14 February 2013

Nigeria: Respect Court's Order, Kpaduma Communities Tell FCTA

Original indigines of about nine communities within Kpaduma Chiefdom in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) on Tuesday called on the FCT Administration to obey a court injunction retraining it from interfering in their peaceful possession of land within the Chiefdom.

Counsel to the communities, Bar. Mela Nunghe, told journalists after a court proceeding between the two parties that a competent court had on March 9, 2012 gave a restraining order against the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, not to take any action on the issue till the matter is decided in court and disposed off.

According to Nunghe, the court is waiting for preliminary objections from the FCT authorities for the matter to be dispose off.

He said their failure is delaying the proceedings on the matter, adding that if not for that, the community would have called its witnesses and probably would have since closed its case, which he said has been on since 2007.

"Each case is treated on its own individual merit. We believe that there are enough facts that will attract the sympathy of the FCT authorities because these people are helpless.

We are hoping and praying that FCTA will not do the things they did in other communities to these people," he said.

The counsel said the indigenes are requesting for alternative place before they are displaced.

"If the FCT authority does that, they will move and we will move out of court. But what the FCTA is trying to do, is not right, they are trying to put them on the street without providing alternative which is unfair, and unjust. They are human beings and citizens of this country as well, so their dignity should be respected," he pleaded.

Also speaking, the councillor representing Garki ward in AMAC, Bala Iyah, who is the first plaintiff in the case, said the proposed demolition exercise in the community by the FCTA on the February 28 was uncalled for as the case is in court with valid interlocutory injunction.

"They cannot come and demolish our houses without providing alternative or compensate us. I believe that the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, is a listening leader who will not demolish our houses, without seeking our inputs," he stated.

The councillor said the community had not been served with any notice regarding the planned demolition of the community on February 28.

"Some people, who claimed to be allottees of our land, have been threatening us every day and night and that is why we run to the court and we have confidence that the court will help us and give us justice, because we believe judiciary is the last hope of the poor," he said.

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