By Shuaib Sadiq
A Kaduna High Court says the State Government risks court contempt and disobedience order if it demolished Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi’s personal house at No. 18A, Inuwa Wada Road, Kaduna.
The state High Court said there was an earlier order restraining the state government from any action on the property pending before it, warning that any action contrary to its order will amount to disobedience and contempt.
The warning is contained in an order: “Notice of Consequence of disobedience of Court’’ issued on June 6, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Kaduna.
The order was sequel to a written reminder to the Kaduna State Geographic Information System (KADGIS) seeking Hunkuyi (APC-Kaduna North) to pay his ground rent amounting to over N31 million on the property situated at Ungwan Rimi, Kaduna.
The notice to the legislator, dated May 28, also obtained by NAN, was also issued by the KADGIS and signed by one Ango Liman, an official of the agency, and read in part that:
“I wish to draw your attention to the demand notice for the payment of ground rent due to Kaduna State Government, served on you by this agency.
“And to inform you that the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service as the sole collector of government revenue is yet to receive payment of the ground rent totaling N31,467,861.60k, for the period.
“Please note that the amount outstanding is late for payment and as such penalties and interest would be computed accordingly as stipulated by law.
“You are by this reminder requested to pay the amount due into our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Account with any of the collecting Banks within seven days from the date of receipt of this reminder notice to avoid statutory sanction.’’
However, the court in its order addressed to the State Government, through the Secretary to the State Government and copied to KADGIS and the state revenue agency, warned that the reminder would amount to disobedience and contempt of court order.
“The Notice of Consequence of Disobedience of Court Order (FORM 48) be served on Kaduna State Government (Office of the Secretary to the State Government), Kaduna Geographic Information Service and Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service for court contempt,’’ it read
The court said the order restraining the defendants (Kaduna State Government and its agents) from taking any steps or acting on a purported bill issued against the plaintiff’s property located at 18A, Inuwa Wada Road, Ungwuan Rimi, Kaduna, was illegal as the suit was still pending.
The legislator had earlier obtained a court order in a suit No: KDH/KAD207/2018 restraining the state government and its agents from any action on the property in question, pending the determination of the substantive suit in court.
NAN recalls that Hunkuyi’s Guest House at No: 11B, Sambo Road, serving as the state secretariat of AKIDA faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was demolished on Feb. 21, on the order of the state government for alleged default of 10 years ground rent.
The state government had earlier issued a one-month ultimatum to Hunkuyi to either settle the said ground rent or face sanction.
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