From Umar Danladi Ado, Sokoto
In Sokoto, BUA Cement’s neighbouring communities have dragged the company and the state government to court over acquisition of their settlements and farmlands in Wamakko Local Government Area of the state.
The aggrieved communities include Runjin Biyo, Asare, Gidan Dan Kaiwa, Kaura Kimba, Gidan Shibkau and Maciya among others.
The leader of the communities, Alhaji Abubakar Kokani, said they were in the court to challenge the first and second defendants over unconstitutional and forceful takeover of their lands to be used for commercial purpose.
Alhaji Kokani, who spoke through their counsel, Barr. Kasimu Muhammad Sauwa, further said though the first defendant was in court, but however told the presiding judge, Justice Kabiru Muhammad that, he was in court but yet to prepare for any statement of defence and requested for adjournment of the case to another date so as to fully prepare for defence of his client.
The counsel to the second defendant who is the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Suleiman Usman (SAN) was not in court at the time when the presiding judge adjourned the case to October 11 for further mentioning.
Barr. Usman, who was counsel to the second defendant, was vividly seen outside the court when the matter was already adjourned for mentioning to another day.
He however refused to make any comment as the matter was already before the court.
It could be recalled that BUA Cement has been consistently taking over lands in the affected communities with compensation for the purpose of expanding its production capacity and empire which the communities said was a threat to them.
The communities alleged that the company has taken possession of their land resources, which they used in subsistence farming all year round to feed their families.
“You have taken our communities and farmlands, you have relocated us to another environment, what about our farmlands?
“Hence, we are not civil servants, we rely solely on farming and you take the land away from us, where do you expect us to be?” members of the communities lamented. “We are ready to be at the Supreme Court to demand our right and we will leave no stone unturned in the pursuance of this case,” the leader of the group said.