A Federal High Court sitting in Kano State has granted an order restraining the Federal Government, from going on with the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK gas pipeline project in the state.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had last year inaugurated a $2.8 billion, 614 km pipeline project that will transport natural gas from Obiafu in Rivers State, Escravos in Delta State and Lekki in Lagos State to be connected through Ajaokuta, Kaduna to Kano states.
However, on February 12, one Abdullahi Adamu and 35 others had filed an exparte motion against the Federal Government, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, ORA Egbunike & Associates and Minister of Petroleum Resources, praying for the court to stop any works on the lands in Magami village, Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of the state.
Granting the order on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Justice Sa’adatu Mark ordered the four defendants to stop executing the project at the sites in question, pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice.
Mrs Mark ordered that the defendants be put on notice and should respond to the same within seven days of service of the order along with the motion on notice.
The judge, therefore, adjourned the matter to April, 15 for hearing.
Making clarification on the matter, counsel to the plaintiffs, Abubakar Ibrahim-Ishaq said the acquisition of the lands by the defendants was illegal, as the required provisions of the law for land acquisition were ignored.
According to him, the law requires a written notice of acquisition, valuation of the property to be acquired, adding that fair hearing must be accorded to the persons whose lands would be acquired, “but all these were ignored”.
‘’Hence we are asking the court to declare their action of the plaintiffs in acquiring the plots and farmlands as invalid without legal effect what so ever, with the failure to observed the required provisions of the law and also restrain the defendants perpetually from dealing with the acquired properties, said Mr Ibrahim-Ishaq.
The counsel noted that the defendants were first served with pre-action notice of 30 days, although they lately sent a letter and the letter confirmed their failure to follow due process.