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EXCLUSIVE: Kano gov’t seizes Emir Sanusi’s N250m land, pays monarch N4.5m compensation

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Dawud Nazifi & Jaafar Jaafar

The Kano State Government has seized a plot of land worth N250 million belonging to the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II and approved a peanut N4.5 million as compensation to the monarch.

There is crisis between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the emir, which culminated in whittling the influence of the latter by creation of four additional emirates and first-class emirs in Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya.

A Kano High Court had last week nullified the law that created the emirates and the emirs, triggering fears that the judgement might trigger the simmering crisis.

A joint investigation by DAILY NIGERIAN and KANO FOCUS newspapers revealed that the land, located at Ibrahim Dabo Road, was seized while its fences and other structures were demolished to pave way for the ongoing flyover and underpass bridge being constructed at the Dangi Roundabout area.

Our correspondents report that the seizure and subsequent demolition of structures within the land as well as the fence surrounding the property, was personally supervised by the state Commissioner of Works, Engineer Muaz Magaji, on Friday, 15 November, 2015.

The uncompleted part of the Dangi flyover

Emir Sanusi’s percel of land

Officials of the state land ministry who spoke to our correspondents on the condition of anonymity said the emir purchased the 1.2 hectare land in 2010 at the cost of N200 million.

According to them, the land was recently valued at N250 million at commercial rate, but the state government insisted that payment would be made in accordance with statutory land rate.

It was learnt that Mr Magaji, accompanied by a large group of armed thugs, led other officials of his ministry to Mr Sanusi’s land, where he personally mounted a Grade D9 bulldozer and demolished a section of the fence surrounding the land.

Another view of the Emir’s demolished land plot

Our correspondents gathered that before Mr Magaji embarked on the demolition, he had asked the Emir to send a representative to witness the exercise—a request Mr Sanusi obeyed by sending the district head of Garko to represent him.

According to eyewitnesses, after the commissioner pulled down a sizeable portion of the monarch’s fence in the presence of his representative, he then reportedly ordered the waiting group of armed hoodlums to pillage the facility.

The witnesses added that Mr Magaji also turned around and directed the bulldozer to a collection of shop buildings beside the uncompleted bridge and knocked down a part of the structures, before also reportedly directing the thugs to take their “booty”, saying all compensations have been paid to the owners.

When contacted, the Chief of Staff of to the emir, Munir Sanusi, declined comment on matter, saying the emir had not given him clearance to speak on the matter.

However, palace sources said the emir is yet to receive any payment from the government as compensation for the parcel of land, through which the overhead bridge will pass through.

But in a phone interview with our correspondent, the commissioner claimed that the state government had paid compensation to the emir.

“I can tell you he got the alert. For eight months, this issue has stalled the project, and this project is for public interest.

“We were even hoping that the Emir would give us the land for free to continue with the work. But since he did not give it to us, we decided to engage to services of valuers who valued it according to the statutory land rate because the government does not engage in commercial purchase,” he said.

The commissioner also confirmed that he personally mounted the Grade D9 bulldozer to pull down the said the structures.

He explained that the state government has also paid compensation to all other property owners whose structures were affected by the flyover project.

Umar bin Khattab mosque authorities also cry out

Similarly, Malam Muazu Shuaibu, the Secretary-General of Islamic Foundation—a non-governmental organization which owns the plots of land hosting the shops affected by the bridge project, also accused the state government of snatching their land without due compensation.

Mr Shuaibu explained that the shops were leased out to developers on a Build Operate and Transfer, BOT arrangement for a period of 20 years with the aim of generating funds to maintain the Umar Bin Khattab mosque.

A section of the site where shops near the Dangi flyover were pulled down. The land plots belong to Islamic Foundation–Managers of the Umar Bin Khattab Mosque

Another section where shops were also destroyed

He said officials of the state government had approached them when the bridge project started and told them that an assessment had shown that the work would affect their land.

“They sent valuers to make an assessment on what amount to give to each allotee. But we told them that they cannot proceed with the demolition until payments have been made to the beneficiaries.

“So, they asked us to forward our account numbers but we said no, we cannot forward account numbers until they give the figures they would pay to each allotee.

“After so much delay, the government officials later sent the figures which we shared with our developers before finally submitting account numbers and the government officials asked us to wait for payment,” he said.

Mr Shuaibu said as the Islamic Foundation and the property developers waited for the payment, he received a letter signed by Dahiru A’da’u, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Works, asking for cooperation to acquire the land plots.

“Based on the need for the timely completion of this important project for the benefit of the teeming members of the populace of the state, I write to inform your good office that this ministry has scheduled to acquire the designated portion and continue with the execution of works,” the letter read in part.

