Rot in the Federal Capital Territory land administration

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Linus Aleke:

In consonance with scriptural cliché that “if all the activities of Jesus Christ on earth are to be recorded, all the inks and papers in the universe will be insufficient to record it, therefore only the relevant few were inscribed for the use of mankind.”

In like manners, if the atrocities, irregularities bribes, removing and inserting fictitious names in the AGIS’s system, converting green and recreational areas to residential, allocating plots in high brow areas to selves, and perennial disobedient to Court Orders among many other irregularities and illegalities that the FCT administration is known for is to be documented for posterity, all the inks and papers in Nigeria will equally not be enough to execute such project.

To this end therefore, there is no end to the ugly tale emanating from the corridors of the Federal Capital Territory administration, particularly as it relates to allocation of lands in the territory.

The horrible story according to some observers is stinking like decomposed garbage. This according to them is not unconnected with the pervading corruption, official recklessness and impunity, covert and deliberate subversion of the city’s master plan, amongst many others.

Just like the biblical Esau who sold his birth right for a plate of meal to his younger brother, the officials of FCT administration are compromising the master plan of the Africa’s most populous capital city for some parochial benefits.

This is in addition to the demand of bribe from Nigerians who apply for land at every stage of documentation.

For instance, a Green Area located in Durumi District, precisely Park No. 1066, B02 which was allotted to Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie by the FCT administration to be used for park and recreation has now metamorphosed into an estate.

This was made possible by a high level collaboration between the Abuja Geographic Information System, the Federal Capital Development Authority, an undercover estate developer and the office of the then Hon. Minister.

Finding by our correspondent reveals that Nze Kanayo’s name was sponged from AGIS system and replaced with that of Stella Maris Group of Schools without official revocation of the previous allocation.

However, when Chukwmezie got hint of the aforesaid double deal by the authority and draw public attention to it through a press conference, the then Minister Senator Bala Mohammed quickly and overtly revoked all the allocation given to Estate Developers in Green Areas to avoid public scrutiny.

The minister nevertheless, maintained the later allocation covertly. Meanwhile when the secret deal became public knowledge again following the massive development of the said plot, Nze Kanayo went to court and obtained a restraining Order from FCT High Court seating in Jabi.

The Court Order which was issued by Hon. Justice O.C. Agbaza of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Judicial Division holding at Court No. 18 Jabi, FCT-Abuja on the 9th day of June, 2015 directed the party concern to stop work at the site.

The Order is sequel to a suit between Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie (trading under the name of Soka Confortianment), Plaintiff, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja; the Federal Capital Development Authority, Abuja Metropolitan Management Agency, Mr. Anyanene and Mrs. Anyanene (Proprietor and Proprietress of Stella Maris Group of Schools)- Defendants, with suit No. FCT/HC/CV/2000/2011 and motion No. FCT/HC/M/6272/15

The Order reads in parts, “upon the hearing of motion on notice with motion No: 6272/15 dated 16th April 2015 and filed on the 17/4/2015 by the plaintiff/Applicant brought pursuant to Order 7 Rule 1; Order 31 Rule 1 of the High Court of FCT (civil procedure) Rules 2004 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this Hon. Court, praying for the following:

“An Order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, either by themselves, their agents, assigns, servants, privies, or anybody howsoever acting through or on their behalf from interfering, working, building, constructing or in any way trespassing in park No. 1066, B02 (Durumi District) pending the determination of the substantive suit.

And for any such further Order(s) as this Hon. Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this suit.

“Upon the reading of the affidavit of 20 (twenty) paragraphs deposed to by one Nze Kanayo Chukwumezie himself.

And upon further hearing of J.A. Ukachukwu esq Plaintiff/Applicant counsel. Leave of this court hereby granted to the applicant as follows:

An Order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, either by themselves, their agents, assigns, servants, privies, or anybody howsoever acting through or on their behalf from interfering, working, building, constructing or in any way trespassing in park No. 1066, B02 (Durumi District) pending the determination of the substantive suit. It is hereby Ordered that this Order be pasted on the property, subject matter in dispute. The return date is fixed for 28/9/2015. Given under the hand of the presiding Judge and Seal of this Hon. Court this 15th day of June 2015.”

With the foregoing therefore, it will be save to assert that the impunity, recklessness, wickedness and wide spread corruption in FCDA has taken a worrisome dimension as they are notoriously flouting Court Orders as well as converting Green Areas to residential.

It is also disheartening to report that more than three months after the Court Order was served to the interested parties including the FCT Development Control, they have not deem it necessary to inscribe the “Stop Work” or “Remove” on the walls of the estate as it is customary with the agency.

An indication, that the Development Control is fully in support of the conversion of Green Areas into residential in deviance to the master plan.

It could also be recalled that the FCT administration under Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai worked tirelessly to restore the master plan of the capital city. He achieved this feat by constant demolition of illegal structures, in a strict adherence to the master plan of the territory.

Nonetheless, this glorious days, laced with transparency in the administration of the emerging modern territory is now history as successive administrations after him had deliberately or dispassionately jettisoned the master plan and perfected a plan and practice of converting designated parks and recreational areas into residential or schools.

Reacting to the aforesaid inglorious practice as well as disobedient to Court Order, a resident of the city, Mr. Richard Alkali expressed displeasure over such outright disregard to court order and condemned what he described as monumental rot in the land administration in the territory.

He called on the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to beam a satellite of his anti corruption crusade on FCT administration, particularly as it regards land administration with the view to unraveling the can of warm in the sector so as to improve the sector.

He equally used the opportunity to appeal to Mr. President to appoint a man of impeachable character as a minister of the territory to avoid business as usual.

Meanwhile, all effort to speak to proprietor and proprietress of Stella Maris group of schools and the officials of the ministry proved abortive at the time of press time.

It is however pertinent at this juncture to conclude with an appeal to the higher authority to embark on a forensic audit of the FCT administration, especially the land administration so as to further unravel the can of worm or numerous skeleton hidden in their dirty cupboard. As such noble probe will help unravel and expose the unscrupulous and corrupt officials in the territory with the view to weeding off some of them.



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