Abuja landowners sue ministers, army over alleged violent dispossession

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Landowners have sued the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory from further trespassing on plots of land located in Maitama Extension.

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A firm, Ogenyi Global Resource instituted the charge at the High Court Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on behalf of landowners in the area, through their counsel, Amobi Nzelu.

They alleged that the minister has no right to encroach on their plots of land.

Other defendants in the suit marked CU/2566/16 are the Chief of Army Staff, Army Council as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

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In the suit, the firm asked the court to order the defendants to vacate the plots of land, which they have forcibly occupied without any valid court order.

In the alternative, they are asking the court ‎to allocate to them plots of land in a choice area in Abuja or award a compensation of N50 million 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 plaintiffs also maintained that the plots of land were duly allocated to him and others without encumbrances.

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While their counsel, Nzelu, told the court that the revocation of the land did not comply with the provision of the Land Use Act, the landowners however, said that they would 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 million to N300 million.

The FCT Minister and Nigerian Army were accused of having allegedly possessed the plots of land about a month ago.

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To them, the defendants can only exercise the right of revocation for overriding public interest and nothing more.

‎No date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter.

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