BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
Family of the late head of State, General Sani Abacha, has protested an alleged move by the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai to clear the site of the demolished hotel despite a court order restraining him and any government agencies from doing so.
But, when contacted on phone on the allegation, the state deputy public prosecutor (DPP), Mr Bayero Dari, said he was not authorised to speak on civil matters.
Governor el-Rufai is alleged to have concluded plans to turn the hotel into a public garden and relaxation spot, when the case is still in court.
The Abacha family said the governor had moved machinery to the land and clearing of the site had begun in the past one week.
Speaking through their lawyer, Dr Reuben Atabo, the Abacha family said they were surprised to see a caterpillar clearing the site in the first week of May till date when Kaduna High Court has fixed May 30, 2021 to rule on the preliminary objection on the restraining order of the defendants. from interfering with the land.
Atabo who was represented by Mr Joshua Rimven at a press briefing in Kaduna, said, “We are suspecting the government of Kaduna State to have taken caterpillar to the site to clear the place because we have a case between the demolished Durbar Hotel and the Kaduna State governor, Nasir e-Rufai as the first defendant.
“Other defendants are the attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA) as well as the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS).
“There is already an injunction restraining them from interfering or coming into this land or do anything on the land after demolishing the place last time.
“There are two matters in the case; there is one at the Supreme Court and also at the High Court before Justice Hannatu Balogun which is about the demolition of the hotel.
“The case at the Supreme court is about the Durbar hotel itself before it was demolished; who owns it between the federal government and the Abacha family which we won at the Appeal court.
“There is court order from the High court that none of the parties should interfere with the land. But we are surprised that we saw people on ground taking measurements and clearing the land,” he said.
When our correspondent visited the hotel site soon after the press briefing, two caterpillars and some workers in reflective jackets were seen clearing the land.