An Abuja firm, Shrodder Nigeria Limited, has sent a “Save our Soul” message to President Bola Tinubu over the demolishing of its building next to the Abuja residence of the Chief of Staff to the President and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The company, in a letter dated September 26, accused the Minister of the Federal Capital Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, of acting with impunity and in total disregard of a valid order of court.
The demolished property is located within the Cadastral Zone of the Maitama District, Abuja.
The dispute over the land began last year, October 4, when the former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello and officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority invaded the property.
It was gathered that a day after the invasion, on October 5, the then Minister gave an order to the FCDA sealing off the property and also deposited a detachment of mobile policemen to lock out construction workers from gaining entry into the property.
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According to documents, the sealing-off of the property was without prior notice of infraction.
Consequently, the owners of the property caused a legal action of trespass and unlawful occupation against the Minister of the FCT and the FCDA, in suit number FCT/HC/CV/3449/2022 between Shrodder Njgeria Limited and Minister of FCT before Justice Abubakar Musa of High Court of the FCT.
In his judgment on April 4, this year, Justice Musa restrained the defendants from further interfering with the 1st Claimant’s lawful use, quiet possession, occupation of the plot.
According to the court, the forceful take over and occupation of the property by the defendants of the plot on October 5, 2022 constitutes an act of trespass.
“That the defendants are hereby ordered to vacate with immediate effect, the Claimant’s property, unseal the property and to remove forthwith the mobile policemen they had unlawfully and illegally installed on the property since on the 5th day of October, 2022”, the judge held.
It was gathered that neither the Minister of the FCT nor the FCDA appealed the judgment of the High Court.
Although the FCDA refused to comply with the order of the court in removing the seal order on the property, a new twist was made to the controversy when on September 19, the new Minister of the FCT, Wike invaded the property with bulldozers to bring it down.
The action by Wike was said to be devoid of a prior notice of demolition and in direct violation of the April 4, 2023 judgment of a court on the matter.
The expansive property, which is a next-door neighbour to Gbajabiamila, was eventually brought down on Thursday, 28 September.
Sources who worked on the property said the property had been there long before Gbajabiamila assumed occupancy of his ultra modern property in 2019, when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives.
It was also gathered that the topmost floor of the property, before it was pulled down, was said to be overlooking the private swimming pool on Gbajabiamila’s property.
Meanwhile, the firm through its lawyer, Jeph Njikonye, SAN, in a letter to President Tinubu, dated September 26, said Wike acted illegally, unconstitutionally and in contravention of a court order.