Nigeria's former central bank governor has been named the new Emir of Kano, making an outspoken critic of the government's record on corruption one of the most influential leaders in the largely Muslim north.

Lamido Sanusi was suspended in February by President Goodluck Jonathan on government charges of financial recklessness and misconduct.

The move came soon after Sanusi alleged that the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation misappropriated $20bn in public funds.

Sanusi is the great nephew of the previous emir, Ado Abdullahi Bayero, who died on Friday aged 83. The emir of Kano is Nigeria's second-highest Islamic authority.

Sanusi's switch from the offices of the capital Abuja to the palace in Kano will make him a central player in confronting Boko Haram in the northeast.

Allah has conferred on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi ... the successor to the late emir

Kano government statement 

The fighters have set their sights on toppling the traditional Muslim hierarchy in Nigeria, accusing it of failing to enforce what they say is their true interpretation of the Quran.

The appointment was announced in Kano in the presence of four "kingmakers" - royal officials who meet in closed session to decide on the succession.

The officials considered a number of names and put them forward to the state government for approval.

"The state government received their recommendations and Allah has conferred on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the former governor of the central bank, the successor to the late emir," said State Secretary Suleiman Bichi.

Boko Haram fighters were suspected of an explosion on Sunday that killed at least three people outside an army barracks in Nigeria's northeastern city of Gombe.

Source: Agencies