Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has stopped the Nigeria Police from taking over a property in Jahi District, Abuja, belonging to Bhodes Integrated Limited.
The order of the court is sequel to an exparte application moved by counsel to the firm, Adebola Oyeneyin who prayed the court to restrained the police from further erecting structures on the property.
A former minister, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro is the Chairman of Bhodes Integrated Limited.
In the said exparte application with motion number M/5177/2020, the firm also joined the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company Limited, Minister of FCT and Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA.
The company had prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the police and its property development company who are 1st and 2nd defendants in the case from taking over the land.
After arguing the exparte motion, the presiding judge, Justice A. S. Adepoju held, ”Both patties whether by themselves or by their savants, officers, agents, or privies or otherwise howsoever so described are further restrained from trespassing, erecting, building, occupying, demolishing, disturbing, excavation of soil and alteration of the natural state or interfering with the Plot No. 237 measuring approximately 5957.18m2 bounded by beacon numbers P82. P83, P86401, P86402 and P36403 Cadastral Zone BIS of Sector Center A, Abuja and covered by an Offer of Statutory Right of Occupancy dated 21″ of November. 2019 pending the hearing and the determination of the substantive suit.
The case has been fixed for July l5, 2020 for hearing.
About three weeks ago, the company had written a petition to the Chairman, Police Service Commission, dated 5th June, 2020 over the taking over of the land.
The General Manager of the company, Bayo Smith, who signed the petition said the land is measuring 5,955 square meters sitting on Plot No 133 Cadastral Zone, B15 of Centre Sector A in Jahi area of the Federal Capital Territory by the Nigerian Police Force headed by IGP Adamu Muhammed.
According to the petition, the portion of land was allocated to our company by the Minister of the FCT and current Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-rufai in 2007 through the then Accelerated Development Programme on the 28th April, 2007 and I fenced it round.
He also said the land was further reallocated on the 16th February 2012.
Parts of the petition read, ”Upon interaction with the police, they owned up to the claim but admitted to not having any document or title to the land. We also made our findings from the Abuja Geographic Information Systems and we found out that only BHODES INTEGRATED LIMITED is the only title holder to the land.
”We reported the encroachment to the FCT Minister, who in his wisdom, sets up a committee and eventually decided to divide the land and gave us land measuring 5,955 meter square with an instruction that we should open a fresh land application file for allocation of an alternative plot to make up for the shortfall in size while the rest portion was assigned to the Police.
”The letter conveying this approval was dated 16th July, 2019 by the FCTA and signed by ESV Umar Sayyadi, the Deeds Registrar for the FCT Minister. When the IGP came, he decided to lay claim to all the land despite not having power of allocation and without the titles.
”We are shocked that a law enforcement agency like the Nigeria Police Force that should be upholding the law is now shamefully breaking it with impunity. Still towing the path of reconciliation, I had a meeting with the IGP and he set up a committee headed by DIG Aminchi Baaraya to look into our claims and the committee was given two weeks but until now, no report whatsoever because they have nothing to report”.