1 The Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA), on Thursday insisted that the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in Kuje Area Council was designed to curb insecurity and other forms of criminality.
2 The Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council ( AMMC), Umar Shaibu, stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Area Councils, to respond to a petition by victims of the demolition.
4 He stated that a careful procedure was followed, all extant laws adhered to, while the critical stakeholders were also engaged at different times, to ensure that human rights were not bridged.
5 Also, Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, disclosed that before the exercise, the administration was worried about the security breaches that had taken place in Kuje.
” These breaches cannot be tolerated by the administration, as they put government in a bad light.
Attah explained that the most painful situation was that certain people disregarded warnings and illegally converted reserved railway corridors and public abattoir site to residential homes.
7 Oh his part, the Director of FCT Development Control, Muktar Galadima, explained that Area Councils had since lost the right to allocate lands in FCT after the reforms that were introduced in 2005.
He added that local chiefs also do not have the legal right to transfer any valid title to anyone.
8 The Representative of Kuje Area Council Chairman, Ishaku Habila, who is also the Chief Surveyor of Kuje Area Council, confirmed that the Area Council had followed the illegal developments, especially at the railway corridors with concern.
9 He further said that notices were served at illegal occupants, while some of the buildings were removed, but the land was illegally acquired by others.
11 He also endorsed the motion raised by the committee members who raised the alarm and doubts over the integrity of documents submitted by the victims and claimants.
12 The committee ordered the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, to appear before it, as well as produce all relevant documents to the exercise.
13 Meanwhile, the Counsel to the victims, Victor Onyekachi, urged the committee to compel the minister to ”do things right by first revoking the land and halt further demolition in the area.
Onyekachi also appealed to the committee to direct the FCT minister to enumerate the houses that were demolished and compensate the victims.
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