*victim says action a test for rule of law
By; JULIANA KATUNG, Kaduna
While the second edition of the Kaduna Economic Investment Summit was ongoing, a demolition of the property of North West National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir was taking place.
The affected property located along Yakubu Avenue, a few metres from the venue of the summit by the men of the Kaduna State Urban and Property Development Authority (KASUPDA) carried out complete demolition, after a partial demolition was frowned at by a court on same property months ago.
A High Court of Justice of Kaduna State of Nigeria in Kaduna Judiciary Division on 8th March, 2017 ordered the respondents (Kaduna Government) to restrain from tampering with and in any way demolishing or attempting to demolish and cause permanent damage to the structure, facilities and appurtenances of Malam Abdukadir, and order the government to pay the sum of N5 million to him for the structural and other damages caused to him during the partial demolition.
The rationale behind the demolition has been attributed to the on going crisis between Senator Shehu Sani and Governor el-Rufai in which the Senator was suspended and the action was described as illegal by the APC North West Vice President according to an insider who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned.
According to the source, the land is part of the Federal Ministry of Housing layout and was sold to one Abubakar Bello Mohammed who later sold to Abdukadir who submitted an application to the Kaduna State Urban and Property Development Authority (KASUPDA) seeking for permission to develop the land after paying the required fees but was directed by the KASUPDA to obtain clearances from the Federal Ministry of Lands which was done and a copy of the clearance was submitted back to the relevant agency.
Abdukadir in a document dated 20th February, 2017 addressed to the Federal Controller, Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kaduna requesting for permission to enable him to develop his plot at N0. 11 Yakubu Avenue Kaduna and a document dated 22nd, February, 2017 was sent to him in response to his application containing the permit and an offer of lease for further action, while a copy of the clearance was sent back to KASUPDA.
While waiting for the final approval from KASUPDA, he started building on the land but later received a notice of demolition rather than the approval and a partial demolition was also carried out which made him to proceed to court and there was an order for the state governor to stop the demolition.
Some of the court injunction read that the partial demolition of part of the structure of the plaintiff located at N0 11 Yakubu Avenue, Kaduna on the 11th day of January 2017 before the issuance of the stop work notice dated the 12th day of January 2017 was illegal and contravenes the powers of the respondents.
In a telephone interview with New Nigerian correspondent in Kaduna shortly after the demolition of the house, Alhaji Inuwa Abdukadir described Governor el-Rufai’s action as the test for the respect of rule of law and social justice.
According to him, there was a court order directing the state government to stop the demolition action but he rather went ahead with it.
His words: “I was born in Kaduna State, live in Kaduna and my structure that was put down is not different from other structures in the area, I have left it for the court to decide on the further action to take.”