By Ewache Ajefu
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has reacted to reports that the recent demolition of illegal structures in the Kyami District of the Federal Capital City along the Airport Road, Abuja did not follow due process; insisting that the removal of those illegal structures were done after following due process and with a view to protecting the sanctity of the Abuja Master Plan.
The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed (CON) made this explanation on Monday in his office to officially clear the misconception, misinformation and sentimental falsehood being circulated to the general public.
The Minister said that Kyami District where the affected structures were located falls within the Phase V of the Federal Capital City, Abuja stating that the law is clear.
According to him, the FCT Development Control discovered these illegal developments at their embryo stage and were swiftly served ‘Stop Work Notice’ on the 20th August, 2011 with an instruction for the Estate Developer (Minanuel Estate) to present the title document for the plot, approved building plan as well as comprehensive development plan which the developer disregarded.
Senator Mohammed revealed that on the 9th September 2011, the FCT Development Control served the developer a ‘Quit Notice’ with further instruction to present the earlier documents requested which also fell on deaf ears.
When the developer (s) refused to respond to the dual notices served, the Minister disclosed that the FCT Administration had no option than to serve a ‘Demolition Notice’ on the 3rd October 2011.
It is worth mentioning that at the early stage, the FCT Administration made frantic efforts to discourage the continuation of these illegal developments by removing their sub-structures and covering the excavations done but after a while, the developers went back to site and resumed illegal developments at a frenzied speed, he added.
The Minister reiterated that the FCT Development Control has full documentation of stamped notices that were served with photo clips to back them up at the time of issuance of all these notices from foundation level.
Senator Mohammed remarked that the FCT Administration also took a pro-active step to deter unsuspecting Nigerians from falling victims to these fraudsters luring people into buying lands and/or houses in estates in illegal and unrecognized layouts with fake title documents backed with fake and back-dated building plan approvals by making several announcements in both radio and television stations across the Federal Capital Territory; in addition with public notices published in three selected national dailies including Vanguard Newspaper page 35, June 20, 2011, Leadership Newspaper page 64, June 27, 2011 and The Punch Newspaper page 38, June 13, 2011; stressing that the records are there.
His words: “It was stated in the public notices and announcements that developers and buyers should beware that there was no approved plots for estate development after Lugbe FHA”.
The Minister regretted that these illegal estate developers at Kyami District have now resorted to whipping sentiments after refusing to heed to timely warnings by rather choosing to rush the illegal developments of the estates, hoping to legalize illegality.
In order to put the records straight, Senator Mohammed further disclosed that affected illegal structures removed include Minanuel Estate-198; Isvin Estate-13; Jo-Afra-54; Grow-Insight-6 and Unknown-25 totaling 296 which is in sharp contrast with the 500 structures claimed.
He thus, challenged the illegal developers to present their genuine title documents to the plots as well as valid building plan approvals of the these illegal structures.
Senator Mohammed who stressed that all these are verifiable facts anytime and anywhere; noted the public notice in Daily Trust of Thursday October 18, 2012 by their umbrella organization, “Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN), FCT Chapter” titled “Our Resolution on Land Allocation Crisis/Demolition Exercise in Lugbe, Abuja,” which by all standard vindicated the action of the FCT Administration.
While saying that his heart is with the affected subscribers who fell victims of these illegal structure developers, the Minister urged the residents of the Federal Capital Territory to continue to cooperate with the FCT Administration to build a well planned, orderly and beautiful Abuja city in line with the yearnings and aspirations of its founding fathers.