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Kaduna Community files suit against military over land encroachment

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Host communities within the Jaji Military Cantonment in Kaduna State, have dragged the military authority to the state High Court, over alleged encroachment of their ancestral land and harassment of communities member by the men and officers of the cantonment.

It was gathered that the communities including Wusono, Ungwan Auta, Labar, and Ungwan Alhassan were in court because of what they described as ‘flagrant disobedience of the court’ by the military who they said had started fencing the community into the cantonment while the settlement was ongoing.

The case which came up at the Kaduna State High Court 1 on Tuesday was however adjourned to December 8 for either hearing or report of out of court settlement.
Speaking with newsmen after the court session, counsel to the communities, Joshua Kure said the matter was coming to the court for the second time, due to alleged violation of the court order by the military.

He explained that when the matter was first brought to court, the military opted for ‘out of court settlement’ and a committee was set up to that effect at the Kaduna Government House, but the military started fencing the community into the cantonment while the settlement was ongoing.
“So, we came back to the court today and we told the court our fear is that the military will not do justice in the matter. Rather in total disobedience of the court order, they are trying to take ownership of the land by force. We informed the court that we are ready to proceed with the hearing of the case.
“Even if the military really wants settlement, the plaintiffs are no longer ready to go into their domain, because of what they usually do: threatening, harassing the plaintiffs. Let them come back to the government house, so that we can resolve the issue there.”
Meanwhile, counsel to the military whose name could not be got declined granting interview to newsmen, saying that, “I have been instructed not to grant media an interview because the matter is still in court.”

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