October 18, 2018

Suleja Residents Petition President Buhari, Gov. Sani Bello over On-Going Demolition of 300 Houses

By on March 22, 2016 0 236 Views

Residents of Suleja, have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello over the on-going demolition of about 300 houses   in Angwar Shagaya, Bakin-Iku,  Suleja, Niger State as a result of a purported court judgment obtained by one Awal Abubakar Pai from Suleja High Court 1, Presided by Justice Ahmed Bima.

The open letter dated March 20, 2016 to President Buhari and Niger State Governor, Bello was also copied to Senator David Umaru, representing Niger East Senatorial District in the Senate, Hon. Abubakar Lado Suleja, Member representing Suleja/Tafa/Gurara Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Suleja Local Government Chairman, Dikko  Kasim, and Emir of Suleja, HRH Mal. Mohammed Awal Ibrahim.

The residents under the platform of “The Concern Residents of Suleja”, in Suleja Local Government Area, of Niger State in the petition said “It was on March 3rd, 2016  that the residents of  Angwar Shagaya, Bakin-Iku, Suleja were confronted with a “Writ of Possession” from Suleja High Court 1, demanding that we vacate our houses if we fail to re-purchase the plot of land which we have purchased and developed several years ago.

“The court officials who came with the “Writ of Possession” also came with bulldozer and armed police men reportedly from Suleja Area Command. They told the residents that they have 7 days to re-purchase the plot of land or have their houses demolished.

“All explanations that they were not aware of any court case involving the land and they should be given enough time to respond appropriately to the issue fell on the deaf ears  as they eventually commenced demolition exercise and locking up of people’s houses on  7th March, 2016.”

The petitioners further noted that “The court officials in collaboration with the armed Nigeria police locked up both women and children in the houses in several places for days while they embarked on demolition of houses from different direction within the area in question. In the course of this exercise, a pregnant woman was prevented from going out of her house to the hospital until she gave birth in the house without assistance of medical experts. She was lucky to survive after the delivery but her baby was not lucky enough as he died.

“The period they came for this exercise was also the period that Water Board shutdown the whole water system in Suleja  for maintenance purpose. So many of them remained in the house without having access to water more than three days. Apart from those who broke the wall or jumped through the fence, others remained locked up for fear of court contempt.”

The petitioner also said that “All our efforts to get the  Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment of Justice Ahmed Bima of Suleja High Court 1 after being applied and paid for, proved abortive as the court officials claimed that the copy of the judgment is not yet ready close to 40 days after the judgment.”

The residents also wonder “Why should court officials and armed Nigeria Police will begin enforcement of High Court Order and Judgment when the time allowed for an appeal in law has not elapsed?

“Several of us bought the pieces of land in this area without any caveat emptor (buyers beware) that the said land is in dispute between two or more families. Some of us have also lived in this town more than 20 years.

“In the court papers we obtained through the Defendants recently, we discovered that the area in question is 333ft/1550ft (4.7 hectares) according to the Plaintiff’s request/prayer.  However, Justice Bima in his judgment claimed the land in question is 10.3 hectares.  How a judge will give order/judgment into what is not requested for is also another major concern.  The document which the Plaintiff presented to the court and claimed is from Abuja Native Authority also confirmed that the land in question is   333ft/1550ft (4.7 hectares).

“Similarly, why should court officials and armed Nigeria Police will begin enforcement of High Court Order and Judgment when the time allowed for an appeal in law has not elapsed?

“We also felt bad that none of the occupants of the piece of land was joined as a defendant when it is very clear that the piece of land in question is not virgin and it covers over 300 buildings.”

The petitioner also wondered why the judge will reserve a judgment on a case for about two years.

“We have also come to discover recently that the said case process was concluded on April 8, 2014 and the Judge on his own decided to give the judgment on February 12, 2016.

“The same Suleja High Court, who gave a judgment in favour of Alh. Awal Abubakar Pai (Plaintiff)  against Abubakar Nagogo  Kawuni & 2 other  (Defendants) in SUIT NO:NSHC/SD/87/2011  in February 12, 2016 had also given similar judgment  in favour of Bar. Magnus Atie (Plaintiff) against Abubakar Kawuni & 1OR on December 11th, 2014 in SUIT NO: NSHC/SD/04/2009, still on the same piece of land.

