Friday, September 23

Abuja residents sue Army chief, minister over alleged land grab

Abuja residents sue Army chief, minister over alleged land grab

Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai

Some residents and land owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have sued the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, FCT Minister, Mohammad Bello and others over alleged forceful appropriation of plots of land allocated to them.

The plaintiffs, in the suit filed by their lawyer, Amobi Nzelu want that High Court of the FCT to stop the Minister and other defendants in the suit from further trespassing on plots of land located at Maitama Extension.

Other defendants in the suit marked: CU/2566/16 are the Army Council and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

A firm, Ogenyi Global Resource‎, who sued for itself and the other land owners  queried the right and powers of the minister to encroach on their land.

The firm and others want the court to order the defendants to vacate the plots of land which they (the defendants) have forcibly occupied without any valid court order.

In the alternative, they want the court ‎to compel the Minister to make alternate allocation of plots of land to them in a choice area in Abuja or award a compensation of N50m as damages for the action of the FCT minister.

In the statement of claim, the firm accused the FCT minister of unilaterally revoking the plots allocated to them without statutory notice.

The plaintiff said the plots of land were duly allocated to them without encumbrances, and that the purported revocation of the land did not comply with the provision of the Land Use Act.

The land owners said they will be willing to accept monetary compensation to show goodwill in the matter.

According to them, ‎the cost of a plot of land in the said Maitama Extension is between N200 to N300million.

The plaintiff accused the FCT Minister and the Nigerian Army of violently possessing the plots of land about a month ago.

They said that the defendants have no right to take over their lands without any valid court order.

The plaintiffs contended that the defendants could  only exercise the right of revocation for overriding public interest and nothing more.

‎The case is yet to be assigned to any judge for hearing.

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