Lawyer Alleges That Revoking Of Reps Member Land By Fintiri Politically Motivated

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*We are using it for public overriding interest – Govt counsel 

*revocation of Babazango plots of land is purely political  – plaintiff

By; TOM GARBA, Yola 

Contrary to Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri’s reason for revoking  two-hectare  land belonging to Abubakar Babazango (Abaza), an Adamawa All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain who is representing Yola South/Yola North/Girei Federal Constituency for public interest to build a model school, his counsel, Barrister Desmond Adewale on Monday,  argued in court that the revocation was purely political has no any intention to build a model school.

Barrister Adewale said it was an illegal revocation and recalled how the All Progressives Congress (APC) wanted to use Mahmud Ribadu Square venue for their presidential campaign and the government of Adamawa State under the leadership of Rtm Hon Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri refused them the use of the venue.

He said the magnanimity of  Babazango who decided to give them his land for the campaign is the main reason Fintiri is hunting him through the unlawful seizure of the said land strategically situated close to Yola International Airport.

Adewale argued that the former owner acquired the land in 1976 and the current title owner Abaza legally owns it with constant payment of ground rents, a reason it should not be at the moment seized for the public interest.

When addressing news men after the case  was mentioned in the Yola High Court with Justice Ahmed Isah presiding over the matter, Adewale asked why would it be now, knowing the fact that Fintiri has been in office since 2019.

“We’ve been hearing feelers from the government quarters because my clients gave that land to the then incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, the current President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the APC Governorship candidate, Hajiya Aisha Ahmed Dahiru Binani they are going to withdraw the certificate of occupancy (C of O) and we got interim injunction restraining them from the use of the land  is our reason of coming to court to challenge it,” Adewale said 

He alleged  that the undiluted reason of the case is that Fintiri revoked the land because Babazango gave Tinubu the piece of land for campaign and it’s unlawful to do that under the guise of public interest.

Adewale claimed his client  is a victim of political rivalry who incurred the  wrath of Fintiri after chasing a PDP HoR member at the court of appeal and considered him an archenemy to fight for giving them the political battles of their lives.

“Whoever that’s telling you that the land was revoked for the public interest is telling you a pure lie. The land was revoked because he gave it to Tinubu and Binani to hold their political rally, contested the House of Representatives against the PDP member, and won at the Court of Appeal.” He said.

The counsel to Babazango argued that the government of Adamawa State under the Fintiri administration is basing their argument on the Adamawa limitations of law saying that the has not exhausted the pre-action notice of thirty days before coming to court.

In defense, Adewale countered that whenever there are genuine threats, imminent danger, and infractions of human rights, there’s no need to abide by that provision.

According to him, the case is having a semblance of an infringement of human rights and is nothing more than  brazen display of lawlessness, and they will vigorously pursue the case up to the Supreme Court.

He further explained that the government is trying by all means to forcefully take over the land according to him, the letter of revocation was served on a dead man,  Alhaji Jika Paris, who has no connection to the land on  January 10,  2024.

He accused the government of Ahmadu of backdating the letter of revocation to make the court order restraining them from using the land.

In a counter motion however, the counsel to the government of Adamawa State, Barrister Abayomi Akamode said the governor has a right to revoke the land for overriding public interest.

Abayomi while quoting section 28 of the Land Use Act said the public interest is far above the interest of an individual, Babazango.

He faulted the plaintiff for not giving a pre-action notice of thirty days to the governor as the Land Use Act provides.

He said his appearance in court was to challenge the action of the plaintiff who did not give the pre-action notice of thirty days before he could commence any action to the Governor.

“We are challenging the competence of the action itself asking that the Court should strike out this suit because they have not given out the necessary pre-action notice and when you have not done so the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case.” Abayomi

The motion was adjourned by the presiding Judge for ruling on February 26.

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