Land Seizure: Kaduna Community Seeks Gov. Sani’s Intervention
The people of Unguwar Ma’aji; a community in Kaduna state, has appealed to the Governor of Kaduna state, Dr. Uba Sani to intervene in a matter of lands and houses seizure by some officials of the Kaduna Geographical Information Service (KADGIS).
The residents of the community who expressed sadness about what they described as illegality, also said that the act of land seizure is a violation of their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.
The residents, coming under the auspices of Unguwar Ma’aji People’s Forum explained that sometimes in 2019, the KADGIS in collaboration with the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA) conducted an Systematic Property Registration (SPRP) exercise, while in 2020 a Regularisation Forms were issued to property owners in the community.
These were contained in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the forum, Kabiru Suleh Kuria and Haruna Abubakar, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday.
According to the duo, the conduct of the SPRP was successful and recieved the approval of the then Governor, Mallam Nasir El-rufai but, later cancelled, while each property owners were asked to pay the sum of five thousand naira meant for meagre for the area after issuing Regularisation Forms to property owners.
The statement noted that in November 2021, the residents were shocked to discover that a group of individuals, presenting purported offers claiming ownership of their lands and houses, while several families were evicted and took possession of the property without any legal basis.
In the statement, the residents cited section 28 of the Land Use Act of 1978, adding the Act recognises the rights of individuals and communities to the peaceful occupation and use of their land.
” The unlawful act of lands/house seizure has caused significant distress and harm to our community, and we seek the intervention of the Governor in addressing the matter promptly.
” Families have been displaced, businesses disrupted, and livelihood destroyed. This unjust action has created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty among our people, who now face an uncertain future,” the statement reads.
The residents therefore called on the state government to conduct an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding the lands/houses seizure in Ungwan Ma’aji, including the identification and apprehension of the individuals responsible for the illegal act.
Meanwhile, a Deputy Director who is also the head of stakeholders engargement of KADGIS, Abdullahi Tukur, has debuked the allegation of lands/houses seizure by their officials.
He however, explained that the affected people have violated the Land Use Act 1978. “By this act, the lands covered by NC. MISC. 53 were reserved specifically for the expansion of Kaduna Metropolis in the Eastern Sector,” Tukur said.
On the allegation of payment of five thousand naira to the agency by the property owners in the community, ” we did not instruct any of our officials to collect money on the field, all monies were paid to the account of KADGIS, and if that was done, they should provide evidence of payment,” the Deputy Director emphasised.