Ex-Emir Sanusi Lamido: Biography, Education, Career, Wives, Children, Net Worth, Controversies and More



Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II was born to Muhammad Aminu Sanusi and Saudatu Anduwa Hussainin Kano into the royal Kano emirate family.

Born on 31 July 1961 Sanusi is currently aged 61 (as at 2022).

He is the first of three children born to his parents.

His grandfather, Muhammadu Sanusi I was the former Emir of the Emirate.

Sanusi was a banker, political economist, academician, and member of the Islamic intellectual elite.

Prior to his ascension as the Emir of Kano, he served as the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He was impeached by the Kano state government led by Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in 9 March 2020.

Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II is a spiritual leader in the Tijanniyah Sufi order of Nigeria. 


Sanusi garnered Islamic religious knowledge at home, where he learnt the Qur’an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 

He then attended St. Annes Primary School, a Catholic school in Kaduna, before heading to King’s College, Lagos, from 1973 to 1977.

Sanusi after proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University where he bagged a bachelor’s degree in 1981. 

Following graduation, he served as a teacher at Ladies’ Boarding School in Yola for a year as part of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. 

Afterwards, he returned to the university to further his education, where he earned his master’s degree in 1983. He was offered employment at the faculty after graduation where he lectured for two years in the faculty.

Later, Sanusi moved to the International University of Africa, Khartoum, to study Islamic Religion Studies and learn more about the Qur’an, Islamic law and jurisprudence, and philosophy (falsafa), among other things. He also learned how to fluently speak Arabic. 


After leaving his lecturing job, Sanusi was hired by Icon Limited and Barings Bank.

From 1985 to the mid-1990s, he worked at Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York, before moving to Baring Brothers of London (Barings Bank) and then United Bank of Africa (UBA).

Sanusi was employed by UBA in the credit and risk management branch, where he progressed into a number of managerial roles.

He rose through the leadership ranks at UBA to become the General Manager. 

Afterwards, Sanusi moved to First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) in 2005, where he was appointed as executive director and board member in charge of risk and management control. Then finally, the CEO.

In June 2009, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua appointed Sanusi as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 


Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is married to four women namely:

  • Sadiya Ado Bayero, 
  • Rakiya Sanusi, 
  • Maryam Sanusi, and 
  • Sa’adatu Sanusi. 

He has 13 children with his wives.

They include;

  • Khadija Lamido Sanusi
  • Fulani Siddika Sanusi
  • Ashraf Sanusi
  • Shahida Sanusi
  • To mention a few.

Net worth

An online publication estimated his net worth to be approximately $80 million. It was reported that he earned his wealth from his successful banking career and his enthronement as the Emir of Kano. NewsWireNGR, however, cannot independently confirm this estimated net worth.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi owned a 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, and a Rolls-Royce Phantom VII when he was the emir.


Sanusi was crowned Emir on the 8th of June, 2014, after the death of his great uncle, Ado Bayero. 

Premium Times reported that his appointment as the Emir led to outrage among the supporters of Aminu Ado Bayero, the crown prince and son of the late Emir Ado Bayero, accusing the State Governor, Rabiu Kwakwanso, of tampering with the king-making process. 

He succeeded his great-uncle Ado Bayero to the throne on 8 June 2014, and spent most of his reign advocating for cultural reform in Northern Nigeria, until his dethronement on 9 March 2020 by the state government.


Beheading of Akaluka

Sanusi was reportedly alleged to have committed murder in Kano.

In 1995, after he returned from Kharthoum where he went to study Islam and Sharia, Sanusi was alleged to have connived with some extremists to behead Gideon Akaluka, a young Igbo trader, for allegedly desecrating the Quran.

A source reported that Sanusi played a vital role in the alleged decapitation of the 22 years old, Gideon.

Sanusi and his co-fundamentalist stormed the prison where Gideon was locked, beheaded him and paraded his head around the streets of Kano.

The late General Sanni Abacha however ordered the assassination of the perpetrators of the crime. Elites in Kano were believed to have spared Sanusi who is perceived as a future Emir. 

So Sanusi was transferred to Sokoto prison from Kano where he was incarcerated for two years.

Alleged romance

In 2013, a rumour of an alleged romance between Sanusi and Maryam Yaro, a mother of four, made its way to the public.

It was alleged that Sanusi had appointed Maryam to the CBN without following due processes and had also elevated her to the position of Assistant Director.

