Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Demolitions - Developers Flouted Orders - FCT Minister

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Bala Mohammed has absolved the FCT Administration and its agencies of blame in the demolition of estates along Airport Road, saying the victims brought it upon themselves.

The minister said those who fell victim failed to follow due process by ignoring several notices served them by the department of development control and were trying to whip up sentiment.

Mohammed, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Muhammad Sule, said the developments were noticed at inception and the developer was served 'stop work' notice on August 20, 2011, with an instruction for the estate developer (Minanuel Investments Ltd) to present the title document for the plot, approved building plan as well as comprehensive development plan which the developer disregarded.

He further stated that a quit notice was served to the developer on September 9, 2011, with further instruction to present documents, after which a demolition notice was served on October 3, 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 was quoted as saying the department of development control had in its possession full documentation of stamped notices that were served and photo clips to back them up at the time of issuance of all these notices from foundation level. He further said the FCTA 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 unrecognised layouts with fake title documents backed with fake and backdated building plan approvals by making several announcements in both radio and television stations across the Federal Capital Territory, in addition to public notices published in three selected national dailies.

Mohammed regretted that these illegal estate developers at Kyami District have now resorted to whipping up sentiments after refusing to heed timely warnings by rather choosing to rush the illegal development of the estates, hoping to legalise illegality, even as he gave the number of housing units demolished as 296 in five different estates and not 500 as claimed by the developer of Minanuel Estate.

He challenged the alleged illegal developers to present their genuine title documents to the plots as well as valid building plan approvals of the structures.

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