THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished Caramelo night club located at the Utako District of Abuja saying the building was illegal and constituted a nuisance to the neighbourhood.
It was at the same Caramelo nightclub that officials of the FCTA carried out raids where about 100 ladies were arrested for alleged prostitution, a development which prompted wide condemnation from gender-advocacy groups and human rights activists.
The facility was demolished at about 7 am on Monday and the FCTA officials that carried out the demolition did not allow the workers to evacuate any property, thus, equipment, furniture and drinks belonging to the club all perished. Only but a handful of bottles of drinks and few plastic tables were salvaged according to photos and videos on currently being circulated on social media.
FCTA brought down the Abuja popular night club, Caramelo Lounge. Report had it that they were not allowed to remove anything from the building before bulldozing the structure. pic.twitter.com/rfljSXrX75
— Gbemi Dennis™ (@GbemiDennis) May 13, 2019
Witnesses said the officials did not offer any explanation but just deployed heavy-duty earth-moving machines into the premise, brought don the structure and left as swiftly as they came.
“We asked them many times, but they did not answer us. They came early and left early,” Premium Times quoted one witness as saying.
The distraught owner of the facility, Maxwell Eze, lamented that his N500 million investment had just been destroyed without any explanation.
“They just destroyed N500 million in a struggling economy. This is deliberate sabotage of this country’s economy,” Eze said.
“Now, not only the 105 people have been rendered jobless, our suppliers and other indirect labourers will have to find ways to earn a living for themselves and families.”
Eze said Caramelo was properly registered and has paid federal taxes and other levies to at least 15 offices from neighbourhood and professional associations to federal agencies.
Eze showed newsmen a copy of the notice demolition served on the facility a few days earlier, purporting that the building construction was illegal and that the club had been constituting a nuisance to residents.
Recall that after the FCTA had arrested dozens of ladies at the Caramelo nightclub for alleged prostitution, it later issued a statement claiming that facility was constructed on a piece of land that was designated for the construction of a hospital or school according to the masterplan of the city.
FCTA officials that carried out the demolition refused to talk to journalists