“Obey court injunction”, Kpaduma community tells FCT minister
Indigenes of Kpaduma Chiefdom which is consist of over nine communities under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) has task the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Sen. Bala Mohammed to obey the interlocutory injunction retraining the FCT authority from interfering in the peaceful possession of land in Kpaduma Chiefdom. The counsel to Kpaduma community, Bar. Mela Nunghe, who spoke after a recent court proceeding between the community and FCT authorities, said that the court sometimes in March,9th, 2012 has given a restraining order against the Minister of FCT, not to do anything till the matter is decided in court and disposed off.
According to Nunghe, the court is waiting for the preliminary objection, so that the matter will be dispose off, saying that it is left for them to move their preliminary objection, which he said is standing on the way of the case proceedings, that if not because of the preliminary objection, they would have called their witnesses and probably would have since closed their case, which has been on since 2007.
“Each case is treated on its own individual merit. We believe that there are enough facts that will attract the sympathy of the FCT authorities, even if they have the police. These are helpless people that are the reason they ran to court. We are hoping and praying that they will not do the things they do in other places to this one. They should respect and honor the court order.
“The court order is still subsisting. This case is simple, the indigenes are saying that they should give them an alternative place, called resettlement and they will move. If the FCT authority does that, they will move and we will not be in court. But what the FCT is trying to do, is not right, they are trying to put them on the street without alternative provision, which is unfair, and that is not justice.
“If they have resettled other communities within the FCT, they should also extend the same thing to them, by building a resettlement for them and as long as they have not built a resettlement camp, they should not go and start demolishing their houses, just because some rich people have plots in their land. They are human beings and citizens of this country as well, so their dignity must be respected.” he said.
Hon. Bala Iyah, Councillor representing Garki ward in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) who is the first plaintiff in the case, said that the proposed demolition exercise by the FCTA to take place on the 28th of February is uncalled for, because the court has not decided the case and the interlocutory injunction still valid.
In his words: “They cannot come and demolish our houses without making alternative means for resettlement or compensation. I believe that the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed is a listening leader and that he will not come and demolish our houses, without inviting us to know the way forward. We have not been served any notice regarding their coming to Kpaduma community to demolish it on Febuary 28th of this month.
“And there is no provision for us despite the fact that our farmlands have been taken away forcefully, without them making alternative provision for us. The allottees have been threatening us every day and night, that is why we are in the court and we have confidence that the court will help us and give us justice, because the judiciary is the defender of the poor,” he said.
The Secretary of the Kpaduma Community, Mr. Simon Baba who spoke to Peoples Daily explained that they are law abiding a citizen, which is why they have been in court for some years now, urging the FCTA and other persons to desist from trespassing in their farmlands, until when the court decides.
In his words: “Some of these unknown people and FCTA officials will just come and trespass on our land, when the matter is still in court. We the Kpaduma Chiefdom of Kpaduma 1, 2, 3, Guzape ,Golubwi, Kpebi 1 and 2 among others are law abiding people and I don’t think anybody is above the law ,even our leaders . The law is still in process and we will like Justice to prevail. We don’t want to be pushed to the wall by anybody.”