Sunday, January 16, 2022

Kaduna businessman accuses El-Rufai of land grab; petitions ICC, Senate

Alhaji Muhammed Karage called on all relevant authorities to intervene and safeguard the rule of law.

• November 26, 2021
Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

A US-based Nigerian entrepreneur Alhaji Muhammed Karage has petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Senate of the National Assembly over forceful takeover of his prime land by Kaduna state government. He accuses Governor Nasir El-Rufai of using the power of the state to deprive him of a land he bought according to the due process of law.

Mr Karage in the petitions decried what he described as deliberate abuse of power by taking what rightly belonged to him. He called on both the ICC and the Senate to investigate the flagrant violations by Mr El-Rufai, using apparatus of the state to commit injustice.

In the petition Mr Karage sent to the ICC and the Nigerian Senate, he pointed out that; “I bought a land from Late Alhaji Umaru Dikko in 2012. It is located at Sobawa Dankande Industrial area. Before I fought the land Late Umaru Dikko was paying all dues and complied with all rules of the state. 

“I paid all dues and complied with all state requirements and certifications. But some powers started showing interest in the land. Some people in government identified the land and declared interest in it. Bureaucratic maneuvers were used to prevent to set the ground for taking over the land by force.

“As the owner, I was deliberately denied permit to develop it, and in April received a revocation notice. All efforts to get my side of the story heard failed. Jimi Lawal who always claimed to be working on the instruction of the governor connived with all institutions to take over the prime land by force.

“I, Alhaji Muhammed Karage, approached a court which ruled that status quo should be maintained. But Kaduna state government using state apparatus ignored this ruling and used policemen to prevent the owner from accessing the land. The land was eventually sold to another person who is currently developing it. At a point police were used to give protection to the developers of the land,” he said.

He called on the global court to investigate the matter and do justice as all efforts to get justice have so far failed to deliver justice; “As a law-abiding citizen, I will keep on seeking what rightly belonged to and was taken by force through means that is entirely illegitimate. I have done my best and tried so many times to get the Kaduna state government to see reason and return my land, but they refused.

This will not discourage me from going on with seeking justice. I urged the Nigerian senate to consider my case and investigate the circumstances leading to the forceful takeover of my land. I have all documents showing regular payment of all charges on the land. And I never violated the law.”

Mr Karage called on all relevant authorities to intervene and safeguard the rule of law.

Muhammed Karage

November 18, 2021

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