An Abuja High Court at Apo yesterday stopped the Federal Capital Development Authority (FDCA) from demolishing Mpape, a densely populated satellite town in the FCT.
The court in a judgement it delivered on Thursday described the government agency’s planned demolition exercise as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
The trial judge, Justice Abubakar Kutigi, after having heard witnesses’ evidence and the processes having himself passed through three courts in Bwari, Jabi and the judgment court at Apo, handed down the verdict in favour of Mpape residents in the matter.
It would be recalled that residents of Mpape Community, which is within the Bwari Area Council, had instituted a court action in July 2012 challenging the legality of an alleged demolition threat by officials of the Department of Development Control of the FCDA who served the residents with quit notices.
The residents, in response, staged several protests against the planned eviction of the densely populated community covering approximately 400 hectares of land, which according to census figures of the Mpape Residents Community Development Association (MRCDA) has over 60,000 houses and hundreds of thousands of persons in residence.
At the sitting of the court, Justice Kutigi, in his judgment, granted the order in favour of the plaintiffs due to failure of the defendants to issue statutory notices in compliance with provisions of applicable laws and due process before embarking on actions aimed at demolishing plaintiffs’ properties at Mpape.