added that another option available to the Kano State government is to appeal the judgment as there are numerous grounds for appeal.
Ganduje in the letter said it is important for the Emir to “accept the appointment or otherwise.”
“By this letter, His Excellency the Executive Governor is requesting His Highness, the Emir of Kano (Sarkin Kano) to indicate his ACCEPTANCE of OTHERWISE of his appointment as the CHAIRMAN of Kano State Council of Chiefs as conveyed vide letter no SSG/REPA/S/A/86/T and dated 9th of December. 2019.
“The acceptance of otherwise should reach His Excellency the Executive Governor of Kano State within two days of the receipt of this letter.
“As you await further directive of His Excellency, the Executive Governor on the matter, it is important to accept the appointment or otherwise.
“Accept the assurance of the Highest esteem and regards of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State,” the letter in part.
Ganduje had earlier on December 9 appointed Sanusi as the head of the council of chiefs, following his assent to a law that created the other four additional emirates.
He had also asked Sanusi to immediately summon the inaugural meeting of the council in accordance with the provisions of the law.
However, Sanusi is yet to accept or reject the appointment more than a week after.
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has defended its investigation into allegations of corruption against the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, insisting that the Emir authorised spending by the Emirate.
In a letter dated June 11, 2019 and addressed to the Secretary to the Kano State Government, a copy of which was seen by Channels Television, the anti-graft agency defended its investigation and findings and attached documents allegedly showing that the Emir authorised the expenses incurred.
The seven-page letter was signed by the commissions Executive Chairman, Muhuyi Magaji, and it countered the Emirs response to a query issued to him by the state government.
Emir Sanusi in his response to the query had stated that he was not the accounting officer of the Emirate, but the commission said, All expenses made by the Emirate Council are either based on the approval or instruction of his Highness.
It added, Therefore, any claim that the Emir is not Accounting Officer of the Kano Emirate is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.
According to the commission, the initial amount at the emirates bank account with First Bank prior to the death of late Ado Bayero was over N7 billion but after a few withdrawals, Emir Sanusi inherited N4. 7 billion. The bulk of this, the commission alleged, was illegally spent.
It, therefore, urged the state government to implement its initial recommendations in the interest of public policy and the anti-corruption drive.
Former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Wednesday urged relevant authorities to pursue the lines of investigation suggested by the PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the missing $20 billion oil funds.
“The lines of investigation suggested by this audit need to be pursued. Any officials found responsible for involvement in this apparent breach of trust must be charged”, he said, in an article titled ‘Unanswered questions on Nigeria’s missing oil revenue billions’, published in the Financial Times of London.
The former apex bank boss, now Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, also faulted the claims by the Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison Madueke’s that the audit report has exonerated the NNPC of diverting the missing funds.
He noted that the report has rather confirmed that at least $18.5 billion is still missing.
According to Emir Sanusi, “contrary to the claims of Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the audit report does not exonerate the NNPC. It establishes that the gap between the company’s oil revenues between January 2012 and July 2013 and cash remitted to the government for the same period was $18.5bn.
“The auditors say a significant part of the unremitted funds is supposed to have gone towards a kerosene subsidy that had been stopped two and a half years earlier by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. His decree never appeared in the official gazette, leading some to question whether it ever had legal force.
“Evidence disclosed in the report suggests this is a sideshow. The executive secretary of the agency charged with administering subsidies confirmed that, acting on Yar’Adua’s orders, it had ceased granting subsidies on kerosene. There was no appropriation for such a subsidy in the 2012 or 2013 budgets.
“Throughout all this, Nigerians paid 120-140 naira a litre of kerosene, far more than the supposed subsidised price of 50 naira. Yet the state oil company withheld $3.4bn to pay for a subsidy that in effect did not exist. I have consistently held that this was a scam that violated the constitution and siphoned off money from the treasury.
“The second major item raised in the report relates to the transfer of oil assets belonging to the federation to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
“NPDC has paid $100m for these assets, from which it extracted crude valued at $6.8bn but paid tax and royalties worth $1.7bn in the period scrutinised by the auditors. PwC was unable to establish how much of the remaining $5.1bn should have been remitted to the government. But the report showed that, along with the private companies NPDC partnered with, it was extracting crude worth billions of dollars but yielding very little revenue for the treasury. I was investigating related transactions when I was suspended.
“The third major item is a claim of $2.8bn by NNPC for expenses not directly attributable to crude oil operations; PwC said “clarity is required” on whether such upfront deductions from remittances to the federation accounts are allowed, or whether the money should have been remitted to the government. Finally, there are duplicated ex¬penses, “unsubstantiated” costs, computation “errors” and tax shortfalls; a total of $1.48bn has to be refunded.
“Of the $18.5bn in revenues that the state oil company did not send to the government, about $12.5bn appears by my calculations to have been diverted. And this relates only to a random 19-month period, not the five-year term of Mr Jonathan, the outgoing president”, he said.
A forensic audit conducted by the audit firm on behalf of the Federal Government indicted the management of the NNPC for various questionable transactions.
Part of its recommendations include that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the upstream subsidiary of the NNPC, should refund about $1.48 billion to the Federation Account for various unreconciled transactions.