Oldest Golf Course in West Africa, Kano Club, Under Threats of Revocation of its C of O

Femi Solaja

This may not be the best of time for Kano Golf Club following the revocation of its Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

The golf club  prides itself as the oldest in West Africa believed to have been established in 1908. The monument in the club to celebrate where the first aircraft landed in the country on November 1, 1925  is about to give way to Alpha Property Development Limited and Alif Hotels Limited, two entities the Kano State government has deemed fit to occupy the choice acres of land.

THISDAY learnt that the 26-hectare club was actually established 1903 at the beginning of colonial rule, but golfing did not start until four years later in 1908.

In the document sighted by THISDAY, the Kano State Bureau for Land Management wrote to the club managers that the title deed of the club, issued on April 6, 1979, for a term of 40 years had expired on April 6, 2019. The letter reads:  “Kindly refer to the Land Use Act No. 6 of 1978 which specified terms and conditions governing land allocation and issuance of Certificate of Occupancy.

“In this respect, I wish to notify you that the term of your title above has expired with effect from 6th April, 2019, having been issued on 6th April, 1979 for a term of Forty years.” The letter was signed by Ibrahim Naabba with the stamp showing that the Governor’s office was duly copied. 

As a follow up to the letter, the Director General of Kano State Bureau for Land Management, Zainab Braji, on March 7,  wrote to the club,  indicating that its expanse of land had been allocated to Alpha Property Development Limited and Alif Hotels Limited. A copy of the letter of allotment was also copied the governor.

“The esteemed attention of your Excellency (Governor Ganduje) is humbly invited to refer to your directive at page 1 for the Bureau to examine properties with expired titles in respect of an application for Mega Shopping Complex and Five Star Hotel from Alpha Property Development Limited and Alif Hotels Limited respectively.

“Your Excellency may wish to further note that, the expired titles were examined and the Certificate of Occupancy no. LKN/COM/RC/82/268 bearing the name of Kano Club over a piece of land measuring 25.9395 hactres situated at Murtala Muhammad Way is hereby recommended for utilization for the purpose applied for in view of the following reasons: 

“The said Certificate of Occupancy is a Commercial title which is normally granted for a period of forty (40) years and it commenced from 6th April, 1979 as such it is expired even though there exist no term on the copy of their Certificate of Occupancy at the back cover bearing an open term.

“The size of the piece of land is 25.9395ha as such it can be subdivided to be utilized for Mega Shopping complex and five Star Hotel,” the memo read.

In his response to the government’s decision, the Vice President of the Kano Golf Club, Umar Adam-Kolo, said the club was taking legal action to stop the taking over of its property by the governor and his agents in the Bureau of Lands.

“We are taking legal action to stop this impunity. This decision is unacceptable as we have paid all the ground rents to date.

“This is the last green area in the Kano metropolis and we will do our best to save it for posterity.

“The Certificate of Occupancy of the course was issued in 1979 for 99 years. So the title has 55 more years of validity,” he clarified.

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