Members of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been accused of grabbing lands that belong to residents of the Minanuel Estate in Abuja.
Minanuel Estate Abuja, which consists of about 500 units, was recently demolished by officials of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), citing issues with documents on the ownership of the land.
The spokesperson of Minanuel Estate subscribers union, Mr. Festus Adebayo, confirmed to Channels TV Sunrise that, a member of the Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, admitted to the union that the land has been allocated by FCT authority to members of the committee.
The embittered resident of the estate, who also lost his home to the demolition, claimed that Senator Adeyemi had on the 28th of September 2012, assured the union that adequate investigation and consultations would be made into the controversy on the land documents.
“But to our surprise, on the 29th of September, officials of the FCTA and 200 heavily armed Police Officers stormed the estate with tractors and started the demolition which lasted through to the 30th of September and 1st of October 2012.”
“That was the Independence Day gift they gave us as Nigerians on the 52nd independence anniversary of Nigeria” Mr Adebayo added.
The spokesperson for the estate union also alleged that Senator Adeyemi had at another time also openly admitted on a live radio programme in Abuja – Political Panorama – that the land of the estate has been allocated to members of the Senate committee on FCT.
He also alleged that, on the show, the Senator made it clear that all avenues will be employed to negotiate with residents of the estate, “but to our surprise, the demolition tractors were what came to our homes to make the negotiations.”
The demolished Minanuel Estate is said to contain 500 buildings and they were demolished as they approached the roofing stage of the buildings.
The estate developer reportedly commenced construction work on the site eight years ago.
“Why they (FCTA) will wait for eight years before they bring up any issue on the documents of the land is what I don’t know” said My Adebayo.
He also stated that another estate adjoining the Minanuel Estate, which was bought from the same owner, was left standing and not touched.