As the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Abuja goes about sanitising its environment as part of efforts at restoring the city’s masterplan, a lot of investments, especially estates, are being destroyed at huge expense to renters, homeowners and investors.

Recently, FCTA’s bulldozer entered an estate still under construction in Maitama Hills, Mpape, and turned the entire estate, which the developer estimated the cost at N3 billion, into rubbles.

The developer and manager of the estate, Eze Innocent Okpara, screamed in shock as he looked helplessly at the demolition of the 11,000-square metre estate called Woodcrest Estate.

“I am shocked by the actions of the FCT administration,” he said, explaining that the estate was already a subject of litigation. He wondered why the authorities proceeded with the demolition when the court was yet to give its verdict.

“This is our estate; we started developing it around 2019, and already, the structures on ground were three units completed and four units decked. We have three units that we are still decking while the plaza’s DpC has been completed,” the developer lamented.

He expressed shock at the demolition, stating that they were denied access to the site despite their attempts to assess the situation. He lamented the destruction of completed structures and the refusal to allow them to salvage any belongings from the premises.

Tony Ogbulafor, counsel to the developer, noted that the court case was still ongoing with one Majin contesting ownership of the land against his employer. He condemned the actions of the FCT Administration, urging the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to intervene.

He revealed that the case had been adjourned to May 15, 2024, with a previous court ruling ordering the parties to maintain status quo ante.

Ogbulafor emphasized that all necessary documents proving ownership of the estate had been provided, and the court had ordered a halt to any developments on the land until the case was resolved.

The situation escalated when police and NSCDC personnel blocked access to the site, citing orders from a joint task force. Okpara and his team were prohibited from entering the estate until the demolition was completed.

On the strength of these developments, Okpara called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene and ensure justice prevails in the matter.

“The demolition, amid an ongoing legal battle, has raised questions about due process and adherence to court orders in land disputes within the FCT,” Ogbulafor said.