Court restrains El-Rufai from planned demolition

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The owners of houses allegedly built on school land along Constitution Road in the Kaduna metropolis, have dragged the state government to court for marking their houses for demolition.

Thenigerialawyer reported last week that Governor Nasir El-rufai had allegedly spared some structures erected on lands belonging to public institutions on Constitution Road, and warned agency responsible to avoid blanket marking of properties.

But a week after, 10 home owners filed a suit before Justice B.U. Sukola of the State High Court seeking an order restraining the governor from demolishing their properties.

The Order of Injunction sought to restrain “the state government, the Attorney General of the state, Kaduna State Urban Panning and Development Authority, Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority and Kaduna North Local Government respectively as respondents, either by themselves or through their employees, staff, servants, agents, proxies or whosoever, from demolishing or destroying the applicants’ buildings.”

The affected buildings spared by the court order, pending the hearing and determination of the suit, are Block A, A1 Block A,1 Block A, 3 Block B, 4 Block A, 6 Block A, 7 Block A, 8 Block B, all located along Constitution Road, Kaduna North LGA.

In the suit no: KDH/KAD/352/2015 dated 18/8/15 and filed by Messrs J.A.Achimugu and other three Counsels to the Plaintiffs/Applicants, a copy of which was made available to Thenigerialawyer on Wednesday, moved the Motion Exparte and read a six-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion.

The court said it found merit in the said Motion Exparte and accordingly granted the relief sought.
Consequently, an Interim Order of Injunction was granted restraining the respondent in terms of the relief sought pending the determination of the Motion on Notice made together and to be served on the Respondents.
The case was adjourned till August 26 for the substantive Motion on Notice.

The Applicants are Dan Kaduna Trade Ltd, Na’Atta Communication & General Enterprises Ltd, Fashum Company Nigeria Ltd, Bashir Zuntu, Renyam Nigeria Ltd, Dr. Baba Usman, Abubakar Mustapha, Bonat Charles, Vincent U. Nnaegbuna and Bulus D. Kwande.

The Kaduna State Government had in a recent statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Samuel Aruwan, explained that all cases of encroachment on lands belonging to public institutions such as schools and hospitals would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

The government also said there would be no blanket marking of buildings, neighbourhoods and layouts.
The state government also clarified that local government councils have no role in the land recovery process beyond gathering and forwarding relevant information to the appropriate agencies.

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