Court Orders Kano Gov’t To Pay N30bn Compensation Within 7 Days In Demolition Case

Daud Olatunji

In a significant legal development, a Federal High Court in Kano has issued a compelling order demanding that the Kano State Government pay a substantial compensation of N30 billion within seven days. 

This verdict stems from a lawsuit brought forth by the Incorporated Trustees of Masallacin Eid Shop Owners and Traders, who accused the government of unlawfully demolishing their shops without adhering to proper legal procedures.

The judgment, initially delivered on September 29, 2023, had already mandated the Kano State Government to pay the same amount to the aggrieved shop owners.

 However, the recent order by Justice Samuel Amobeda, the presiding judge, underscores the urgency of this financial obligation, requiring the N30 billion to be deposited in the Court Bank Account within the stipulated seven-day timeframe. 

This payment is to be held pending the outcome of the appeal process initiated by the state government.

Marwan Ahmed, the Commissioner of Works for Kano State, now faces potential legal consequences for his involvement in continuing to tamper with the properties against the court’s judgment. 

A notice attached to the court’s order warns of potential contempt of court and imprisonment if the order is not adhered to.

The Kano State Government had previously sought a motion for a stay of execution, and Justice Amobeda granted this motion on the condition that they fulfill the N30 billion compensation requirement. 

Consequently, the execution of the judgment from the case known as FHC/KN/Cs/208/2023, involving the Incorporated Trustees of Masallacin Eid Shop Owners and Traders Association, will remain stayed until the determination of the appeal.

The court’s order also specifies that the deposited sum, along with accruing interests and administrative charges, will be awarded to the prevailing party in the appeal, providing an additional layer of motivation for the Kano State Government to comply with the court’s directive.

The case revolves around a contentious issue of property ownership, with the Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice asserting that the properties in question belong to the state government. 

This legal battle continues to capture public attention and is expected to have far-reaching implications for property rights in the region. 

As the seven-day deadline looms, all eyes are on the Kano State Government to see how it responds to this unprecedented legal order.

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