A Federal High Court in Kano has ordered the Kano State Government and other respondents to jointly pay two residents, Saminu Shehu and Tasiu Shehu, the sum of N1 million each for attempting to demolish their properties at Salanta Quarters in Kano metropolis.
The applicants, through their Counsel Bashir Ibrahim, filed a motion exparte seeking the court to enforce fundamental rights of owing properties and N50 million damage each against the State Government for marking their residences along BUK road, for demolition.
The respondents in the suit are: Kano State Attorney General, Solicitor General, Kano State, Governor of Kano State, Bureau for Land Management and KNUPDA.
Others are the Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General, Commissioner of Police, Kano State, and NSCDC, Kano Command.
Counsel to the respondents, Musa Dahuru told the court that the said pieces of land are properties of the Kano State Polytechnic and urged the court to dismiss the case, arguing that it has no bases in law.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, averred that the action of the Kano State Government and other respondents in marking the applicants’ properties for demolition without following due process is an infringement to their right to own immovable properties.
“Pursuant to sections of 43 and 44 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended”, he said.
Amobeda upheld that the intrusion to the applicants’ Properties at about 11 pm on June 14, in an attempt to carry out demolition is clearly an infringement on their private and family lives as enshrined in the Constitution of Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
He further ordered the State government to repaint the wall of the applicants houses situated at No 41, 43 and 68 Salanta along BUK road which were marked “REMOVED KNUPDA” with red paint.
“The Respondents, by themselves, agents their servants or proxies whatsoever are restrained forthwith from encroaching, trespassing, entering, invading, demolition or revoking the applicants’ titles,” Amobeda said.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the judgement, the applicants counsel, Ibrahim, said the judgement is a land mark verdict for the protection of human rights and respect to human dignity.
On his part, Counsel to the respondents, Dahuru, Director, Civil Litigation, Kano State Ministry for Justice, said he will study the judgement and advise the Government on the next line of action accordingly.