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Thursday, April 11

Gate House Demolition: Residents, Shop Owners Seek FG, International Community Intervention (photos)

It was a sad, rancorous and emotional atmosphere when some so-called officials of the Director of Development Control,  Federal Capital Territory , Abuja came in their numbers with heavy duty Trucks and bulldozers and brought down structures and the only access roads at the Area 11 Shopping Mall, bringing untold hardship to shop owners and motorist.

According to eyewitness who were at the scene of the event, they said the development control officers came with armed men after they refused to give them bribe to stop the perpetration and illegal demolition.
According to them, they said even the Mr President, Mohammedu Buhari can't stop them from demolishing a mall where hundreds of shop owners are dependent on.

The demolition of the gate has rendered shop owners and buyers from easy accessibility to the mall while causing serious gridlock around the area.

They call on the president and other international community to come to their aid to stop the anomalies as the building and the access roads are in the original master plan documents which they presented to the press and all those who are concern.

In a letter written to the The Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja dated 5th April, 2019
and titled "Request For Swift Intervention Over The Illegal Demolition Of Gate House And Permanent Closure Of A Government Approved Access Road Located At Area11 Shopping Mall" they demanded for the invitation of the director of Development Control of Federal Capital Territory under Abuja Metropolitan Management Council for fragrant disobedience to the master plan of FCT and violation of the provision of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria (as amended) on freedom of movement of occupants of area 11 shopping mall.
The later also urged the police to be swift to guide against breakdown of law and order, if action is not taken to ameliorate the sufferings of the occupants of the mall due to the demolition of police post/gate house and permanent closure of a government approved access road to the mall by the director of development control without due process.

They also want the Police and other agencies to compel the director of development control to immidiately rebuild the mall security post and open the only government approved access road to the mall to avoid breakdown of law and order.

In an interview with Clement Chukwuemeka Esq, he explained that as  the Solicitors to Area 11 Property Development Company Limited and Registered Trustees of Area 11 Mall Shop Owners and Occupiers Association want the original matter plan to be restored and compensation made to the people to quench the untold hardship they have endured through out this time.

"It is our firm instruction that Our Clients holds the Right of Occupancy in respect of Plot 849, Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki Abuja by Virtue of Certificate of Occupancy No. 1ae0w-b8dfz-71afr-115b2-20 issue by the Hon. Minister of Federal Capital Territory on the 9th Day of May, 2007 with File No. Misc 83117, herein attached and marked as ANNEXURE "A".

" It is our Clients further instruction that the said plot 849 was fully developed in strict compliance with the approved building plan which was lawfully and dutifully monitored and /or supervised till the total completion of the structures therein with the access Road through the Ahmadu Bello Way same as the Police Cantonment Entrance gate. A copy of the said approved building plan by the same development control is hereby attached and marked as ANNEXURE "B".

"That the said Plot 849 which is now developed, was commissioned by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo in the Year 2006 and known now as Area 11 Shopping Mall (Before Efab Mall) was legally and officially approved by the concerned FCT Agency to be accessed through Ahmadu Bello Way, " he explained.
He further added "That the said Area 11 Shopping Mall and its access road have succeeded several Directors of Development Control of FCT, it has been, and presently housing many shops including Two commercial banks of repute, law offices, Eye Clinic Centre, Two (2) Pharmacies, Bureau de changes, etc have been operating since completion with access road through the Ahmadu Bello Way, without hindrance of any sort.

"Sir, it was with impunity that men and security officers hiding under the instruction of the minister which they boasted thus "the minister sent us to demolish and Restore master plan of FCT that no man including the President can stop us from carrying out the order of the Minister", that on the 2/4/19, they demolished the Mall Gate House, housing our posted police personnel and permanently closed the only access road approved by same Government Agency, and thus causing great hardships to all users of the mall. This action brought serious stir and security risk to the only alternative route known as Gwarjo Close which by its name is a close and not officially or in any way designed to access the biggest mall in FCT," he pointed out.

He further explained that "  It may shock you to note that an amicable resolution of same issue was reached through the invitation to meetings of 24th May 2016 and 3rd June 2016, wherein Hamza, (then Director, Development Control) and Shehu Abubakar (then Deputy Director Monitoring and Enforcement) and two (2) other staff of Development Control, including some Trustees of the Shopping Mall, were in attendance and the issue was resolved and the closed access road was re-opened later in the afternoon of 3rd June, 2016 after appreciating the herein attached documents. Since then we have been operating without hitches until 2nd April 2019, when we shockingly witnessed this brazen lawlessness exhibited by the referral men of the agency and security officers who claimed acting on instructions of the minister of FCT and the security chiefs in FCT.

"It is in the light of the foregoing that we respectfully request from your noble office to compel the Director of Development Control to rebuild the demolished Gate House/police post and immediately open the closed only access road to the mall within 24 hours of receiving this passionate request in the interest of safety, peace and justice to the occupants of the mall," he concluded.

In the same vein, a similar letter to the Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Asokoro, FCT - Abuja dated 5th April, 2019 and the Director, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council,  Abuja including the Honourable Minister, Federal Capital Territory, FCT,
Abuja were sent and acknowledged respectively to inform them on the development.

It is believed that soon normalcy would be restored as the change promised by President Mohammad Buhari would be difficult to uphold when office holders misuse their powers.





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