FCT Minister Sued for N5 Billion over Demolished Properties

While his wife is suing the federal government for failing to swear in Justice Ifeoma Jumbo-Ofor as one of the newly inaugurated justices of the Court of Appeal, 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.

It will be recalled that the minister recently gave the figure of the number of structures that have been demolished in the FCT since he came into office, which is running into hundreds of thousands.

Meanwhile, 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.

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. Falana 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.