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Lawyers Alert sues Borno Govt over building demolition

By Olawale Adewale, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo 

A human rights group under the aegis of Lawyers Alert’s Initiative for Protecting Rights of Children, Women and the Indigent (LA) has sued the government of Borno State for demolishing peoples’ buildings without following the due process.

The case with suit number BOHC/MG/CV/68/2019 was filed at the Maiduguri High Court by counsels to the applicant, Rommy Mom, Bamidele Jacobs, Sunday Adaji, Richard Hwande and Ellen Onugha.

Counsels to the applicant prayed the court to declare that the action of the state government by demolishing residential houses, restaurants, shops, hotels and other public places in Galadima area, Baga Road, and the entire Maiduguri metropolis amounts to a violation of the constitutional rights of the concerned citizens.

The applicant listed the Government of Borno State, Mr Kashim Shettima as first respondent and joined the Borno State Attorney-General as second respondent in the suit, saying that government did not follow due process in the exercise and that the claim that it was on the ground of public interest was not tenable.

One of the counsels, Rommy Mom said the suit was instituted to protect the fundamental rights of Maiduguri residents pursuant to Order II, Rules 2-5 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009; Sections 43 And 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

Mom said “We prayed the court to declare that residents of Galadima Area, Baga Road and indeed of the entire Maiduguri metropolis are entitled to own moveable and immoveable properties in Maiduguri and anywhere in Nigeria.

“That the Respondents’ act of demolishing hotels, residential houses, restaurants, shops and other public places in Galadima area, Baga Road, and indeed the entire Maiduguri metropolis on grounds of public interest, without the due process of law amounts to a violation of the constitutional rights of the concerned citizens”.

“We are seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd Respondents from further demolishing properties of residents of Galadima Area, Baga Road and indeed of the entire Maiduguri metropolis in Maiduguri, Borno State until the respondents have fully compensated or resettled owners of such properties marked for further demolition", Mom said.

We also sought an order of the court directing the 1st respondent to take inventory of all the moveable and immoveable properties so far demolished in Maiduguri metropolis and to compensate and/or resettle owners of these properties.