A property allegedly belonging to the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, was on Tuesday demolished by the Development Control Department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
The FCTA stated that the building, which was located along the Mabushi-Life Camp Expressway, was pulled down because it had no official approval.
The Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Cosmas Uzodinmma, informed The Punch that the Development Control Department only demolished buildings that distorted the Abuja master plan.
He noted that the necessary laid down guidelines must have been breached by the developers hence the demolition of the structure by the FCT Administration.
“If people did not follow the laid down guidelines that is when the development control unit act to correct anomalies. Whenever you see development control put down a building, they must have done so to correct the distortion of the master plan,” he stated.
When asked to respond to claims that the building was the subject of a suit, Uzodimma, said he could not comment on the legal issues surrounding the property.
The lawyer to the property owner, Emmanuel Anene, had told the News Agency of Nigeria that the issue of the building was still pending before the Federal High Courts in Lagos and Abuja.
He said, “Sometime ago, people from the Development Control came to the site, alleging that there was no approval for the building. We met them at their office and showed them the approval, which they accepted. We thought that the matter was over.
“They had earlier gone to court with an application for forfeiture of the property to the government which they failed to achieve at the Lagos High Court.”
“So, we were surprised that a team came in this afternoon without notifying us to remove the structure.
“Also, we were not served with any notice for demolition, they just came in now and started the demolition of the structure,’’ he added.
But the Director of Development Control, Muktar Usman, insisted that the building had no approval, adding that notice was served for the demolition of the property.
He said the building was not the only one affected by the demolition in the area as there were others that were also demolished.
Muktar alleged that the Development Control Department officials were assaulted during the demolition.