Nigeria: Police Disperse Traders Protesting Non-Enforcement of Court Judgment Against Kaduna

Traders demanding the enforcement of a court judgment against the Kaduna state government were dispersed yesterday by police operatives deployed to stop the peaceful protest.

The traders had obtained a court judgment against the state government for demolishing their shops at the Kasuwan Barchi Market in the Tudun Wada area of the Kaduna metropolis, sometimes in 2017.

The state government had demolished the shops and awarded a contract to a private developer for the construction of a modern market. It was gathered that traders had sought for an injunction to restrain the state government from demolishing the market. However, while the motion was still pending, the government went ahead to demolish the market and commenced construction.

The aggrieved traders later approached a State High Court to seek for redress over the action of the state government. On September 27, 2022, the court presided over by Justice Edward Andoo, delivered judgment nullifying the action of the state government.

The judge said by the provisions of section 7 of the 1999 Constitution and other provisions, the state government has no powers to take over the responsibilities of Local Governments in managing and exercising authority over markets.

The court granted all the prayers by the traders and oredered the state government to adequately compensate and reinstate the traders back to their shops in the market.

Yesterday, the traders took to the streets, asking Governor Nasir El-rufai to obey the court order by paying them compensation over their demolished shops.

It was gathered that as the traders were set for the peaceful protest, the police stormed the venue and told them that, “there is an order from above to stop the protest.”

The police immediately dismantled the canopies erected for the event along Dutsima Road, Tudun Wada area of the metropolis and dispersed the traders who were about to address the journalists.

This resulted in confrontation with personnel of the Kaduna State Vigilance Service (KADVIS), who were providing security cover for the traders.

The police threw teargas at the crowd following the confusion that ensued, dispersing the traders.

Chairman of the demolished Shop Owners, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano told journalists that all efforts to resolve the problem amicably with the state government did not yield any positive results, hence the decision by the traders to challenge the matter in court.

“The court has given judgment in our favour, it is our prayer that the Kaduna state government will respect this judgement by reinstating us back into the market and compensate us accordingly, especially because, many shop owners have died, some are sick, while a few have relocated to other towns due to the demolition,” he said.


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