This Day (Lagos)

15 November 2012

Nigeria: Falana Files N5 Billion Suit Against FCT Minister

Photo: This Day
Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Wednesday at an Abuja High Court filed a N5 billion suit against the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, for the demolition of 372 housing units belonging to a developer, Minanuel Investment Limited, which is located along Airport Road, Abuja.

In the writ of summons, which Falana filed on behalf of the company, the plaintiff is asking the court to grant its declaration that the demolition was illegal, null and void.

The company had filed the suit against Mohammed and the FCT for the demolished property on Lugbe, Umar Yar'Adua expressway.

The FCTA through the Department of Development Control (DDC) had defended its actions in the demolition of the estate between September 29 and October 1, which it said, did not have valid land document.

It was also gathered that the FCTA had even gone ahead to warn that it would carry out further demolitions along the axis as it declared all the estates in the affected area illegal.

However, the plaintiff through its lawyer is praying the court to compel the Minister to pay N5billion as damages for the illegal demolition of its housing estate.

Falan added that the Minister's action violates the provisions of sections 47, 50, 51, 53, 60, 83 and 84 of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act (N138). Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The plaintiff is also praying the court to declare that the demolition violates its right to fair hearing, the right to property and the right to housing as guaranteed by sections 33, 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 7 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. 2004. No date has been fixed for hearing.

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