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