Court restrains FCDA from demolishing Trademore Estate

A FEDERAL High Court has restrained the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA) from demolishing Trademore Estate in Lugbe, Abuja.

The court, presided by Mohammed Zubairu, in a temporary injunction, ordered that parties should maintain the status quo while the motion on notice and summons are served on the defendants.

The FCDA, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory are the first to fourth defendants/respondents in motion no: M/11692/2023 dated July 12, 2023.

The judge, Zubairu, gave an order “restraining the defendants, whether by themselves, agents, employees, officials, privies, and all those purporting to be acting for them, or to have derived title from them, or other persons howsoever and whomsoever called from trespassing on or further trespassing on, demolishing, or further demolition of all that Trademore Estate Lugbe, Abuja, Known as Plot 1981, Sabon Lugbe, Abuja, and other appurtenances thereof at Lugbe, Abuja, with the buildings and appurtenances thereon”.

The judge barred the government from evicting the property’s residents or otherwise interfering with the plaintiff’s sole ownership and control of the land as long as the Motion on Notice is pending, 

In addition, Zubairu mandated that the parties maintain the status quo while the defendants are immediately served with the Motion on Notice and Writ of Summons.

The matter was postponed until September 22, for hearing of the Motion on Notice.

The residents of the estate had approached the court through their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), after a petition to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Olusade Adesola, protesting the planned demolition of more than 60 houses in the residential estate.

The residents debunked the insinuation that the estate has no approval for a development plan. They said the estate was developed in 2007, and had no case of flooding until recently.

The Permanent Secretary of the FCTA had declared the Trademore area a disaster zone that “needs immediate action to remedy further damages and loss of lives and properties”.

The ICIR reported on June 2 that the FCDA executive director, Shehu Ahmed, said structures in communities such as Trademore estate, disrupting the natural water flow, are responsible for flooding recorded in some parts of the city.

He disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, July 2, in Abuja.

Ahmed said many of the buildings in the estate have been marked for demolition.

On Friday, June 23, Trademore Estate was flooded after an hour-long rainfall.

The flood damaged several houses, vehicles, shops and other properties, while some lives were lost.

“People are clamouring that we act quickly and take tough decisions to save lives. And this is what we must do. We cannot work as though we don’t see this man-made problem caused by those who violate the Abuja Master Plan.

“By declaring Trademore a disaster zone, we have told the residents there to evacuate,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed added that a police station and some buildings will be demolished. 

Meanwhile, the residents protested against the planned demolition on Monday, July 3.

The residents shut their gates in protest against the planned demolition of structures in the estate by officials of FCDA.

The development came days after the estate was declared a disaster zone in light of flash floods which submerged houses and vehicles in the estate weeks ago.

Chairman of the residents association, Adewale Adenaike, said during the protest that the residents were the victims of the flood caused by a lot of water channels and tributaries diverted into the estate.

Adenaike argued that the FCTA’s demolition was unnecessary as the estate was not on a flood path.

“The demolition that they plan for Trademore is totally unnecessary because that’s not the reason. We are not sitting on the flood path; we are sitting like any other property in Abuja.






     

     

    “There’s no reason for demolition, and we are asking through this medium, telling government agencies to come to our aid; let’s get together to find a lasting solution. We have experts on our side; they will come together with experts on the government side to come up with a lasting solution,” he said.

    Adenaike further dismissed claims that the FCT authorities did not approve the estate.

    He appealed to President Bola Tinubu to come to their aid and find a lasting solution to the crisis. 

    It was reported that the flooding was the estate’s fifth incident since 2014.

     

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