The Federal Capital Territory Administration has explained why it demolished a residential property belonging to Joseph Egbri, popularly known as Prince Kpokpogri.
Kpokpogri had on Saturday lamented that the property located in Guzape is worth over N700m.
He claimed that the property was demolished by the Federal Capital Development Authority without prior notice.
But reacting, the FCTA said officials of the Federal Housing Authority, led by its Managing Director, Gbenga Ashafa, had three days ago visited the building in the company of the top management team of FCDA.
It said the officials confirmed that the plot of land originally belonged to the FHA and that a proper building plan was not approved before the building was erected.
The FHA was said to have issued notices to stop construction of the building at different stages but that Kpokpogiri refused to comply with the directives.
According to the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, Engr. Shehu Hadi, the building obstructed construction of a road that was supposed to serve as an important bypass to the Abuja-Keffi axis.
Hadi added that any plan to realign the road because of the building, would be difficult and not a fair judgment to those that it would affect, considering that the demolished building was not in existence when the plan started.
Also, the Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, said the building located in the highbrow District of Guzape, Abuja, was unapproved, and could not be allowed to override public interest.
According to him, FHA was duly allocated the Area in the district to carry out its Mass Housing programme.
However, he explained that when the road network of the district was officially realigned, FHA was promptly notified that some plots of land within its area had been affected.
Galadima added that FHA was ordered not to allow any further development on the affected plots as replacement plots would be given to them.
He also denied lack of inter-agency collaboration between the FCT Administration and FHA, stating that all necessary communications were properly documented.
“There is adequate inter-agency Corporation, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) approached the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for allocation and they were given global approval and were asked to make sure that the replacement plots aligned with approval.
“The plot in question was part of what was in the allocation, but because of the importance of the road, we wrote to FHA, notifying it that a number of their plots had been affected by the realignment of the road and that we were going to give them replacement plots.
“We told them that no development should be allowed on the plots, and this was around 2019. We came for a site visit and had given them notices. We even marked the building for demolition, but the owner cleaned it off”, Galadima said.
An aide to the FCT minister also noted that Kpokpogri’s house was built on a major highway, hence the demolition.
The Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection, and Entrustment, Attah Ikharo, noted that the building wasn’t approved by the necessary agencies.
Ikharo said, “His house is on a superhighway known as M-16. He doesn’t even have a building plan approval. It’s like somebody who knows that the highway is coming sold the land to him and he just went to build. We have been asking him to stop but he refused.
“In Abuja, before you build, you must get building plan approval. There was no approval at all for him. The place was initially allocated to somebody long ago. So I think the person now sold it to somebody who then sold it to him,” Ikharo said.
He added, “When he discovered that it was a road, He didn’t stop but kept rushing the building. The whole building was built in less than a year.
“The Federal Housing Authority Managing Director came here twice this week. The MD came the day before yesterday (Thursday) that they didn’t give him approval and the building was illegally constructed.
“The FCDA Executive Secretary also came, adding that it was illegally constructed. We came here twice this week asking him to vacate because of the superhighway.”
Meanwhile, the politician claimed that his house was demolished out of wickedness and oppression and vowed to get to the root of the matter.
But Ikharo stated that the only obstacle on the highway which began from Guzape 2 was Kpokpogri’s house, adding that in three months, the road construction will commence on the land.