The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory,FCT Senator Bala Muhammed is apparently incapable of staying out of negative controversy. Repeatedly questions are being asked about his conduct.The latest puzzle is why did he for instance concession the Jabi Park to a Turkish consortium in a $100 deal despite the well known fact that that there is a court order on transactions over the Park.
The minister’s latest move has drawn the ire of one of the parties to the long -drawn tussle over the park. Barister Festus Keyamo on Saturday releaed a statement on behalf of his client E. Ekeson Bros. (Nig) Ltd.Titled “press release by festus keyamo on the controversy concerning the development of Utako Motor Park, Jabi, Abuja”, Keyamo said the attention of his client “has been drawn to the press release by the Hon. Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory in relation to the Jabi Motor Park, wherein he stated that the said motor park has been concessioned to a Turkish consortium which is to invest the sum of $100m for the development of the motor park.
He added ,“We however, wish to inform the public and the so-called Turkish consortium of the following:That the Abuja Municipal Area Council, a statutory and constitutionally recognised body legally allocated Jabi Motor Park to our client, E. Ekeson Bros. (Nig) Ltd to develop and manage the said park;(and) That pursuant to the afore-said allocation, Abuja Municipal Area Council executed an irrevocable Power of Attorney in favour of our client E.Ekeson Bros (Nig.) Ltd as the sole developer of Jabi Park.
The famous human rights activist also said “Sequel to the foregoing, our client, E. Ekeson (Nig) Ltd. has invested over N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) to develop the Park to the stage it is now.
“May we further inform the public and the said Turkish consortium that E. Ekeson Bros. Nig. Ltd and AMAC are currently in court over a dispute arising from the development and management of the park, necessitating our client to approach an FCT High Court to seek redress in respect of the said dispute in the following terms:
“A DECLARATION that the Power of Attorney and Development Agreement between the Plaintiff and the Defendant authorizing the Plaintiff to develop and manage the Utako Motor Park is still subsisting and binding between the Plaintiff and the Defendant.
“AN ORDER of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant from appointing any other person other than the Plaintiff as a developer of the Utako Motor Park.
“Alternatively AN ORDER compelling the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) being general damages for the loss of business, psychological trauma, humiliation and unnecessary expenses occasioned the Plaintiff by the Defendant’s action.”
It was, said Keyamo“consequent upon the commencement of the above suit in court, (that) the Honourable Justice O.C. Agbaza of the FCT High Court on Thursday, the 1st of December, 2011 granted an injunction in the following terms against AMAC and a certain El-Salem Nig. Ltd in favour of our client:
“The Respondents are by this Order of Court, restrained in the Interim, by themselves, agents, servant, privies, or howsoever called from embarking on any form of excavation, construction or evacuation work in Utako Motor Park pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”
He stated the said Order is still subsisting. On a final note Keyamo cautioned the general public to beware of any sort of deal over the controversial park .Said he “ we hereby advise the general public and the said Turkish consortium to desist from entering into any agreement with the FCT on the development of Jabi Motor Park since the issues of the development and management of the Jabi Motor Park are sub judice. This is because the Honourable Minister cannot take those steps he intends to take until the rights of the parties in court are determined.
Recently , Abuja council of Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ also tackled the minister whom the union accused of embarking on questionable contract deals among others.
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