August 6, 2022

Contempt: Kano Attorney-General takes over land dispute case

A controversial land dispute involving the State Bureau for Land Management and Tiamin Rice Company has been swiftly taken over by the Attorney General, Barrister Musa Abdullahi Lawan on the verge of arraigning the State Permanent Secretary.

The nominal complainant in the case, Tiamin Rice, was in court filing contempt proceeding charges against the State Permanent Secretary of Bureau for Land Management, Dr Zainab Baraji for allegedly going ahead to revoke and demolish its plot of land at Gaygaydi Quarters, despite a valid restraining order.

The counsel to the nominal complainant, Barrister Saidu Muhammad Tudunwada, told the court that his client is afraid that if the case is taken over by the State Attorney General they would not get justice, citing section 2-11 of the Criminal Justice Act.

However, the Presiding Chief Magistrate of the Court, Justice Mustapha Saad Datti, ruled that his court lacks the powers to stop the State Attorney General from taking over whether on arraignment or after arraignment, also citing Section 2-11 of the CJA.

The Chief Magistrate at that point ruled that the AG should take over the prosecution of the case and that all the case diaries including all exhibits with the police prosecutor be handed over to the Attorney General of the State.

Recalling his ordeals in the case, the counsel to the nominal complainant, Barrister Saidu Muhammad Tudunwada, said sometime last year when they feared that his client’s plot of land would be taken over, they sought a restraining order against the State Land Management Bureau, KNUPDA and State Attorney General and they were granted.

However, he alleged that despite the restraining order, the State Bureau for Land Management, KNUPDA, and the State Road Traffic Agency went ahead to demolish the place and their ownership was revoked.

Datti adjourned the case to the 9th of August 2022 for the arraignment of the Permanent Secretary.

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