The developers said the move by the FCTA to demolish some of their properties under construction even after having required approval to build sends a wrong signal to potential investors.
The Guardian gathered that buildings and infrastructural facilities under various stages of construction were demolished during an operation that took place at Katampe Extension, Bwari Area Council of Abuja, penultimate week, and was repeated on Monday.
Barr. Jerry Edemeka, the lawyer to Dr Charles Nwakamma, lead developer and CEO of Ideal Grace Consulting Limited, said the victims had so far spent over N8bn in the last four years developing the 55.59 hectares plot, which he said, had several structures raised on it above the second storey before they were brought down.
“We decided to engage the FCTA in view of the fact that we are development partners. Look, this property has been approved. We are not doing anything unduly. We have followed the due process, got the due approval, paid all the duel fees, and mobilized to the site as per the conditions contained in the building approval.
“So, what is this mindless and terrible demolition of a place that due approval has been obtained about? Where is this coming from? It is a very sad chapter in the history of land and housing development in the FCT,” he stated.
The legal practitioner said the demolition of the buildings by the FCT authorities would have a negative impact on the real estate sector in the nation’s capital.
He added: “This will definitely have what I call a rippling effect. It has this effect, that when a thing like this happens it upsets the system. And so when Nigeria is speaking about trying to attract investment, this is a portfolio of investment. International partners are watching and suddenly after you’ve given approval, without justification, without any rational cause, you now just by a stroke of the matches, start carrying out the demolition. It sends a wrong signal to the international partners, international communities and even to the local community that the FCT is not a party you can do business with that even when they give approval, one can’t go to bed nor go to sleep.
“International partners want to do business where they can go to bed when a document is signed and is bankable. But when a document is signed, and everything has been done suddenly from nowhere, inexplicable, coups are staged. It is very distracting. and it doesn’t encourage the international partners and investors that we’re looking for.
“What has happened now is a recipe for a major jurisprudential crisis. There are going to be a lot of litigations and litigations because many partners and banks were involved, it is going to affect the facilities, and subscribers and there are going to be multiple litigations all over and this is not good for the FCT and Nigeria. This is not good for Nigeria. We need a stable society.
Reacting to an appeal for the actual size of the plot approved by the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello, to be captured by the land administration department, the Acting Director of Urban and Regional Planning in FCTA, Abioye Adesina, said that the investigation revealed that plot 3173 exist in Katampe Extension District, Cadastral Zone B19 and covers an area of 55.22 hectares, designated for mixed-use comprehensive development.
“Furthermore, the detailed survey carried out also revealed that plot 3173 covers an area of 55.22 hectares. In view of the above, it is recommended that the actual size covering an area of 55.59 hectares be reflected on the title documents accordingly, please,” Adesina said.