“Accordingly, work shall commence in earnest on Friday, 15 November, 2019. It is in the light of the foregoing that I’m soliciting your usual cooperation on the successful, timely completion of the project, which will solve a number of traffic related problems in our great city.”

He further explained that immediately after he received the letter, he had an announcement that compensations have been paid and property owners were given 24 hours to evacuate the shops.

“I contacted the developers to know if any of them had received an alert but all of them said they did not receive alerts. In less than the 24 hours given, the commissioner came personally and started demolishing part of the shops and then asked thugs to take everything they want as booty, claiming that they had paid compensation,” he said.

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Ahmed Musa signs short deal with Kano Pillars

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Nasiru Yusuf

National captain Ahmed Musa is considering a proposition to play some matches for his former club in Nigeria, Kano Pillars, in a move hoped to boost the local league and maintain his personal fitness. 

Kano Focus reports that the 28-year-old, who is a free agent since leaving Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr in October, had received offers from England, Russia and Turkey.

But as he mulls over his next European destination in the summer, the winger received a proposition from the governor of Kano, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Shehu Dikko, chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) for a short stint in Nigeria.

“After speaking with the governor and chairman of the LMC I am considering to play some games for Kano pillars,” the former Leicester City player told BBC Sport Africa.

“Anything that improves the image of Nigerian football is something that I strive to embark on and Kano Pillars holds a special place in my heart.

“It’s the team that helped me become the professional footballer I am today, so this is more than just football but a very strong bond,” Mr Musa said.

According to BBC a deal to bring Musa in has already been finalised.

Musa, who has built a training and fitness facilities in Kano to help grass roots football, scored 18 goals for Kano Pillars to finish as top scorer in the 2009/10 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

His desire to help promote the image of the domestic league on social media is what the LMC, which runs the NPFL, is hoping to benefit from this season.

Musa made his 96th appearance for Nigeria in their 3-0 win over Lesotho in Lagos in the Super Eagles final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

After Vincent Enyeama (101) and Joseph Yobo (100), Musa is Nigeria’s third most capped player in history, having played 96 matches since his debut aged just 17 in 2010.

He helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and played for them in the past two World Cups

Musa scored twice for Nigeria at the 2014 and 2018 Fifa World Cup tournaments to become the country’s top World Cup goalscorer.

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Kano destroys expired products worth over N90m

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Nasiru Yusuf

 

The Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board has destroyed expired products worth N98 Million Naira.

Kano Focus reports that the items were apprehended at various market in the state.

Speaking shortly after the destruction, the Executive Secretary of the Board represented by the Director Environmental and Public Health Usman Rabiu Sadiq explained that, the exercise was aim at protecting public health against using hazardous products that may hamper their health especially during Ramadan fasting.

The Director stated that, the exercise was conducted after obtaining a court order granting the Board permission to destroy the products.

He called on people to be extra vigilant on consumables especially during Ramadan.

Kano Focus reports that the items destroyed include, drugs, baking powder, minerals and other exotics drinks.

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Kwankwaso left over N50bn liability for LGs 5km projects – Kano Govt

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state government said the administration of former Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso left a liability of N54, 408, 259, 638.05 billion for the five kilometre road projects across the 44 local government areas of the state.

Kano Focus reports that the state commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba dropped the hint on Sunday while addressing newsmen on the outcome of the state Executive Council Meeting held at the Africa House, Government House, Kano.

He said the council received the report of the Technical Committee to assess the 5 km road projects all of which were awarded by the previous administration under the defunct Ministry of Land and Physical Planning with the state Urban Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA) as supervising agency.

Mr Garba said the committee visited 39 local governments where its detailed report indicated awarded contract sum for the projects, present site conditions, value of executed works, amount certified and amount released for the projects.

The commissioner pointed out that 5km projects in three local governments were revoked and rewarded due to non-performance in Warawa, Ungogo and Dawakin Tofa, while some portions of the projects in Tsanyawa and Bichi along Kano-Katsina road were released to the federal ministry of works and housing based on request from the federal government.

He said other three projects in Rimin Gado, Karaye and Bunkure local government that fall within main arterial highway were expunged from the main project and re-awarded separately for execution, while metropolitan local governments of Dala, Nassarawa, Gwale, Municipal and Tarauni were allotted various projects within the municipality as 5km projects.

Mr Garba pointed out that the council has approved the release of N607, 124, 663.47 million for the rehabilitation of Rimin Gado-Sabon Fegi-Jilli-Gulu road in Rimin Gado local government.

The commissioner stated that approval has also been given by the council for the conversion of the existing School of Post Basic Midwifery Gezawa to the status of School of Nursing Gezawa to broaden the platform for training of more qualified midwives in order to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in the state.

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