Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration, through its Department of Development Control (DDC), yesterday demolished Caramelo Lounge, a popular strip club in Utako District of Abuja, for allegedly contravening the land use of the nation’s capital city.
DDC officials, with their bulldozers and accompanied by a joint team of security personnel, stormed the site as early as 7am and within hours reduced the one-storey building to rumbles.
It was also learnt that the demolition 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 FC.
On April 17, a joint task team of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), involving DDC, Abuja Environment Protection Board (AEPB) and Social Development Secretariat (SDS), raided Caramelo and Ibiza clubs amongst others, and arrested several nude dancers, who were handed to the Nigeria Police for prosecution.
Meanwhile, the FCT Administration has given a two-week ultimatum to Ibiza nightclub situated on plot 686 & 687 Cadastral Zone A03, Garki II District, to revert to its designated use or risk appropriate sanctions.
Briefing newsmen on the exercise, AMMC Coordinator, Umar Shaibu, disclosed that despite serving them quit notice and contravention letters since 2016, the operators failed to revert and continued with the nightclub and other commercial activities on the plot, originally approved for building of a clinic to provide healthcare services for residents there.
Shaibu said the action followed the approval of the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, for the revocation of the certificate of occupancy on May 10 for contravening the provisions of clause no. 10 of certificate of occupancy and clause 10 of the conveyance letter of building plan.
Reacting to the development, Managing Director of Caramelo Lounge, Max Eze, expressed dismay over the removal exercise as they were taken aback by the short notice given to them to vacate the property. Eze, who admitted to the conversion of the original land use, however, said the management of the Lounge has been paying millions of naira as annual contravention fee to the FCT Administration.