“While the case of Alh Awal Abubakar Pai (Plaintiff) and Abubakar Nagogo Kawuni & 2OR (Defendants) was decided by Justice Ahmed B. Bima of Suleja High Court 1 on February 12th, 2016, the case of Barr. Magnus Atie (Plaintiff) and Abubakar Kawani was decided by Justice Aisha Bwari of Suleja High Court 2 on December 11, 2014. These two separate cases are on the same piece of land.

“There is also an on-going case between Abubakar Kawani  (Plaintiff) and Sanusi Adamu (aka Sanusi Police) and one Dan Zaria (Defendants) on the same land.

The petitioner said “When we made effort to meet the Plaintiff, Alh Awal Abubakar Pai’s  counsel, he said we need to repurchase the pieces of land and affirm  that his client is the right owner of the land in question or all our houses will be completely demolished.

“We also learnt that members of other families had gone to either magistrate court or high court with view to get court injunction in their favour on the same piece of land.”

The petitioner lamented that “How many times can we purchase and re-purchase piece of land we had earlier paid for and developed?

“Despite our resolve to appeal the case at Abuja Court of Appeal Division, several houses are still being locked up and marked for demolition by court officials in collaboration with Nigeria Police.

“It is on this ground we need your assistance in other to come out of this predicament created by our fellow human beings who are bent on making easy money through intimidation and violation of human rights. “

When THE LEGISLATURE (Thelegislature.net) contacted the Area Commander, ACP Mathias Azogwa on why the police in collaboration with court officials embark on demolition of people’s houses when the time allowed for an appealed in law has not elapsed, he said he acted based on the letter of enforcement written to him, by Suleja High Court Registrar, Hassana Mohammed.

This Medium also learnt that while police in collaboration with officials of Suleja High Court embarked on locking up and demolition of people’s houses on March 7, 2016 the letter of enforcement written by Suleja High Court Registrar, Hassana Mohammed was dated March 16, 2016.

Ironically, THE LEGISLATURE learnt from reliable sources that this same Suleja High Court Registrar, Hassana Mohammed is a resident in one the houses on the disputed land but her residence was neither locked up nor marked for demolition like others around it.

Read the full statement below:

OPEN LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI (GCFR), COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND NIGER STATE GOVERNOR, ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO

REQUEST FOR QUICK INTERVENTION OVER THE ON-GOING DEMOLITION OF 300 HOUSES IN SULEJA

We, The Concern Residents of Suleja, in Suleja Local Government Area, of Niger State hereby write to call your attention to our predicament over the on-going demolition of over 300 houses in Angwar Shagaya, Bakin-Iku,  opposite Field Base Second Gate, Suleja, Niger State as a result of a purported court judgment obtained by one Alhaji Awal Abubakar Pai from Suleja High Court 1, Presided by Justice Ahmed Bima.

It was on March 3rd, 2016  that the residents of  Angwar Shagaya, Bakin-Iku, Suleja were confronted with a “Writ of Possession” from Suleja High Court 1, demanding that we vacate our houses if we fail to re-purchase the plot of land which we have purchased and developed several years ago.

The court officials who came with the “Writ of Possession” also came with bulldozer and armed police men reportedly from Suleja Area Command. They told the residents that they have 7 days to re-purchase the plot of land or have their houses demolished.

All explanations that they were not aware of any court case involving  the land and they should be given  enough time to respond appropriately to the issue fell on the deaf ears  as they eventually commenced demolition exercise and locking up of people’s houses on  7th March, 2016.

The court officials in collaboration with the armed Nigeria police locked up both women and children in the houses in several places for days while they embarked on demolition of houses from different direction within the area in question. In the course of this exercise, a pregnant woman was prevented from going out of her house to the hospital until she gave birth in the house without assistance of medical experts. She was lucky to survive after the delivery but her baby was not lucky enough as he died.

The period they came for this exercise was also the period that Water Board shutdown the whole water system in Suleja  for maintenance purpose. So many of them remained in the house without having access to water more than three days. Apart from those who broke the wall or jumped through the fence, others remained locked up for fear of court contempt

All our efforts to get the  Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment of Justice Ahmed Bima of Suleja High Court 1 after being applied and paid for, proved abortive as the court officials claimed that the copy of the judgment is not yet ready close to 40 days after the judgment.

