Wuye Mar­ket in fresh bat­tle af­ter court judg­ment

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - By Ben Atonko & Us­man Bello

De­spite their vic­tory in an Abuja High Court, eff orts by ti­tle hold­ers in Wuye Mar­ket, Abuja to re­cover their shops met a brick wall. Another bout of le­gal bat­tle to com­mence.

Acom­pany by name All Pur­pose Shel­ter Lim­ited and the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FCTA) were forced by an Abuja High Court to abide by the busi­ness terms they en­tered with Abuja traders un­der the ban­ner As­so­ci­a­tion of Wuye Mod­ern Mar­ket Al­lot­tees (AWUMMA). These traders who were sacked from the Bakasi Mar­ket were re­lo­cated by FCTA to Wuye and were of­fered al­lo­ca­tion letters there.

But a pri­vate firm (All Pur­pose Shel­ter Lim­ited) was con­tracted to de­velop the mar­ket for the traders. Upon com­ple­tion of works, the traders were sub­jected to sti­fling con­di­tions. The traders ap­proached Abuja High Court in Suit No. FCT/HC/440/2012 (Abba Dennis & 706 Ors vs Min­is­ter FCT & 2 Orts) and won their case. But bring­ing the court judg­ment into force is be­com­ing even tougher.

The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, FCT, John Chukwu in a public no­tice on Oc­to­ber 2, 2015 urged the orig­i­nal al­lot­tees of the mar­ket (called plain­tiffs/ traders in this re­port) to ap­proach the devel­oper of Wuye Mar­ket with orig­i­nal or cer­ti­fied copy of letters of Pro­vi­sional Of­fer of Al­lo­ca­tion of Shops/Open Spa­ces dated Oc­to­ber 23, 2002 for col­lec­tion of nec­es­sary bills/ fees payable.

Para­graph two of the public no­tice signed by So­lic­i­tor-Gen­eral, Le­gal Ser­vice Sec­re­tar­iat FCTA for Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary FCT di­rected the plain­tiffs to go to the ad­min­is­tra­tive block in the mar­ket for the ex­er­cise.

Sim­i­larly, an ad­ver­to­rial signed by the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Abuja In­vest­ments Com­pany Lim­ited (AICL) AICL, Musa Musa in the Sun on Oc­to­ber 1, 2015 di­rected the plan­tiffs to go the mar­ket for re­cov­ery of premises process.

But our re­porters who vis­ited the place last week saw that the mar­ket was still un­der lock with po­lice­men sta­tioned at the en­trance pre­vent­ing the plain­tiffs en­try into the mar­ket.

The ag­grieved traders bran­dished doc­u­ments read­ing: “Cor­rup­tion! Il­le­gal­ity and out­right dis­re­gard of [sic] court judg­ment at Wuye Mar­ket by Mrs Yemisi Suswam and her com­pany; Be warned and in­formed…Nige­ri­ans, help tell Mrs Yemisi Suswam, wife of the for­mer gover­nor of Benue State to obey court judg­ment and al­low us to en­joy shops as the court has de­cided; FCT Per Sec save us from Mrs Yemisi Suswam Wuye mar­ket traders; Mrs Yemisi go back to Benue State Don’t op­press Abuja Traders; When will the voice of the masses trao [sic] be heard over the in­tim­i­da­tion and in­jus­tice at Wuye mar­ket with the as­sis­tance of the po­lice.”

Mr Jibrin Sa­muel Okutepa SAN spoke for Mrs Suswam on phone deny­ing that the woman is be­hind what the traders are fac­ing.

The plain­tiffs warned the gen­eral public in one of the doc­u­ments say­ing, Nige­ri­ans be in­formed and warned that there is a court judg­ment and any­body that fouls or ig­nores it and buys a shop in Wuye Mar­ket does so at their own risk. Ac­cord­ing to them, there is at­tempt “to re­write or re­view the court judg­ment out­side the court”.

Our re­porters re­ported that po­lice­men sat down with their guns at the en­trance to the mar­ket. Of­fi­cials of the All Pur­pose Shel­ter Lim­ited sat un­der canopies next to the po­lice at­tend­ing to visi­tors. There was no of­fi­cial of AICL. AICL, the busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment hold­ing com­pany for FCTA stood in for FCTA in the Wuye Mar­ket trans­ac­tions with the devel­oper, the All Pur­pose Shel­ters Lim­ited.

When Daily Trust went to the AICL of­fice in Garki, the re­cep­tion­ist said the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of AICL, Musa Musa was not present. Upon in­sis­tence to see the next of­fi­cer, our re­porters were given form to fill but they waited in vain. Con­flict­ing fig­ures One of the traders who gave his name only as Fred said based on the public no­tice, they came to the mar­ket to take their shops but met the mar­ket locked.

PHOTO Onyekachukwu Remi­jius

Orig­i­nal al­lot­tees of Plot No. 16 Cadas­tral Zone B03 protest their re­stric­tion in front of Wuye Ul­tra Mod­ern Mar­ket last week.

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