Home NEWS Demolition: Victims urge police to investigate Gov. Yusuf, Kwankwaso, others

Demolition: Victims urge police to investigate Gov. Yusuf, Kwankwaso, others

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Traders and owners of demolished shops at the Massallacin Idi in Kofar Mata area of Kano State have on Thursday demanded that the Kano State Police Command launch a criminal investigation into the demolition exercise carried out by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and leader of the New National Peoples Party, NNPP, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, leading to the destruction of their properties amounting to N260 billion and death of about 30 persons.

Others they demanded to be investigated include the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi and Engr. Muhammad Diggol among others over role they allegedly played in the exercise.

The traders who spoke through their lawyer, Bar. Maruf Yakasai while addressing newsmen in Kano, claimed the Governor had never for once shown regret for his actions hence the call for the investigation in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

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In a copy of the complaint letter addressed to the Police Commissioner, the traders wants the police to investigate the persons over what they described as criminal conspiracy, theft, criminal misappropriation and mischief contrary to section 97, 286, 308 and 326 of the Penal Code, laws of the state.

According to the traders, “Shortly before the 2023 Gubernatorial election, some of the suspects (more particularly the leader of the ruling party, New Nig
eria People’s Party, NNPP, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso) were heard and seen physically and over the media repeatedly, stating unequivocally, that if his party won the election, they would demolish all the structures/shops (own by our members) at the Kofar Mata Eid-ground.

“Subsequently, NNPP emerged as the winner of the election, and His Excellency, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusif, was sworn in as the Governor of Kano State on the 29th day of May, 2023. Unfortunately, even before cabinet members were nominated and appointed, Abba Kabir Yusif, formed a committee with the sole responsibility of carrying out the demolition exercise.

“The 5th day of June, 2023 was the black day to the traders and owners of shops and thousands of people getting their means of livelihood in the area. At about 01:00 hours, after we all closed our shops and businesses, the democratically elected Government of Kano State, under the leadership of Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf, without any notice or opportunity for our members to park their goods and other movable properties, with no iota of sympathy, demolished the structures/shops in the area. Selfish individuals with criminal minds were also encouraged by the Government to loot our properties as the demolishing was ongoing. They described our hard own properties as public properties and declared same as free for all.

Read Also: Demolition: FHC Grants Stay of Execution Conditionally, Orders Kano Government to Pay N30 Billion Within 7 Days

“Consequently, the suspects succeeded in destroying all the structures/shops/ goods and monies (cash) kept in some shops, rendering the victims helpless, poor, jobless without any justification whatsoever. Some of the victims lost their lives (30), some are now patients with different sickness, including the killer ‘stroke’. The victims’ orphans and children are left with no parental care and attention, many are rendered homeless; poor or no education, medical care, because breadwinners are either dead or have lost their means of livelihood. The total estimated value of the properties lost and destroyed is two hundred and sixty billion Naira (N260,000,000.00).

“Unfortunately, instead of receiving an apology from the state Government, the Government officially stated that “it has no regret over the demolition exercise”. Also, the leader of the party (Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, added salt to the injury, and reminded us of his pre-election promise, to demolish our hard own properties/shops. He further described our wealth as useless and proudly confirmed that he has fulfilled the promise. He added that he would have destroyed the structures even if it is over 1,000 stories.

“We know as a fact that Government has power to revoke any right of occupancy but only for overriding public interest. Also a sufficient notice must be served and compensation paid before the revocation. These requirements were never satisfied by the Government, no attempt was made whatsoever. It is also against the Law to carry out such operation in the middle of the night.

“We the members of the Association have suffered from psychological trauma as a result of the unlawful acts of the Suspects either directly or indirectly, destruction and loss of their properties worth billions of Naira which were stolen in addition to loss of business and means of livelihoods.

“It is against the above background that we are appealing to your good office to cause a criminal investigation to be conducted in this case with a view to ensuring that justice is done to us. We are asking your good office to conduct a thorough criminal investigation into the matter, especially with respect to the offences against property and humanity, as some have passed on, some are sick as a result of the torture, the rich are now poor. We need the criminal aspect to be investigated and the guilty to face the full wrath of the Law. We also urge your good self to consider and build on the judgment of the Federal High Court, Kano Division that described the action of the suspects as illegal, unconstitutional and barbaric.

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“We are ready at the appropriate stage of the investigation to provide all the available evidence and records in our possession to support the allegations against the suspects. Please note further that the suspects have never denied the demolition,” they said.

They also added that, “Dissatisfied with the act of the suspects, our client instituted an action seeking for the enforcement of their fundamental right to own property enshrined under Chapter 1V of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) before the Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/CS/208/2023 between the Incorporated Trustees of Masallacin Eid Shop Owners and Traders Association and Kano State Government & Ors. The Court having heard from both sides and having considered the extent of the damages over the properties, granted judgment in our favour and in fact directed the Kano State Government under the leadership of the Suspects to pay punitive and exemplary damages to us to the tune of 30 billion Naira Only, and declared the demolition exercise as unconstitutional, illegal and contrary to the laid down laws”.

The traders however disclosed that the state government in an out of court settlement have agreed to pay the sum of N3 billion out of which it has already paid N1 billion.

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