Threat By FCT To Demolish Houses In Trademore Estate Lugbe.......Prof Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN Chief Counsel/Solicitors to Trademore International Holdings Ltd Sets the Record Straight
• Of recent, speculations are rife of the plans by Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to demolish houses in Trademore Estate Lugbe for lacking a development plan approval
Consequently only recently, The residents Association of Estate, sent a passionate appeal to the FCT Authority to rescind its planned demolition of the estate.
The Chairman of the residents, Mr Adewale Adeleke made the appeal in a news conference, Early in the week in Abuja.
It would be recalled that a heavy downpour on June 23 submerged about 116 houses in the estate.
The development led to the declaration of the estate as a “disaster zone” by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola on June 27.
Adesola had promised that the FCT administration would address the problem.
Similarly, Malam Shehu Ahmed, the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) on recently announced the decision to demolish all structures on waterways across the nation’s capital.
Ahmed said that buildings within the estate were earlier marked for demolition on several occasions, alongside series of warnings .
But in a swift reaction to the threat of demolition ,Prof Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, CON, FCIArb, LL.M, Ph.D, LL.D, D.Litt.Chief Counsel/Head of Chambers of the Mike Ozekhome chambers has sent out a strong position paper addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital titled: THE PROPOSED DEMOLITION OF HOUSES IN TRADEMORE ESTATE, LUGBE, ABUJA, FCT: DEBUNKING THE INSINUATION BY THE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL UNIT STATING THAT TRADEMORE ESTATE HAS NO DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL
In setting the record straight, the legal luminary debunked the insinuation by the Director of Development Control Unit of the FCDA to the effect that Ttademore Estate has not shown that they have any Development Plan Approval for the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja.
He wrote "Our client’s attention was so drawn to the television interview granted by the said Director of Development Control Unit of the FCDA, Mr. Mukhtar Galadima, on the 4th day of July, 2023, wherein he insinuated and speculated, albeit erroneously, on the causes of frequent flooding in Trademore Estate, Lugbe.
He insinuated during the interview that has since gone viral that the reason the frequent flooding in Trademore Estate is because our client probably developed the estate without seeking and obtaining the requisite Development Plan Approval.
•SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT
•Ttademore Estate being an experienced indigenous real estate developer in Nigeria with well over two decades of cognate experience in real estate development, could not have entered a site and started development without proper allocation and authorization.
• Ttademore Estate was properly allocated the land containing the estate. It duly sought for and obtained Development Plan Approval for the development of the Trademore Estate, building over 700 units of houses, an achievement that was facilitated by huge bank loans.
•On this question of whether or not Ttademore Estate had a Development Plan Approval, Prof Mike Ozekhome SAN refered to a letter written to Ttademore Estate by the Office of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), dated the 23rd of March, 2010, wherein the Co-ordinator of the AMMC stated the obvious as follows:
“The Council has critically looked at your case and observed as follows:Your Company is a beneficiary of lands allocations made in Lugbe by the Abuja Municipal Area Council;Your Company was granted a building Plan Approval in 2004 by the same AMAC;
The company has gone ahead to develop a total units of about 700 houses on the plot based on the granted approval;The layout within which your land is located is yet to be approved by the Urban and Regional Planning department of the FCDA;
”A copy of the said letter dated 23rd March, 2010, is herewith attached and marked as “Annexures
A”.The above was a definite concession by the FCTA that Development Plan Approval was indeed duly applied for and granted to the Trademore Estate, Lugbe. The issue concerning the layout by the Urban and Regional Planning Department of the FCDA (which said layout approval cuts across the entire Lugbe axis), was and is a matter of internal arrangement which the FCDA and AMMC were to sort out amongst themselves.
To further buttress the fact that the issue of approval of the layout was an internal arrangement, the AMMC went further to add that “The Council has already initiated some inter-departmental consultations on the issue with a view to resolving the problem of layout for Lugbe area…
”This makes it abundantly clear that it was not only Trademore Estate that was involved but the “layout for Lugbe Area”. Trademore is only one of the estates and residential buildings built in the “Lugbe area”In the light of the above, it is not correct as insinuated by Mr. Mukhtar Galadima, that there was no development Plan Approval for Ttademore estate.
By the above admission, the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, has a proper allocation and a duly granted Development Plan Approval according to which specification the houses were built. See paragraphs 5(a), (b), (c) aboveIt Is also not correct to insinuate or allege that a purported lack of Development Plan Approval was responsible for the perennial flooding of the Trademore Estate.
The remote and immediate causes of the flooding have been explained in explicit details in our earlier etter to you, dated the 4th of July, 2023. A copy of our said letter is dated 4th July, 2023, is herewith attached and marked as “Annexures B”.This is also to add that the problems of flooding in the Trademore estate are not caused by any act or omission linked to our client, but by forces that are outside its control, many of them propelled by agencies of government, unworkable dam and neighbouring construction activities
The Mike Ozekhome chambers on behalf of Ttademore Estate humbly urged the FCT Parmanent secretary to use their good offices to consider the sufferings of Ttademore innocent residents in the estate and the avoidable hardship that will be caused by a further demolition of parts of the estate, and intervene timeously to save lives and properties, of innocent residents by halting any such further demolition of the residents’ houses.
" We believe that our client has not any way contravened any known laws to be met with such governmental show of power" the letter of setting all records straight concluded
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