“The order was the ruling of the High Court, and as I speak to you now, no appeal challenging the order to vacate the building. I expected that if truly, the police are law abiding people, ought to comply with the directive of the court that said that anybody living in the said building on behalf of the police should vacate. Police was established by the law and by so they should obey the court order.
By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A Kaduna based legal practitioner, Barrister Abdullahi Barau, has raised alarm over alleged attempt by the Police to take over his property in Kaduna .
The property in contention was for the Police College, Kaduna until it was sold to the lawyer’s uncle, who later transferred ownership to him.
Information gathered revealed that the choice property located along Swimming Pool Road, Kaduna as at Saturday when our Correspondent visited was under sieged by some police officers, who claimed they were sent to guard the house on order of “Oga” without any formal letter or court order.
According to the lawyer, who narrated his ordeal with the police, the most disturbing part of the whole issue is that a seven-day ultimatum has been issued for him to vacate the house or face forceful eviction.
Addressing journalists on the matter, Barrister Barau, who said he had lived in the house for over eight years narrated how the property was acquired and right of ownership given after Federal government sold it.
“Sometimes in 2011, the property in question was allocated to one Mohammed Zarewa AIG at No. 2 Shooting Range Road, Kabala Doki, GRA, Kaduna, Kaduna State, with a document reading: “The Implementation Committee Of The White Paper on the Commission of Inquiry Into the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property.
“In February, 2011, Mohammed Zarewa AIG accepted the offer and made payment of N9, 208, 700. 00 to the Federal Government on the 7 February, 2011 and thereafter, he sold the property to Alh Umar Muhammed who later sold the said property to one Alh Shehu Imam. Alh. Shehu Imam is the current owner of the property, who happens to be an uncle to me. Since then I have taken over the property on behalf of him.
“When I came to take over the property, I met the former Commandant of Police College, Saba Indangi. I approached him that we have purchased the property and he told me that he was aware of the transaction, and that I should give him two weeks to vacate the house as he is expecting his posting.
“When his posting didn’t come as expected, he requested for another two weeks which I oblige him and after the 4 weeks, when he couldn’t pack out I told him that we need to commence construction on the property, and he said I should go ahead with the plan.
“However, after our discussion, I commenced work as agreed, and I built 3 bedroom flats, 7 shops along Shooting Range, and 6 shops on Swimming Pool road which is ongoing. All these were built in 2011, and the 6 completed shops were lent out to tenants.
“When his transfer finally came and one CP Sanusi Rufai was posted to Kaduna as the Commandant in 2012, he forced himself into the house and occupied the flat even when the construction was going on for about 6 to 7 months, but we challenged that in court and he finally left the house. After the proceedings a directive was given that he should vacate the house.
“Also, we have a document from the court; right of possession in respect of the house which gives us the legal backing to take over the house on the 26 day of May 2017.
“After we took over the house and the shops, precisely on the 24 of April 2019, a Police Commissioner from Abuja came to officially handed over the house to us and we have a document to that effect.
“Since then we have continued to live in the house, until 24 of October 2019, I was out of Kaduna and I received a call from my wife that some police came and that we must vacate the house that very day. My wife and children were harassed and intimidated to the extend that my family members could not sleep that very night. Later I received a call that I was only given a week to vacate the house.
“The day the Police came to my house, my wife and children were terrified and traumatized by the police.
“In the whole of all these, there was no document from the Police authority instructing me to vacate the house. I was only called by somebody, and as I speak to you now I did not even know the police officer who called me, but I was only told to vacate the house on or before 31st of October 2019 on the order of unanimous Police boss without any written document.
“I want the people to Know that the building belong to Alh. Shehu Imam, and that we have several documents to back our claims.”