By Luka Binniyat
ZARIA—The Chairman,Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, yesterday dragged 23 farmers from Kadakada village, Likoro District, Kudan Local Government Area, LGA of Kaduna State, to court.
He has accused them of criminal trespass into a farmland he claimed to have bought from them in 2007.
The case filed before the Upper Sharia Court, presided over by Judge Mustapha Umar, in Zaria, was entered on behalf of the former two times Kaduna State Governor, by Barrister Ahmad Yunus Abdullahi.
The defendants, many wearing their farm clothes, were led to the court yesterday by their Counsels, Barr. Ahmed Haruna Danmaigauta and his partner Barr. Nasiru.
When the case came for hearing, Danmaigauta objected the absence of Makarfi in Court citing section 162 of the Sharia Courts Criminal Procedures Codes of Kaduna state (2002).
According to him, that portion of the law stipulates that, “if at the date a criminal case is called or fixed for hearing, the complainant must be at the Court. Failure of which the court itself can strike out the case and discharge the accused.”
But, the Counsel to Makarfi, disputed the position of the defense lawyer, saying it was at the discretion of the court to decide.
After a brief debate, the case was adjourned to February 6th 2017 for the Judge to determine on the objection raised by the Counsel to the defendants.
When cornered by newsmen, one of the defendants’ lawyers, Danmaigauta, said his clients were surprised to learn that the plaintiff was claiming their farmlands, as they had never sold their farms to anyone.
He said, “before and after Makarfi became the governor of Kaduna state, it has been said that a portion of farmlands in Kadakada was going to be submerged by water, because an irrigation dam was going to be built in the village for their dry season irrigation farming.”
The farmers where happy about the development.