A Shi’ite Muslim Community has prayed a High Court of Justice of Kaduna State for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and others, from carrying out alleged unlawful demolition of their properties located at different parts of the state.

The group, through seven plaintiffs, had instituted the suit marked: KDH/KAD/515/23 dated and filed on May 18, 2023 by their lawyer, Dr Yushau Uthman.

The plaintiffs are Imam Sadiq Academy Ltd, Tahfiz Fudiyya Zaria, Fudiyya Nursery and Primary Schools, Saminu Kusa Muhammed, Ahmad Abubakar, Haruna Dan Fulani I/Mu’azu and Shuhada Foundation as 1st to 7th applicants respectively.

The seven plaintiffs are suing for themselves and on behalf of the Shi’a Muslim Community of Kaduna State.

Listed as 1st to 5th defendants respectively in the suit are Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufa’l, Kaduna State Government, Kaduna State Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA) and Isma’il Umaru Dikko, Director General of KASUPDA.

In the writ of summons filed pursuant to Order 3, Rule 3, the applicants urged the court to declare that the plaintiffs in the case are the respective owners of their landed properties to the exclusion of any other person or group of persons be it individual or organisation, having obtained their titles and derived their ownership from the 3rd defendant (state’s Ministry of Housing) legally.

“A declaration that the 4th and 5th defendants have no legal authority whatsoever to destroy or demolish the plaintiffs’ properties be it in the name of IMN (Islamic Movement of Nigeria) or any other name whatsoever and howsoever having derived their respective titles from the top defendant legally.

“A perpetual injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves, their cohorts, privies, agents or anybody acting on their behalf or instruction from demolishing the plaintiffs’ schools, premises, structures, features, fixtures or other appurtenances in Kaduna metropolis and in the entire 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.”

In a witness statement on oath attached to the application, Ahmad Abubakar deposed that he bought a land in No 29, Kabiru Street Rigasa In Igabi Local Government of the state and was issued with a Certificate of Occupancy under file No: KDL163889 on March 9, 2022.

Abubakar averred that he gave out the said land to the Muslim Community of Rigasa in particular and Kaduna State in General for the purpose of building Islamic school.

He said the building, as erected, complied with all the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Housing in the state

According to him, the intention of the defendants to destroy or demolish the building which houses the Islamic School is ill-motivated.

He said the schools, as built by them, did not belong to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or any other organisation.

It would be recalled that less than few days to his exit as Kaduna State Governor, Mr El-Rufai approved the final phase of demolition of properties belonging to the Islamic Movement, the residential complex in Gbagyi and others.

In an official letter by the Director-General of KASUPDA, Ismail Umaru-Dikko, dated April 20, 2023, the agency demanded the urgent release of N29,253,500 (over N29 million)!for the exercise.

The memo by KASUPDA entitled ‘Request For Clearance To Carry out Pending Demolition Exercise’, listed the properties of the Islamic group, UBE schools, Damau Household Farms owned by Dangote Diary Farm, Gbagyi Villa, Ali Scorpion House, Oriapata and Polo Club Stable at Ugwan Doka.

Others are at Architect Namadi Sambo Road, Danbushiya Layout and General Hospital, Kawo.

Meanwhile, among the reasons given by the authority for embarking on the demolition are the ban placed on the Islamic group, encroachment on schools’ landed properties, non-compliance on special regularisation programme, dilapidated structural failure, urban renewal and upgrade, encroachments and illegal subdivision.

Out of the N29,253,500 to be expended on the exercise, N20,253,500 will be used to demolish IMN properties.

Umaru-Dikko said: “The governor is invited to kindly consider the above and approve the release of the estimated funds to enable the authority execute these pending tasks.”

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