09.10.2021 news Kaduna State Violates Court Order, Demolishes Houses in Zaria

Published 9th Oct, 2021

By Daniel Ojukwu

The Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Authority (KASUPDA) has demolished several buildings in Anguwan Yusi community, Hanwa District, Zaria, despite a court order forbidding it from doing so.

In a 24-hour verbal notice by community leaders and a radio jingle by KASUPDA, residents were asked to relocate ahead of a demolition which happened on Monday.

Some of the residents told FIJ that they woke up to security operatives surrounding their houses and forcing them out as KASUPDA began its demolition exercise.

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This violates a May 2013 ruling by Justice F. Zubairu at a high court sitting in Zaria.

Zubairu’s ruling in suit number KDH/Z/52/2011 between Irimiya Yabanet (for himself and on behalf of Ang. Yusi community, Hanwa District, Zaria) and KASUPDA, obtained by FIJ reads: “A declaration that the act of marking and crossing the plaintiff’s properties situated at Anguwan Yusi community, Hanwa district, Zaria, by the defendant on 28-03-11, without commission on of any offence and without violating any urban planning law which constitute an offence, contravenes section 36 (6) (a) Constitution [of the] Federal Republic of Nigeria ’99 [and] as such, it is null and void and of no effect.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the affected residents told FIJ that security operatives destroyed their devices and attempted to stop them from recording the demolition.

“We the inhabitants of Graceland, Zaria, Kaduna, woke up to a 24-hour notice to vacate our houses,” he said. “This was issued through a radio jingle by Kaduna State Urban & Development Agency on October 1, 2021. This case has been in court for over 10 years now with court ruling in our favour and restraining the demolition.

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“El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, deliberately used the weekend to carry out this act of injustice, knowing well that we could not do anything legally outside the courts that do not work on weekends. What did we do to deserve this? Why did they have to end our years of sweat and struggle in just one day?

“Why did they harass us and stop us from taking videos and pictures of our houses in the process of demolition? Why did they use bottles, teargas and brutality to scatter our harmless protests? These are just few of our unanswered questions!”

FIJ placed several calls to the telephone number on KASUPDA’s website but they were not answered. A Text message sent to the number was also not responded to.

Published 9th Oct, 2021

By Daniel Ojukwu


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