Some businessmen under the aegis of Double Volume Office (DVO) shop owners, whose shops and structures were demolished on Monday, at Jabi Park by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), have written a strong worded petition to President Muhammadu Buhari and the two Chambers of the National Assembly, over what they described as illegal demolition of their properties.
Also, the group has threatened to institute a legal action against the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, and his agents over their willful violation of a subsisting court order.
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In the petition to the President, the traders said their means of livelihood was truncated following the demolition of the multi-billion Naira structures that house their businesses, leaving them and their families in penury.
They alleged that by pulling down their property which they built after the land was duly allocated to them by a constituted authority, Abuja Municipal Area Council in 2001, the FCT Administration has violated a court process as the matter is before a competent court of law.
The petition which was sent on their behalf by their Counsel Henry Osigbemhe, demanded that the President should direct the FCT Minister to, among others, immediately compensate them for the huge losses.
The petitioners alleged that the action of the FCT Minister through his agents was injustice against the DVO shop owners.
The group, who said they had been under constant threat of demolition of their property and harassment since the inception of the present Administration in the FCT, questioned the rationale for the speedy demolition of their property in the early hours of July 25th, 2022.
Accusing the Administration of a shady deal in the demolition exercise, the traders alleged that the illegal demolition was carried out to pay for the construction of filling stations and shops allegedly allocated to a company belonging to a prominent Politician.
The petition reads in part: “On Monday, July 25th at about 5:30am, our property was demolished by Officers and Men of the Development Control, the Ministerial Task Force and Security Agents who carried out the instruction of the Minister of FCT in complete disregard for court order and the pending suit against the Minister, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
“The DVO shop owners got their allocation from Abuja Municipal Area Council and building approval from the Development Control Department.
“The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) supervised the construction of the buildings from start to finish, ensuring that the building plan as approved by the Development Control met stipulated standards.
“Most of the shops had been built since 2005 and AMAC had been collecting revenue and other fees from the DVO shop owners even till this year 2022. How can they change the narrative?”
The DVO owners said they became suspicious of the government intention when they saw a publication in a Newspaper about two years ago from the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), purportedly revoking the titles and thereafter allocating the same to a company owned by a political kingpin.
They alleged that the FCT Administration hastily demolished the shops because its time is fast running out.
The group therefore asked the President to ensure that justice is done to them by reverting the land title to them and paying them full compensation.
Recall that the FCT Task Force and some officials of the Administration had recently pulled down shops at Jabi Park, claiming they were illegally built.