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Nigerian Court Restrains Minister Of Capital Territory, FCT, Others From Demolishing Buildings At Trademore Estate In Abuja

The presiding judge, Justice M. A Mudagu, gave the order on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

The Nigerian Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Bwari in Abuja has issued an interim order of status quo restraining the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, his Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Attah Ikharo and the Abuja Department of Development Control (AMMC) from demolishing any building and plots of land belonging to Foluke Daramola Braimoh at the Trademore Estate in Lugbe area of Abuja. 
The presiding judge, Justice M. A Mudagu, gave the order on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.


Reacting to the judgment shortly after the court session, counsel for Braimoh, Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr. said the FCT Minister and his Special Assistant have been acting with impunity and disobedience to the laid down procedure of the Nigeria Urban and Regional Planning Act.
Ihensekhien said the minister and his assistant issued no notice to the residents of Trademore Estate before going on air to threaten and started demolishing buildings and houses in the estate.
The lawyer noted that “the court case was a step to prevent such flagrant and outright abuse of governmental powers by the AMMC, the minister and his Special Assistant,” adding that “all steps will be taken to enforce the interim orders of the court to the letter on the minister, his Special Assistant and the AMMC.
According to Ihensekhien, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had earlier marked 100 houses for demolition at Trademore Estate, out of which, no fewer than 30 houses had been demolished as of Wednesday.
The lawyer however said that the FCT Task Force Team led by Ikharo said that the purpose of the demolition was to mitigate flooding, as it was reported that floods had been ravaging the area.
It was reported in September 2021 that at least three persons died in the estate after a heavy downpour.
Ihensekhien noted that Ikharo had claimed that the recurring flood in the area, especially during the rainy season, has caused a lot of damage to property in the area.
The legal practitioner quoted Ikharo as saying that “Some developers are fond of carrying out excessive development on the flood plain in Trademore Estate in violation of building codes and the master plan of the FCT. This situation is also very disturbing to the FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, who authorized the demolition exercise.
“All the houses that are going down were marked and some have been marked as long as three years ago. Some were marked at foundation level, window level, and roofing level. The final marking was about four days ago. And we gave them 48 hours plus an extended grace of 24 hours.”
According to the counsel, Ikharo noted that the FCTA was still engaging critical stakeholders at the estate on how they can use the Solution Act to determine the fate of the remaining 70 marked buildings in the area.
But Ihensekhien maintained that with the court interim order, “all issues between the minister and his client on this plot of land/building are now subjudice and any attempt made by the minister and his Personal Assistant will incur the wrath of the court, as any further atrocious step by the authorities above will lead to contempt of court against them.”