The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti- Corruption Commission (PCACC) says it will respect the court order to maintain status quo over its investigation of alleged sale of land belonging to the Kano Emirate Council.
The Chairman of the commission, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, stated this at a news conference on Saturday in Kano.
Magaji said the commission had already complied with the court order restraining the parties to the case from further action on the land.
The consolidated case order before the state High Court is cited as: Suit No. K/215/2021, and dated March 31 and April 1.
He recalled that the commission received a petition from the Dorayi Development Association over the alleged sale of the 24 hectares of land at Gandun Sarki in Dorayi quarters, Gwale Local Government Area of the state.
Consequently, the chairman explained that the agency began investigating the alleged sale of 24 hectres of land, comprising eight hectares belonging to the Ado Bayero Royal City Trustees Fund (ABRCTF) and 14 hectares owned by the Kano Emirate Council.
The council, he said, had in October 2020 sought permission of the State Government to develop the land to check indiscriminate encroachment on the land.
Magaji revealed that Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje approved the request by the Emirate Council to develop the land into a more useful purpose for the overall wellbeing of the people of the state.
He said: “The proposed development consist of contruction of a recreational centre, refuse collection site and a 3,000-horse capacity arena for annual durbar, among others.
“In December 2020, the State Government, through the Bureau for Land Management wrote to the Secretary, Kano Emirate Council, notifying the ABRCTF of the governor’s approval to proceed with the joint venture development on the land.
“However, PCACC discovered that one Yusuf Shuaibu Aliyu bought eight hectares of the land at total sum of N575 million and another 14 hectares at the sum of N200 million.
“The Commission discovered that the N200 million was not remitted into the Emirate Council’s account. It was allegedly collected by one Alhaji Awaisu Abbas Sunusi, who converted same to $416,000 dollars.
“Surprisingly, the money was not paid into the Emirate Council account but converted into dollars and the variation of the sale price of 14 hectares of land is lower than that of the eight hectares in the same location.
“Base on the foregoing; the commission is investigating the Kano Emirate Council as the approval granted on the land was for developmental projects rather than outright sale to individuals.
“By virtue of Sections 9 and 26 of the Constitution as well as the Land Use Act, the commission is empowered to investigate the matter.”
On the court order, Magaji explained that a Kano High Court No. 7, issued an order on March 31, restraining the commission and the Police from taking further action on the land in question.
He said the order followed a case filed before the court by one Yusuf Shu’aibu Aliyu, who bought the land from the Kano Emirate Council.
“The Interim Injunction restrained Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado, Kano State Commissioner of Police and Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 1 Kano, from destroying construction work on the property and from further interfering by any means whatsoever with applicant’s peaceful possession of the property.
“On April 1, we also filed a Motion Exparte with 11-paragraph affidavit and a Written Address.
“The Court reviewed its earlier order upon reading the motion, and ordered that the parties maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice fixed for April 12.”
In his reaction, counsel to the complainant, Mr A.S. Bawa, said the transaction for the sale of the land was done through legitimate processes.
Bawa said his client paid over N200 million and N500 million for the lands, respectively, to the landowners.