The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has arraigned 500 property owners in Garki in a mobile court over neglect of their owner-occupier residences.
The Department of Development Control which arraigned the residents also threatened to revoke the 2006 sales agreement with the beneficiaries of the government-owned residences following their non-compliance with parts of the agreement.
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Part of the sales agreement requires the owner-occupiers to carry out periodic renovations and decoration of the buildings sold to them by the federal government in 2006/2007.
The department claimed the affected premises have been neglected and left dilapidated.
The 500 residents were thus docked before a mobile court sitting in Area 1, Garki, for flaunting the abatement notice issued them to renovate their premises.
The prosecuting counsel, Udeme Umana, told the court that the occupants had been issued an abatement notice to renovate and redecorate their premises as well as remove illegal structures, repair soiled pipes and sewage, since July 13, 2021 but that they failed to comply.
He noted that the offence contravenes Section 17, Subsection 1A and B, Paragraph 8, and Section 35, Subsection 1 paragraph 2, of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board AEPB) Act, 1997.
The defendants, however, pleaded guilty and the magistrate, Abdullahi Ilela, fined them N20,000 each.
The magistrate also ordered them to comply with the notice within three weeks, warning that failure to comply would attract a severe penalty.
Reacting to the judgment, the Director of the FCTA Department of Development Control, Garba Kwamkur, said the department was forced to arraign the occupants after series of notices and meetings held with them urging them to repaint their premises as prescribed in the sales agreement.
He said the department may have no choice but to write to the minister to revoke the sales agreement and reallocate to developers willing to properly maintain the properties.