Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and his aides have seized a land belonging to one Alhaji Muhammad Umar Karaje at Dankande Industrial Area, Kaduna, SaharaReporters can confirm.
Karaje bought the land from the late Alhaji Umaru Dikko in 2012 and completed due documentation required by the law.
In a letter to El-Rufai when he began encroaching on the land, Karage told the governor that he deliberately, “came to Nigeria in 2009 to search for a land big enough to accommodate my line of business (construction/agricultural and heavy equipment supply and distribution).”
He added in the letter that on December 9, 2014, after payment of N10 million, he was issued a statutory right of occupancy with the Kaduna State Land Survey and Country Planning. He has since paid ground rent on the undeveloped property.
A source who spoke to SaharaReporters on the matter said, “Shortly after, Governor El-Rufai and his adviser, Jimi Lawal, started to show interest in the land. This was followed by a permit restricting the legal owner of the land from developing it.
“A revocation notice was issued by the governor in April after which the state government took over the prime land.”
Shortly after the revocation notice was issued, Karaje approached a court which ruled that status quo be maintained.
However, El-Rufai and Jimi, abusing state powers, disregarded the court restraint and deployed police to seal off the land.
El-Rufai is currently constructing a fencing around the land with police protection.
This is not the first time that El-Rufai and his special adviser, Jimi Lawal, have masterminded land grabbing in Kaduna State.
In June, he took over the land belonging to another Kaduna entrepreneur, Hajia Fatima Teidi, which was purchased by her late husband, General Teidi in 1989.