Senator David Mark
As the owner of an estate containing 500 housing units and his tenants continued to lick their wounds and count losses, a petition has been sent to the Senate President, David Mark, urging him to investigate the action of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in demolishing the estate located at Lugbe area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The owner of the property, Emmanuel Mbaka, in a petition written by his counsel, Chief Emma Nwaka, vehemently condemned the action of FCDA, saying that the housing estate was maliciously razed down on September 29, 2012 without any prior notice to the owner.
In the petition dated October 9, 2012 copied to the three senators from Abia and made available to THISDAY in Umuahia, the petitioner lamented that “the only inkling he had about the grouse of the authority” as regards the genuineness of his title documents was on a radio broadcast 24 hours before the bulldozers and the demolition squad were sent into the estate.
According to the petitioner, on hearing of the FCDA’s intention he made every effort to contact the authority to no avail before running to the chairman of Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, “who was kind enough to listen and scheduled a meeting for October 2, 2012.”
“But given that the mind of those at the helm of affairs of FCDA to inflict maximum pain and loss had been made up so to do, they quickly went on rampage with their bulldozers to reduce to rubble a built up housing estate thereby pre-empting and making nonsense of the scheduled meeting.”
The petitioner’s counsel, who is also the chairman of Abia State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) questioned the rationale for the demolition of the estate, arguing that even if the title documents were defective there would have been need to give the owner enough notice and hear from him before the demolition.
He pointed out that the action of the FCDA was unbecoming in a democratic environment, noting that the authority three elementary justice to the wind and assumed the position of the complainant, prosecutor, the judge and Jury thereby resorting to self-help and reckless display of power.
The petitioner therefore pleaded with the Senate “to treat the matter with the utmost public importance it deserved so as to ascertain what went wrong” because “if we allow our own citizens to be treated this way, what justification can any person have to invite foreigners to invest here.”