Minna — The Federal High Court in Minna, Niger State on Monday ordered the state government to pay N79 million compensation to an Islamic sect, Salafudeen, for demolishing the houses of its members and places of worship in 2009.
In 2009, the state government ordered the demolition of all houses and places of worship belonging to the sect's members in Gada-Kasanga in Mashegu Local Government Area of the state over their views on religious matters.
In his judgment, Justice Sabiu Yahuza ordered the state government to pay the sum of N59 million for specific damages as well as another N20 million for general damages.
He also ordered that the sect's members be allowed to go back to their original place of abode and rebuild their houses and places of worship.
Shortly after the judgment was delivered, the state's Solicitor General, Ndagi Wali, said the state government will file an appeal.
He argued that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain such a case, saying it was also wrong for the judge to deliver judgment on the case after he had been transferred from the court.
Wali, who said the state government had on two different occasions sat with the sect members with a view to resolving their differences out of court, but to no avail, said the judgment will not hinder the government's effort at resolving the matter out of court.
Speaking on behalf of the sect, Mallam Abubakar Imam, expressed joy over the judgment.