The Surveyor-General of Kogi State, Michael Abiodun Abolarinwa was Tuesday docked at the Magistrate Court II Lokoja for allegedly demolishing a house belonging to a petty trader, Razaq Mayowa and subsequently re-allocated the said land to a serving Army General.
According to a petition written by the plaintiff, Razaq Mayowa, a petty timber trader, he claimed that his four set of one bedroom bungalow valued at over N200 million, which he has been labouring to build for the past 10 years located at Zango Daji, Lokoja was illegally demolished on 3rd of March, 2018 by the surveyor general and one Mustapha Saliu
He alleged that, the said land was later sold to one Maj-Gen James Ataguba of 323 Artillery Regiment, Owena barracks, Akure, who he claimed used one Capt Farota to lead armed soldiers to beat him to pulp.
The petitioner, who claimed he was beaten black and blue for daring to ask why his house was been demolished, said the officials came with a bulldozer and were under the protection of some armed soldiers who supervised the illegal demolition.
The petitioner, who expressed surprise that he was not given any kind of notification before the demolition, stated that few weeks after the demolition, he saw a team of bricklayers erecting a new structure on his land under the supervision of some armed soldiers.
The petitioner said after complaining at the D divisional police headquarters, Lokoja said he rushed to the court to obtain an injunction restraining them from working on the land but they resisted the order on the ground that the demolition was carried out on the order of the state government.
However, after due investigations, the petitioner said he discovered that the state government did not authorize the demolition neither did it have any knowledge of the exercise.
In a letter written by the Kogi State town planning and development board dated 4th April, 2018 and signed by one Jubrin Ismaila, said the board did not approve the demolition of the structure and that none of its staff was involved in the said demolition.
Mayowa, who claimed he has petitioned the Chief of Army Staff over the illegal acquisition of his property by the army general and his continued harassment urged the Chief of Army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Burutai to investigate the incident in order to call the serving army general to order as he claimed he is currently into hiding as the soldiers terrorise him every day
When the case was, however, brought for mention before the Chief Magistrate court Tuesday, the Surveyor general, who was in the dock along with one of his staff, Mustapha Saliu pleaded not guilty to the police charge, which was read by the prosecution.
The trial Magistrate who admitted the surveyor general to a bail of #50,000 and a surety of like sum who must be a Permanent Secretary or a traditional ruler of repute thereafter adjourned the case to August 5 for hearing.
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