By Stanley Onyekwere
The Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), yesterday demolished a property on a disputed land in Asokoro District, Abuja, slated for hearing on April 8, 2014, barely forty-eight hours it notified the owner with a withdrawal of fence approval notice.
Peoples Daily gathered that some officials of the FCDA accompanied by a team of heavily armed security personnel, as early as 9 am stormed the area and removed the property (perimeter fencing) located at plot 2653, Cadastral Zone 04, of the District, including a security house attached to plot, belonging to Alhaji Sada Ilu.
Available information showed that the land on which the demolished fence was built up is still a subject of a matter pending in court, both at Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the Court of Appeal, Abuja, in suits nos. FCT/HC/CV/110/09 and Appeal No. CA/AB/151/2012, respectively. The FCT minister and the Development control are joined as parties in the suit.
However, in the withdrawal of fence approval dated February 21, 2014 and signed by Director, Development Control of the FCDA, Yahaya A. Yusuf, for coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), alleged that the owner of the property exceeded his known plot boundary and encroached on a neighbouring plot belonging to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Joe K. Gadzama.
“It has been established that the information to the Department at the time you made your submission for building plan approval is not correct. It has become impossible to allow continued implementation of the approval granted. The Department has, pursuant to Clause XVII of the Letter of Conveyance of Building Plan Approval dated October 17, 2008 deemed it necessary to withdraw the said approval.
“You are advised to remove the offending part of your fence and amend your site plan to reflect its exact alignment and boundary of your plot and resubmit same for approval.
“Accordingly, you are required to comply with above requirements within a period of forty eight hours from the time of receiving this letter failing which the Department may remove the offending portion of the fence at your own cost,” as contained in the withdrawal notice.
Reacting to the development, Alhaji Ilu’s Counsel, Ado Maaji, expressed shock over the Department’s action, as the Director had conducted an investigation and redrew the site plan, and withdrew the said building plan approval.
“Perhaps, it’s imperative to also inform you that when a matter is pending in court, no body no matter how highly placed and no authority is allowed to meddle into the matter under whatever pretenses.” He said.
When approached by newsmen for comment on the demolition exercise, Gadzama declined comment, referring them to FCDA.