Federal Ministry of Mines And Power Ordered By Minna High Court To Pay ₦1.1 Trillion Compensation To Samboro Community

The Federal Ministry of Mines and Power has been ordered by the Minna High Court 4, to pay compensation to the Samboro Community in Madaka District in Rafi Local Government for One Trillion Naira.

The construction of the Zungeru Hydropower dam in the Samboro Community, according to Justice Mohammed Adishetu Mohammed, who handed down the order in a lengthy ruling on Monday, has caused immense hardship to the affected community’s agricultural and other economic trees.

On April 27, 2023, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, the village head of Samboro Community, and 2,844 other community members filed a complaint with the court under case number NSHC/ Kut/6/2023, through Counsel Muhammed Ndarani Mohammed SAN.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed stated that the plaintiffs are the original occupants of the large area of land located at Samboro Community, which makes up approximately 7,868 hectares in the Rafi Local Government area of Niger State. This land is the subject of this case, as stipulated by section 41(1) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Constitution and sections 8(c) and (h) of the Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission Act, 2010.

He reaffirmed that the plaintiffs’ means of subsistence have been irreparably damaged, they have been forcibly ejected from their ancestral homes, they have endured unimaginable hardship, and the defendants’ joint and multiple acts during the construction of the Zungeru Dam Project have resulted in ongoing flooding and erosional confrontations on Samboro Community.

Judge Mohammed further stated that “this court is clothed with the jurisdictional competence to entertain, hear, and determine the reliefs of the plaintiffs for the award of monetary compensation,” taking into consideration the existing provisions of Section 39 of the Land Use Act and Section 44(1a &1b) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as (amended) Constitution.

He maintained that the plaintiffs, who are the original residents of Samboro Community in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, are entitled to monetary compensation for the harm done to their economic and environmental means of subsistence, as well as for the immense suffering and destruction of all of their sources of income.

To protect the plaintiffs’ right, interest, ownership, possession, and occupation of the land located at Samboro Community, which is approximately 7,868 hectares in the Rafi Local Government area of Niger State, he ordered an perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their servants, agents, privies and or assigns whosever and howsoever from trespassing or further acts of trespass or doing any act or actions, conduct of breach prejudicial and or reprehensive to the plaintiffs ‘right, interest ownership, possession and occupation on the land

“An order is hereby given directing the 1st defendant to pay to the plaintiffs, forthwith, the sum of One Trillion, One Hundred And Fifty Billion, Five Hundred And Ninety-Five Million, Forty-Seven Thousand And Two Hundred And Eighty-Eight Naira (N1,115,595,047,288) as monetary compensation for the destruction of their farmlands, houses, ponds, sabotage to their economic welfare and survival, untold hardship and total annihilation of all their resources of livelihood in Samboro Community in Rafi Local Government area of Niger State

“That an order is hereby given directing the 1st defendant to pay the sum of One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000) as general damages and cost of prosecuting this suit and legal representation and ten percent post Judgement interest per annum.”