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Hunkuyi alleges plan to demolish another property

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Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna state Governor

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi has alleged that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is threatening to demolish another house he possessed at Inuwa Wada, Ungwan Rimi, Kaduna, failure to pay N31.4 million ground rent for the property within 30 days.

The senator, on his Twitter handle, displayed a fresh grand rent bill sent to him by the KADGIS asking him to pay within 30 days.

He said: “Once again, @GovKaduna Malam @elrufai has sent a ridiculous bill to me for a purported ground rent of my personal house at Inuwa Wada to the tune of N30 million to be paid within 30 days, failure to do so might probably result to another demolition like he did on my other property.”

Besides, the senator in another tweet said he had since last year paid his dues to Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service with receipt for the payment.

He, however, described the request by the state government for another N30 million as draconian and blatant display of abuse of power as arrogantly portrayed by Governor El-Rufai.

Also, he displayed a notice issued to him by the KADIRS demanding him to pay N10,000 for land use charge in which he revealed payment made through Zenith Bank pertaining to the property in question.

But El-Rufai has maintained that the demolition of a house owned by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi in the state capital was legal and followed due process.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Mr. Uba Sani, flanked by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser and Samuel Aruwan, Chief Press Secretary, who spoke with journalists in Abuja yesterday, said people were unnecessarily emotional about the exercise ,which he said, followed laid-down procedures.

Sani, who also debunked allegations that the action was to persecute, accused Hunkuyi of defaulting in paying the ground rent due on the duplex located at 11B, Sambo Road, GRA, Kaduna, for eight years and converted the property for politics.

He said by defaulting in payment and swinging the house for political use, Hunkuyi effectively breached the provisions of the Land Use Act and violated state laws which stipulated that ground rent is payable in advance.

He stated that Manu Nigeria Limited, title-holder of the property, was served advanced notice of the demolition.

Meanwhile, as Director-General, Kaduna State Geographical Information Service (KADGIS), Ibrahim Husseini, had in a statement said the land was revoked and the building ‘removed’ for flagrant violations of Land Use Act and non-payment of rent since 2010, lawyers have criticised the demolition, saying it is illegal.
  
A Lagos-based lawyer, Bankole Kayode, said the consequence of not paying ground rent is not demolition and cannot be under the law. He said: “Anyone who fails to pay rent has to be charged to court. Every matter must end up in court.”

According to him, the act is a primitive display and misuse of power by the state.

Also, a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Olatunde Miftau, said the act of revoking and demolishing somebody’s property under the law has a procedure.
  
Besides, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Sylva Ogwemoh, also disapproved of the act.

According to him, it is an abuse and arbitrary use of power. However, an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Abubakar Sani, noted that the Land Use Act entitles the governor to revoke rights of occupancy.
  
According to him, regular payment of ground rent is part of the condition for the retention of the right of occupancy.
 
He, however, pointed out that the government could not just demolish a property because someone owes rent.

In another development, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has in a statement enjoined Nigerians, especially political leaders across board, not to keep quiet over what he described as “anti-democratic tendency” exhibited by El-Rufai in demolishing Hunkuyi’s house.

Meanwhile, Hunkuyi has alleged that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is threatening to demolish another house he possessed at Inuwa Wada, Ungwan Rimi, Kaduna, failure to pay N31.4 million ground rent for the property within 30 days.

The senator, on his Twitter handle, displayed a fresh grand rent bill sent to him by the KADGIS asking him to pay within 30 days.

He said: “Once again, @GovKaduna Malam @elrufai has sent a ridiculous bill to me for a purported ground rent of my personal house at Inuwa Wada to the tune of N30 million to be paid within 30 days, failure to do so might probably result to another demolition like he did on my other property.”

Besides, the senator in another tweet said he had since last year paid his dues to Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service with receipt for the payment.

He, however, described the request by the state government for another N30 million as draconian and blatant display of abuse of power as arrogantly portrayed by Governor El-Rufai.

Also, he displayed a notice issued to him by the KADIRS demanding him to pay N10,000 for land use charge in which he revealed payment made through Zenith Bank pertaining to the property in question.


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