The Kaduna State Government has commenced the construction of a children’s park on plot 11B Sambo Road, Ungwan-Rimi, Kaduna, which was recently seized from Suleiman Hunkuyi, the senator representing Kaduna North.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the building on the plot was demolished by the Kaduna Geographical Information Service (KADGIS), in February, over alleged violation of the state’s land laws.
At the time of the demolition, the building was housing the state secretariat of a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Hunkuyi was one of the 15 APC senators who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier on Tuesday.
A NAN correspondent, who visited the property on Tuesday, noticed that construction work was on-going, with lots of workers engaged in various building activities.
Contacted, Nuhu Garba, Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA), confirmed that a children’s park was being built at the site following the revocation of the ownership and subsequent takeover of the land.
“You recall that when the property was demolished, the ownership was revoked and the plot was handed over to us, so we are now building a children’s park there,” Mr Garba said.
The latest development followed a ruling by a Kaduna State High Court which struck out Mr Hunkuyi’s suit challenging government’s action.
Justice Muhammad Lawal Bello, in a ruling on July 3, 2018 dismissed the senator’s suit for want of merit.
Mr Hunkuyi had asked the High Court to stop the state government and its agencies from taking over his “personal property” over allegations that he had failed to settle ground rent for several years.
He further asked the High Court to award to him, N10 billion in damages for demolishing the building.
The state government, in its defence, accused the senator of building on land meant for green area, thereby violating the state’s master plan.
NAN reports that Hunkuyi had since gone to the Court of Appeal, Kaduna State Division, to seek a reversal of the lower court’s ruling, with the appellate court fixing August 2 for hearing.
When contacted on phone, Hunkuyi described the construction of a children’s park on his property as “an act of impunity”.
“The action is a threat to democracy and the rule of law and should be condemned by all. If it is Hunkuyi today, it can be any other person tomorrow,” he said.