The Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), says it will begin arresting violators of Abuja Master Plan in addition to demolishing the structures.
Its Director, Mr Mukhtar Galadima, stated this after a foiled attempted demolition of an abandoned three-storey building at Asokoro in Abuja.
Abuja365 reports that officials of the department had begun demolishing the fence of the building when the owner came with a court order stopping the exercise.
Galadima told journalists that the building was not only abandoned but was also constructed in violation of the approval given for the structure.
“Aside from building contrary to the approval, the structure had been abandoned for a long time and had become a safe haven for criminals.
“If you look at that area, it is purely a low-density residential area, mostly duplexes with one suspended floor or two suspended floors.
“But the structure in question is a massive structure of luxury apartments, which may end up being a hotel.
“There was no approval to that effect. I have gone through all the files. The approval was for a duplex, but they didn’t build it in line with what was approved for them.,” he said.
The director recalled that the former minister had visited the structure for the same reason, adding that notice for removal had been served to the owner.
He added that part of the reason for the demolition, apart from violating the approved plan, was also that the building was abandoned and constituting a security threat to residents.
He also said that the Minister of the FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, frowns at abandoned structures.
“These are why we moved in to remove that structure to give way but while the operation was ongoing, the owner of the property came up with a court order.
“The Order specifically barred FCTA from tampering with the property.
“As responsible citizens, I have to stop the action and consult with the Legal Secretariat of the FCT to advise on the next line of action,” he said.
When asked if the department will go ahead with the demolition if the Legal Secretariat gives its consent, Galadima said “It will come down”.
After some cleanup of operations at Asokoro and Maitama, the director said that the department would sustain the cleanup exercise.
He said that the exercise would focus on dark spots constituting security threats and those constituting hygienic and environmental problems.
“The clean up is a continuous exercise to sanitise and clean the city. Already we have cleaned up Kabusa Junction, Galadimawa Roundabout, Sun City, and Ring Road 2 Corridor.
“So, we’re going all around the city, but this time around, once we clear, we will arrest those violating the Abuja Masterplan,” he said.