Kano Club faults govt’s decision to revoke title, seeks legal protection from ‘impunity’
West Africa’s oldest golf club, Kano Club, has faulted Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s decision to revoke the title issued to the club in 1979. According to the club, it still has 55 years validity on its agreement with Kano Municipal Council, which issued the Certificate of Occupancy for 99 years.
Kano Club is where the first aircraft in Nigeria landed on November 1, 1925. The 26-hectare club was established in 1903 at the beginning of colonial rule, while golfing started in the course in 1908. Since then, the club has been hosting local and international golf events.
But that may come to an end soon if ‘reason does not prevail.’
Officials of the club told The Guardian that they were alarmed when the Kano State Bureau for Land Management wrote to inform them that the title of the club, issued on April 6, 1979, was for a term of 40 years, and that it expired on April 6, 2019.
The letter signed by Ibrahim Naabba and copied to the governor, reads: “Kindly refer to the Land Use Act No. 6 of 1978, which specified terms and conditions governing land allocation and issuance of Certificate of Occupancy.
“In this respect, I wish to notify you that the term of your title above has expired with effect from April 6, 2019, having been issued on April 6, 1979 for a term of 40 years.”
The Guardian learnt that Kano State Bureau for Land Management Director-General, Zainab Braji, wrote to the governor and recommended the allocation of Kano Club to Alpha Property Development Limited and Alif Hotels Limited.
The memo told the governor that Kano Club’s Certificate of Occupancy “is a commercial title, which is normally granted for a period of 40 years and it commences from April 6, 1979, as such it is expired even though there exist no term on the copy of their certificate of occupancy at the back cover bearing an open term.”
Faulting Braji’s summation of the situation, Kano Club’s Vice President, Umar Adam-Kolo, insists that the C of O has a 99-year lifespan, and therefore, still subsists for more 55 years.
He said: “We are taking legal action to stop this impunity. This decision is unacceptable, as we have paid all the ground rents due to us.
“This is the last green area in the metropolis, and we will do our best to save it for posterity.
“The Certificate of Occupancy of the course was issued in 1979 for 99 years. So the title has 55 more years of validity.”