Abuja demolished estate subscribers have valid allocations -Court

by Punch Newspaper

An Abuja High Court on Monday held that subscribers of the demolished Minanuel Estate in Lugbe, Abuja, which has 372 houses valued at N3.6bn, have valid allocations for the plots in the estate.

In a judgment on the suit filed by the subscribers, challenging the demolition of the estate by the Federal Capital Development Authority, Justice Danlami Senchi, however, held that the buildings and facilities in the estate did not have the requisite approval.
The subscribers filed the suit, challenging the demolition the houses in the estate in September 2012 by the Minister of the FCT Bala Muhammed and the FCDA.
The counsel for the subscribers, Chris Uche, SAN, had argued that the demolition violated their right to the property.
He noted that the subscribers were issued statutory Right of Occupancy through letters signed by the Zonal Land Manager for Kubwa, Mr. Lugard Idigbe, on behalf of the minister in 2000.
But the defence counsel, Joe Gadzama, SAN, insisted that only the minister had the statutory powers to grant land allocations in the territory.
Gadzama argued that the subscribers were duly served notices before the demolition.
In his judgment, Justice Senchi held that the ‘stop work’ red markings on the walls of the buildings served as notice of unauthorised development.
While refusing to award N5bn damages to the subscribers, the judge however restrained the FCDA from reallocating the plots to private individuals, saying the right of the owners was still extant having not been revoked.

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