Sanusi denied the allegation, stating that Maryam was never an employee of the CBN.

Marriage with an 18 years old girl

Sanusi faced public backlash after his alleged marriage to an eighteen years old girl, Sa’adatu Barkindo-Musdafa, a daughter of Muhammadu Barkindo-Musdafa, Lamido of Adamawa, in 2015.

He, however, released a statement to defend his actions, stating that the lady in question is 18 and has attained the legal age of adulthood.

Alleged N2.2 billion land scam

In 2020, the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission invited Muhammadu Sanusi II while he was still an Emir over the allegation of a N2.2 billion land scam.

Meanwhile, the State Assembly had earlier set up a committee to investigate Sanusi.


Sanusi, as Emir of Kano, suffered the same fate as his grandfather, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi I who was forcefully abdicated from the same throne.

On the 9th day of March 2020, Sanusi was deposed as the Emir by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.  

Occupying the Emir position never stopped Sanusi from speaking against the government, quite knowing that this meant going against the royal tradition.

His frequent criticism led the government of Kano state to accuse him of insubordination. 

The Governor then created four new emirates to reduce Sanusi’s influence as Emir in the state.

Emir Sanusi who as Emir presided over the 33 local government areas of the state was relegated to head over just 10. 

The state legislature also declared an investigation of the Emir for  violation of “traditional practices.”

Finally, on March 9, 2020, Sanusi was dethroned by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Sanusi learnt of his dethronement when different security operatives stormed his private residence.

Sanusi was informed of his dethronement and exile to Nassarawa state. Sanusi initially preferred Lagos as his exile location, but his wish wasn’t granted.

Sanusi was escorted out of the palace by heavy security details to the military base. He was then flown to Loko Local Government in Nasarawa State. 

The next day, he was relocated to Awe, a remote local government in Nassarawa.

His dethronement

A Federal High Court in Abuja on March 13 ordered the release of Sanusi from exile. Accompanied by Governor Nasir El Rufai, he subsequently left Awe after leading Friday prayers in full regalia to Lagos.

Sanusi, however, stated that he accepts his dethronement as a divine act and will not challenge it in court to avoid bloodshed and that he wants to focus on other things and live his life as a private citizen.

Sanusi, in a statement, stated that “it is a thing of pride that made us rule and end in the same fashion as the Khalifa” referencing his grandfather, who was also dethroned.


In his capacity as governor of the central bank, he oversaw a bold anti-corruption effort that resulted in Cecilia Ibru and other influential bank heads being fired and prosecuted for improperly handling customer deposits.

Sanusi believed that the only option was to combat the strong and interconnected vested interests that were abusing the financial system.

Also, while serving as the CBN Governor, Sanusi accused the Goodluck Jonathan government of causing Nigeria to lose a billion dollars every month due to financial mismanagement.

The implementation of his reforms in the banking sector led to the revelation of fraud committed by the minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. She was reported to have possibly orchestrated theft of $6 billion (or N1.2 trillion) from the Nigerian government’s coffers.

This led to his suspension by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Sanusi has also spoken out against the fuel subsidy, citing the high level of corruption, the inefficiency of subsidizing consumption rather than production (which slows economic growth), and the government borrowing money to pay for the subsidy—taxing future generations so that current Nigerians can consume more fuel.

During his sojourn as the Emir, he influenced the construction of a 40,000 books library and vernacular modernization of the 15th-century Emir palace. 

Tourism to heritage sites in the Emirate was also encouraged by Emir Sanusi.

He also ensured that the Durbar festival was duly promoted to attract international attention.

In June 2021, Sanusi released a compendium of his articles from 1999 to 2005.

On May 10, 2021, Sanusi was appointed as the khalifa of the Tijaniyyah Sufi order in Nigeria. His grandfather had held this position, which had great religious sway in West Africa.

Currently, Sanusi is undertaking a PhD in Islamic Law at the University of London.

He is a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford’s African Studies Centre.

Sanusi is also currently the Chancellor of Kaduna State University.

Over his industrious career, Sanusi has clinched some awards in his honor. Some of which include:

  • National Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
  • Nigeria; Global Central Bank Governor for 2010, 
  • 100 most influential people in the world (TIME Magazine)
  • Africa’s Person of the Year by Forbes magazine (2011)

In June 2022, Sanusi was honoured with the Most Outstanding Business Personality of the Year 2022 award.

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