Daily Trust (Abuja)

3 August 2012

Nigeria: Demolition - Businessman Demands N150 Million From FCT Minister, Military Officer

A businessman, Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie, has taken the FCT minister, FCT Administration, Air Commodore Abayomi Balogun and one Mrs Uche Ezeala to an FCT High Court for demolishing and taking over his land.

Chukwumezie, through his lawyer Victor Okangbe Esq. of B. V. Okangbe and Co., claims that Plot No. 155, Cadastral Zone B02, Durumi district, Abuja, was sold to him in April 2008 by one Mrs Uche Ezeala (2nd defendant), agent of Air CDR Abayomi Balogun (1st defendant).

He said N6,000,000.00 was paid vide an acknowledgment of a receipt dated April 25, 2008 to the 2nd defendant, adding that a power of attorney was executed between him and the 1st defendant which transferred the right of ownership to him.

He claimed some irregularities filtered into the deal by the officials of the FCT minister during his efforts to regularise the offer of terms of grant.

According to him, he protested to the FCT administration over his observation at Abuja Geographical Information System in a letter dated September 15, 2009.

The businessman said on September 3, 2008, his property was among those published as having incomplete documentation.

He claimed he ran to the military officer (2nd defendant) who assured him that he was the genuine owner of the property but a quit notice was served on him by the FCT minister after he had expended over N30m on the fencing and buildings on the land.

He said a further notice of demolition was served on him on 3rd November 2011 by the FCT minister.

"A bulldozer was brought on December 9, 2011 to demolish the property. On December 19, 2011, agents of the FCTA on a bulldozer CAT with Model No: 966H completely demolished the developments on the land and removed the roofing sheets, iron rods and other valuables to an unknown destination," he alleged in his certificate of claims.

The plaintiff also submitted that the military officer via a text message disclaimed the transaction.

He prays the court to reinstate the property to him, and an order restraining the defendants from revoking, withdrawing or derogating his ownership of the land. He is also making a demand of N150m being cost of what he has lost so far.

The matter is slated for hearing November 3 2012 at Court No: 28, High Court of FCT, Apo.

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