Residents of Lambu-Dakinbiyu, a slum community in Jabi District, Abuja, have accused their leaders of extorting money from them in the name of saving them from the planned demolition of the area.
A cross-section of residents who spoke to the City News on Monday said the chief of the community allegedly sent his emissaries to collect N2000 and N3000 from them so that he could wade into the pending demolition slated to take place this week.
The allegation was, however, denied, as an official said nothing like that was happening.
A resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, told our reporter the emissaries went round and made property owners to pay the levy, which in turn would be delivered to the traditional head.
He said a similar scenario played out some years back, but lamented that the gesture did not make any impact, as officials of the Development Control went ahead to carry out the exercise.
“People that have been canvassing for the charges in collaboration with the traditional institution, have made it their own way of extorting money from people to the extent that, they would invite for the demolition and later ask people to pay some levy.
“But the worst part of the issue is that, the exercise would go ahead and thereafter, they would again charge a higher amount to allow people resettle back to their back properties,” he alleged.
When contacted, the secretary to the village head, Andy Sanga, denied the allegations, saying the Jabi chief is an upright man and believes in the policies of the government, so he cannot thwart the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) efforts at sanitizing the city.