The Kogi State Surveyor-General, Michael Abolarinwa, was arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly demolishing a house belonging to a trader, Razaq Mayowa, and subsequently reallocating the said land to a serving General.
In his petition to the police, Mayowa claimed that his bungalow, located at Zango Daji, Lokoja, valued at over N200m, was illegally demolished on March 3, 2018 by Abolarinwa and one Mustapha Saliu.
He alleged that the land was later sold to one Maj General James Ataguba of 323 Artillery Regiment, Owena Barracks, Akure, who he claimed used one Capt Farota to lead armed soldiers to beat him to a pulp for daring to ask why his house was being demolished.
The petitioner said a few weeks after the demolition, he saw bricklayers erecting a new structure on his land under the supervision of armed soldiers.
He said after complaining at the Police Headquarters, Lokoja, he approached court to restrain the general from working on the land, but without success, as he was told that the demolition was carried out by the Kogi State Government.
However, after investigations, the petitioner said he discovered that the state government did not authorise the demolition neither did it have any knowledge of the exercise.
Mayowa urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Burutai, to investigate the incident and caution the general.
When the case was brought for mention before Magistrate’s Court II, Lokoja, on Tuesday, Abolarinwa, who was in the dock along with Saliu, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, S. A. Ibrahim, who admitted the surveyor-general to a bail of N50,000 and a surety of like sum, adjourned the case till August 5 for hearing.