Demolition: Court Adjourns Hunkuyi’s N10bn Suit Against Kaduna Govt
A Kaduna State High Court on Thursday adjourned the N10 billion suit instituted by Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC- Kaduna) against the Kaduna State Government till June 5.
The Court, presided over by Justice Muhammad Lawal-Bello, adjourned the matter to determine the jurisdiction application raised by the respondents in the suit.
Hunkuyi had on March 15 approached the court to demand for N10 billion damages against the state government for alleged illegal demolition of his house at 11B, Sambo Road, Kaduna.
Joined in suit was the state Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) “for illegally and unlawfully demolishing his house”.
The court had then adjourned the case to March 26, following the request by the defence counsel (from Kaduna State Ministry of Justice) that they needed time to enable them to enter their defence.
The applicant’s counsel, Prof. Yusuf Dankofa, among others, prayed the court to declare that the respondents (Kaduna State Government and KADGIS)’s action in arrogating to themselves the power to sanction the applicant was illegal, even if he had defaulted in payment of either ground rent or land use charge or for any other reason .
The applicant had said the action constituted a gross violation of his Fundamental Human Rights as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and “therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.”
He prayed for “A declaration that the purported takeover of the applicant’s property located at No 11B Sambo Road Kaduna by the Respondents on the basis of purported non-payment of ground rent/land use charge or for any other reason is wrong, illegal and unconstitutional.”
Hunkuyi also prayed for an order of the court “setting aside the purported take over of the applicant’s property.”
He, therefore, requested for “an order of this court mandating the respondents to pay the applicant N10 billion “being aggravated, punitive and general damages against the respondents jointly and severally for the violation of his human rights.”
ustice Lawal-Bello had earlier adjourned the suit to April 19, to allow the defense counsel present his written address.
However, at the resumed hearing of the suit on Thursday, the defense counsel, Musa Kakaki, Assistant Director Civil Litigation in the state, said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the suit.
Kakaki, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit.
Justice Lawal-Bello, however, adjourned till June 5 to rule on the jurisdiction application.