FCTA Demolishes Abuja Strip Club, Caramelo Lounge

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From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The FCT Administration has demolished Caramelo Lounge, a strip club based in Utako District, Abuja. It also revoked the Certificate of Occupancy issued on the plot.

The demolition was carried out Monday morning by Department of Development Control (DDC), an agency under FCTA, accompanied by a joint team of security personnel.

Authorities insisted the strip club was reduced to robles for allegedly contravening the Land Use Act of the nation’s capital city.

The exercise, was sequel to a 48-hour final demolition notice, following the issuance of a revocation letter to the operators by the Department of Lands Administration of the FCTA.

It will be recalled that on April 17, a joint task team made up of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), DDC, Abuja Environment Protection Board (AEPB) and Social Development Secretariat (SDS) raided Caramelo and Ibiza Club situated in Cadastral Zone A03, Garki II District, among others.

During that raid, several nude dancers were arrested and handed over to the Nigeria Police for prosecution in line with extant laws in the FCT.

Briefing reporters about the exercise, AMMC Coordinator, Umar Shaibu, said from available records, the application for the plot where Caramelo Club was located, was issued to one Mr Musa Hassan on April 25, 2006 for development of a district health facility or clinic for the residents in the area.

He lamented that the operation of Caramelo Lounge had constituted a social nuisance in the neigbourhood and had become inimical to provisions of Abuja Masterplan arising from incessant noise pollution, on street parking and insecurity, among others.

He disclosed that despite being served with quit notice and contravention letters since 2016, the operators failed to revert and continued with the nightclub and other commercial activities on the plot.

He added that on May 10, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, approved the action and for the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) for contravening the provisions of Clause 10 of Certificate of Occupancy and Clause 10 of the conveyance letter of building plan.

However, the Managing Director of Caramelo Lounge, Max Eze, expressed dismay at the demolition exercise.

He said the owners were taken aback by the short notice to vacate the property, which he valued at over N100million.

While admitting to the conversion of the original land use, Eze said the management of the Lounge had been paying millions of Naira as annual contravention fee to the authority.