The ruling party,Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been given another headache in the run-up to next year's general election, with the appointment of the former central bank governor to an influential religious post.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was named Emir of Kano on Sunday, making him the second most-powerful Islamic leader in the country and giving him immediate influence across the Muslim-majority north.
But with Sanusi's background and the allegiances of the Kano state governor who approved his appointment, domestic politics and jockeying for position before next year's vote have been suspected.
Dapo Thomas, a political scientist at Lagos state university, said Sanusi, as a grandson of a former emir and member of a ruling house in the northern state, had all the right credentials to win.
Kano state governor Rabiu Kwankwaso was also within his rights to approve the recommendation of four royal "kingmakers", who met in private to discuss the succession after the late emir's death on Friday, he said.
But he added: "Although, he is supposed to be a political, Sanusi's choice may indirectly affect the political fortunes of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and President Goodluck Jonathan, given the frosty relationship between them," he said.

The new emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
"Sanusi was sacked as CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) governor and I am not sure he can easily forgive Jonathan and his party for that.
"As a traditional and religious leader, an emir wields a lot of influence among the people and this may not augur well for the president and the PDP," he told AFP.
The PDP's fortunes in northern Nigeria had taken a nosedive even before last weekend's events.
Jonathan and his party saw a wave of defections of influential state governors to the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) late last year.
Most of them were from the north and Kwankwaso was among them.
That, and the switch in sides of a number of PDP lawmakers, eroded Jonathan's power base and parliamentary majority, strengthening the APC's hand as it looks set to win the presidency for the first time.
Local government elections in Kano recently saw the APC secure a landslide victory, while Kwankwaso — tipped as a potential presidential candidate — enjoys popular support.
High-profile Sanusi, who is credited with turning round the fortunes of Nigeria's banking sector, was suspended from his post in February after alleging corruption at the heart of government.
The government's claim of misconduct and financial recklessness against Sanusi was seen as politically motivated.
Jonathan was quick to express his condolences to the late emir on Friday. But he has yet to formally congratulate Sanusi.
His party even issued a premature statement of congratulations to the late emir's son on Sunday before hastily withdrawing it. The PDP was alleged to have backed his candidacy and the APC, Sanusi's.