CRD Lugbe: Plot owners accuse River Park Estate of trespass
It would have been bloodbath on the land called Committee on Roadside Development (CRD) Lugbe 1 Layout Resettlement, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), last Saturday had labourers on site failed to obey the Stop Work order issued them by plot owners on the land.
The labourers numbering about 30 engaged by Houses for Africa Nig. Ltd., management of River Park Estate, were digging the ground for erection of fence when the owners of plots came in large number and drove away the workers.
River Park Estate management claims it has title on the land. It has started clearing and pulling down structures there.
On April 3, management of the estate went to the site with three armed policemen who threw tear gas at the protesting plot owners and even shot in the air to disperse them.
Sesugh Saaku who lays claim to a plot named CRD 1381 has had the whole fence of his house reduced to rubble. “They demolished my fence. They’ve threatened to come and demolish the whole building,” Saaku told Daily Trust. Similarly, the fence of an undeveloped plot, CRD 1373 belonging to Ajayi Dare was demolished.
Stanley Nwokike who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved plot owners said they have reported a case of encroachment to the police in Lugbe division.
He accused management of River Park Estate of taking the law into its hands by pulling down their property without authorization. “They came without government officials, no development control officials, no marking of these houses - they came with bulldozers and started demolishing. They boasted that they’re well connected in government so they can do anything,” Nwokike lamented.
The plot owners who said they got their titles since 1996 from AMAC said they built with approval from the Development Control.
A man who was seen working on the land said he is a private surveyor engaged to do what he was doing.
In a telephone conversation yesterday, a staff of Houses for Africa Nig. Ltd. who did not give his name said, “We’re working within the boundary. We’re working with what we have approval for. We have our papers. Some of them [those complaining] are on green areas. Some of them, their titles are not genuine.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Development Control Department, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mr Kalu Emetu said he would contact the appropriate officials to explain why this is happening.
The Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS) could not be reached yesterday.
This land in question covers 474 hectares.