25 August 2020 By Remi Johnson.
Residents of Zuru Close, in Emeka Anyaoku Street, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, have raised concerns over what they described as illegal development on a supposedly green land area and called on the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello to save them from impending danger and protect the environment .
Addressing journalists at the site of the controversial land, Mr. Ayodele Olayinka who spoke on behalf of 15 others, lamented that the piece of green area, sitting on a drainage system, with huge trees grown to serve as wind breakers for over 30 years,could be allowed to be converted into an estate.
Explaining further, Mr Olayinka said the right of occupancy on the said land was issued in favour of one Mr Abel Y. Behora, with file number AD6118, plot1218,and has obtained almost all necessary approvals to commence work from relevant development authorities, including the police and a Court order.
His words; “If the Minister does not save us, we are going to suffer some loss as a result of him alone having this place. This development if allowed to go on will also negatively affect view of those driving from Ile Ife Street and entering Emeka Anyaoku Street, disrupt the drainage system, and impact negatively on sewal system in this area.
Mr Olayinka further appealed to the FCT Minister to revoke the plot in the interest of the public and possibly replace the land to Mr Behora in a suitable place.
He said: “We are appealing to the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, to step in and do something due to overriding public interest. Yes, we know the allocation wasn’t made during his time, but he can prevent the looming destruction of peace and safety of lives”
“But the surprising thing is that this man has necessary approvals for development and also approval from Parks and recreation” He said.
Mr Olayinka further gave more insight into how the tussle for the piece of land had lingered:”in 2011We took the matter to the FCT Urban and Regional Planning Tribunal… before judgement could be delivered, he said he wasn’t going to abide by it… He later went to another court and came with a judgement against us.He went to another court to ask the court,At the end of the day, the judgement was delivered in his favour… moreso when he has been able to get approval from department of Development Control…So the next thing we saw was that he came with the Police on 13th of August, 2020 and fell all the trees you see on the ground..”
Findings from relevant FCTA departments, however revealed that all title documents by Mr Behora, for the contested area were authentic, thus making it so difficult for them to prevent the planned development, except with intervention of the FCT Minister.