Sanusi Lamido: 5 things to know about Nigeria's dethroned Emir of Kano

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi Lamido
  • Muhammad Sanusi II has been dethroned as the Emir of Kano by the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led administration.
  • Hours later after he was removed from office for“insubordination'' and “disrespect,” the former traditional ruler was replaced by Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.
  • Business Insider sub-Saharan Africa has compiled a list of five important things to know about the 14th Emir of Kano in the ruling Fulani dynasty.

Until yesterday, March 9, 2020, Muhammadu Sanusi II (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) was the Emir of Kano.

Explaining why he was removed from power, a press release signed by Alhaji Usman Alhaji, Secretary to Kano State Government, stated: "The Emir of Kano is in total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the state Governor and other lawful authorities, including his persistent refusal to attend official meetings and programmes organised by the Government without any lawful justification which amount to total insubordination.”

Today, he has been replaced and exiled to Loko town in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

Here are five important things to know about Nigeria's recently dethroned Emir of Kano:

Origin Story

Sanusi was born on July 31, 1961. His father, Aminu Sanusi, was a career diplomat and Chiroma of Kano. Muhammadu Sanusi I, his grandfather, was the 11th Emir of Kano from 1953 until 1963.


After receiving his secondary education at King's College, Lagos state, he got a bachelor's degree in economics in 1981 from the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.

Two years later, he received a masters degree in economics and lectured at the same university. He also holds a degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies, African International University, Sudan. He is regarded as one of the most educated traditional rulers in Nigeria.

Banking career

Prior to becoming a traditional ruler, Sanusi held several positions in the banking industry. From 1985-2009, he worked at Icon, a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York; Baring Brothers of London; United Bank for Africa; and the First Bank of Nigeria.

In 2009, he became the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He served until 2014 when he was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan after raising the alarm on the $20 billion NNPC scandal.

During his tenure, he was recognised as the 2010 Central Bank Governor of the Year by The Banker.

Becoming Emir

Sanusi ascended to the throne after he was chosen to succeed his granduncle, Ado Bayero. He was crowned as the 14th Emir on June 9, 2014, and leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, which is the second-most-important Muslim position in Nigeria.

He was also a frequent speaker at international forums on banking, politics, religion and society. His papers have been published in academic journals, books and newspapers.


Sanusi was the recipient of the following awards:

  • National Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), Nigeria; 
  • Global Central Bank Governor for 2010, The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times; 
  • One of the 100 most influential people in the world, TIME Magazine (2011);
  • The Global Leadership in Islamic Finance Award in 2015;
  • An honorary Doctorate by the Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja in 2018.


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