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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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AIG orders investigation of Policeman seen voting in Kano APC Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone Abubakar Sadiq Bello has ordered the investigation of unprofessional conduct of a policeman caught on camera voting during state congress of All progressive Congress (APC) in Kano.

KANO FOCUS reportsthat in view of the unprofessional conduct of the policeman, the AIG has referred the matter to the Zonal X-Squad for investigation.

A statement issued on Monday by Zonal Police Public Relations Officer Abubakar Zayyanu identified the police officer as Bashir Mohammed attached to the government house, Kano, from where he was deployed to work with the state Chairman of APC Abdullahi Abbas as a security aide.

Mr Zayyanu noted that if the inspector is found to have committed an offence by this action, the appropriate disciplinary measure will be taken against him.

He further assured the general public that further development on the matter will be communicated.

The statement reads in part.

“The attention of the Inspector-General of Police Zone one Headquarters, Kano has been drawn to a trending picture on social media, of an inspector of police casting vote at the recently conducted Kano State congress of the APC along with his principal, the state party chairman, Abdullahi Abbas.

“The inspector of police has been identified as Bashir Mohammed of the Special Protection Unit, Base One, Kano. The inspector is attached to the government house, Kano from where he was deployed to work with the said Abdullahi Abbas as a security aide.

“In view of this seemingly unprofessional conduct of the inspector, the AIG has referred the matter to the Zonal X-Squad for investigation.

“If the inspector is found to have committed a disciplinary offence by this action, the appropriate disciplinary measure will be taken against him.

“Finally,  we want assure members of the public that further development on the matter will be communicated please.”

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EFCC Grills Rabiu Kwankwaso

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nasiru Yusuf

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday grilled former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies.

KANO FOCUS reports that Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, was first invited by the EFCC in September but failed to honour the invitation as reported by Channels TV.

An associate of the politician informed Channels Television that Kwankwanso may have been invited in relation to a petition by some retired employees of the Kano State Government.

The retired employees had told the EFCC that the former governor mismanaged pension remittances to the tune of N10 billion between 2011 and 2015, to fund a housing project for his cronies.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren did not comment on the interrogation of the former governor when contacted on Saturday.

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Crisis rocks Kano APC as Ganduje, Shekarau hold parallel Congress

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Aminu Abdullahi

Crisis rocked Kano chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC), as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and faction loyal to former governor of Kano and serving Senator Ibrahim Shekarau held parallel state congress.

KANO FOCUS reports that while Ganduje group held their congress at Sani Abacha stadium, faction loyal to Shekarau had their own at Janguza town, Tofa local government area.

Ganduje’s led group endorsed Abdullahi Abbas as state chairman of APC for a second term in a consensus arrangement, while the faction loyal to Shekarau announced Ahmadu Haruna Zago as newly elected chairman of APC in Kano state.

Reports shows that the security have earlier disrupted Shekarau’s camp congress at Sani Abacha youth centre and sealed the premises before they moved to Janguza where they held the election.

Below are some pictures of the parallel Congress.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje while voting at Sani Abacha stadium

 

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje with APC chieftains

 

Delegates at Sani Abacha stadium

Ballot box

Factional chairman of Kano APC Ahmadu Haruna Zago

Ahmadu Haruna Zago and Abdilkadir Jobe

APC factional congress at Janguza

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