Traditional rulers from the Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State, yesterday, stormed the Senate to complain about refusal by the Nigerian Police Force to pay compensation on the land it acquired from them about 50 years ago.
The traditional rulers had through their representative in the Senate, Istifanus Gyang, earlier submitted a petition to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on the issue. The native rulers, led by the Gwom Rwey of Zawan, Da Christopher Mancha, appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which was looking into the petition. Mancha told the lawmakers that the Police authorities acquired 77 hectares of land from them in 1970 but refused to pay compensation.
He said that the Police had been demanding additional land instead of respecting a gentleman agreement they had on the 77 hectares before releasing it to them. He said: “they (Police) refused to pay compensation instead they said they wanted more land. We didn’t want to disgrace them, than is why we didn’t take the police to court on the issue.
“We asked them to sign a formal agreement when they took over the land in the overriding public interest but they declined. They didn’t agree to sign agreement, they said until we give them additional land.” Commissioner for Land, Survey and Planning in the state, Yakubu Dati, told the Committee that available records showed that the Police had not compensated the people since they acquired the land.
He said that the details of the documentation were not available in the state land registry but that his office had requested for additional information from the northern Nigeria archives. Dati, however, said that the Military had paid N57, 000 for the 103 acres it acquired in 1973 to build the Nigerian Defence Academy base camp.