Kaduna Demolition: Court Restrains El-Rufai

Kaduna (Nigeria) – A Kaduna High Court has restrained Kaduna State government and its agencies from demolishing buildings along Constitution Road in Kaduna city, that have been marked by Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority, KASUPDA and other agencies.

The order was against the two weeks quit notice served on the owners of the marked buildings dated 5th August, 2015 and signed by the Interim Chairman, Kaduna North Local government, Ahmed Kurfi

In a suit No: KDH/KAD/325/2015 signed by the registrar Kaduna High Court, judicial division, Andrew Buki and made available to Africa Prime News, the instant motion exparte seeks the relief set out on the face of the motion papers, the terms of which portray an eminent threat to the statutory right of occupancy guaranteed under relevant order of fundamental rights of enforcement procedure rule 1999.

It also stated that the order restrains Kaduna state government, Kaduna North Local government and KASUPDA, either by themselves, or through their employees, staff, servants, agents, proxies from demolishing or destroying the marked buildings owned by the applicants on Constitution Road.

The order stands pending the determination of the suit filed in court against the demolition of the marked houses before Justice B.U. Sukola, while the status quo should remain.

“Having gone through the supporting affidavit and written addresses dated 13, August, 2015. I am satisfied that the applicants (owners of the marked buildings ) are faced with real urgency deserving the intervention of the court.” It stated.

It was against this background, Justice Sukola in the suit stated, ”I find merit in the said motion exparte and accordingly granted the reliefs sought against demolition.”

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In an exclusive interview with Barrister John Achimugu, counsel to the applicants, who are the owners of buildings on Constitution road already marked for demolition, it is illegal for the state government or any of its agencies to demolish building with Certificate of Occupancy when right of occupancy is still subsisting.

The Counsel who said he was able to secure the injunction order around 2: 30pm on friday, maintained, ”To issue a quit notice or face demolition is inconsistent with the statutory right of occupancy based on section 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic as a amended.

Achimugu asserted that the owners of the buildings marked for demolition have right to own and acquire property and exclusive right of possession to the plots subject to grant of statutory right of occupancy.

While questioning the rational behind issuing a certificate of occupancy and obtain relevant permit to develop, he said there is no justification to demolition, particularly that the structures in question are legally acquired and built.

He however urged the state government and other agencies to obey the court order in the interest of peace and development.

See the buildings under contention below.

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