Details of the Writ of Possession served on us on the 3rd March 2016 are as follow:

IN THE HIGH COURT OF NIGER STATE HOLDING AT SULEJA, SUIT NO:NSHC/SD/87/2011

Between

Alh. Awal Abubakar Pai (Plaintiff) and

Abubakar NagogoKawuni, Lawal Idris Maiyaki Baba Idi (Defendants)

WRIT OF POSSESSION

“Whereas  by an order and judgment of this court made on 12-2-2016, the Defendants were ordered to deliver possession of piece of land hereinafter mentioned to the plaintiff, that is to say:

“All that piece of land measuring 10.3 Hectares and situate at Tungan Tsauni/Zariyawa Road Angwan Shagaya, Bakin Iku Suleja, Niger State, which land is shown in the sketch plan marked Ehibit PDL, with N50,000 General Damages.

“You are hereby commanded forthwith to give possession of the said piece of land to the Plaintiff and recover the damages and report back to this court.

“Dated the 15 day of February 2016, signed: Hon. Justice Ahmed A.Bima”

OUR CONCERNS AND CHALLENGES

Several of us bought the pieces of land in this area without any caveat emptor (buyers beware) that the said land is in dispute between two or more families. Some of us have also lived in this town more than 20 years.

In the court papers we obtained through the Defendants recently, we discovered that the area in question is 333ft/1550ft (4.7 hectares) according to the Plaintiff’s request/prayer.  However, Justice Bima in his judgment claimed the land in question is 10.3 hectares.  How a judge will give order/judgment into what is not requested for is also another major concern.  The document which the Plaintiff presented to the court and claimed is from Abuja Native Authority also confirmed that the land in question is   333ft/1550ft (4.7 hectares).

Similarly, why should court officials and armed Nigeria Police will begin enforcement of High Court Order and Judgment when the time allowed for an appeal in law has not elapsed?

We also felt bad that none of the occupants of the piece of land was joined as a defendant when it is very clear that the piece of land in question is not virgin and it covers over 300 buildings.

We have also come to discover recently that the said case process was concluded on April 8, 2014 and the Judge on his own decided to give the judgment on February 12, 2016.

The same Suleja High Court, who gave a judgment in favour of Alh. Awal Abubakar Pai (Plaintiff)  against Abubakar Nagogo  Kawuni & 2 other  (Defendants) in SUIT NO:NSHC/SD/87/2011  in February 12, 2016 had also given similar judgment  in favour of Bar. Magnus Atie (Plaintiff) against Abubakar Kawuni & 1OR on December 11th, 2014 in SUIT NO: NSHC/SD/04/2009, still on the same piece of land.

While the case of Alh Awal Abubakar Pai (Plaintiff) and Abubakar Nagogo Kawuni & 2OR (Defendants) was decided by Justice Ahmed B. Bima of Suleja High Court 1 on February 12th, 2016, the case of Barr. Magnus Atie (Plaintiff) and Abubakar Kawani was decided by Justice Aisha Bwari of Suleja High Court 2 on December 11, 2014. These two separate cases are on the same pieces of land.

There is also an on-going case between Abubakar Kawani  (Plaintiff) and Sanusi Adamu (aka Sanusi Police) and one Dan Zaria (Defendants) on the same land.

When we made effort to meet the Plaintiff, Alh Awal Abubakar Pai’s  counsel, he said we need to repurchase the pieces of land and affirm  that his client is the right owner of the land in question or all our houses will be completely demolished.

We also learnt that members of other families had gone to either magistrate court or high court with view to get court injunction in their favour on the same  land.

How many times can we purchase and re-purchase piece  of land we had earlier paid for and developed?

Despite our resolve to appeal the case at Abuja Court of Appeal Division, several houses are still being locked up and marked for demolition by court officials in collaboration with Nigeria Police.

It is on this ground we need your assistance in other to come out of this predicament created by our fellow human beings who are bent on making easy money through intimidation and violation of human rights.

Cc Senator David Umaru, representing Niger East Senatorial District in Nigerian Senate, National Assembly Abuja

Hon. Abubakar Lado Suleja, Member representing Suleja/Tafa/Gurara Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives

Suleja Local Government Chairman, Dikko  Kasim

Emir of Suleja, HRH Mal. Mohammed Awal Ibrahim

Signed

Danjuma Hassan

Chairman

Ibrahim Saidu Minin

Secretary

20/03/2016

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