Vulnerable veteran soldiers have sought the intervention of the Army Authority and Kaduna State Government to come to their rescue over what they described as “forceful eviction” from their homes by security operatives.
They said they were forcefully evicted from the Old Army Barracks ,KASUPDA Quarters, Kabala Costain, Kaduna North local government area of the State.
on behalf of the affected soldiers, Warrant Officer Paul Ojo (rtd) a group of armed policemen stormed the quarters without notice or court order and asked the 19 of them to leave on grounds that the houses have been sold to different persons.
“We did not understand the problem because there was no notice or any court order telling us to vacate the houses we have lived in for over twenty years.
“They drove us out and removed roof of the houses, even when we did not fight them.
“One DSP Ahmed just came around with team of policemen and vigilante officers and ordered; ”I give you five minutes if you do not quit now I will throw you out”.
“We asked him how could he throw us out, police in uniform in a house the Governor asked us to buy. We told them, it’s only if we cannot pay that it becomes trouble.
“I asked him about the court injunction, they could not provide any. But they forcefully asked us to leave even when the 20th August day, I was supposed to appear in the Barnawa court has not come.
On whether they got any court, Ojo said, “on 13th of August, 2020, a court messenger came with a letter that I should sign that on the 20th August, they want me in court and I called my lawyers who said I should sign and give him the paper.
“We were posted here as soldiers and these houses belong to military by then. The houses were acquired by military and used as army quarters since 1973. Nigerian Army acquired the houses from state government and allocated to us in 1992 when Governor Ja’afaru Isa was the military administrator.
”There was a time we were asked to go back to the barracks but we ran to Governor Ja’afru Isa and he said we should not leave but pay for the house as others would be paying.
“Then KASUPDA gave us forms for tenancy agreement and the whole of us signed .We have the copy.
“When El-Rufai assumed office as Governor, he said he was going to sell but any occupant, who has spent five years can get the house. And when the time comes if such can’t pay as the highest bidder, he’s free to negotiate with someone to buy the house and pay government.
“Soldiers don’t pay tax but along the line we were asked to pay tax clearances. We also paid application fee of ten thousand naira and the required ten percent. In my own case, I was the highest bidder.”
Sola Ojo sent in this report