Land Grabbing: Lugbe Cornershop Operators Seek Wike’s Intervention


By Adadareporters

Shop owners at Lugbe Cornershops in Abuja are set to cry to the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Chief Nyesom Wike, following alleged allocations of entrances to their shops to private owners by the Federal Housing Authority staffers.

The development followed a violent confrontation between the shop owners of Sector ‘F’ Cornershops and a developer who attempted to build a new shop that would block entrance to existing shops or occupy the setbacks from the roads.

The developer, Emmanuel Amos Adebayo, said he was allocated the space by FHA, which owns the estate.

It was alleged that before the swearing-in of the new Housing and Urban Development minister, Alhaji Musa Dangiwa, officials of the Federal Housing Authority had hurriedly allocated available spaces within the Lugbe area, including parking spaces, setbacks and places marked for public convenience.

One of the beneficiaries was Adebayo. He said he was recently allocated one of the setbacks for his private office. He was however prevented from building the office. After his efforts were rebuffed, he returned to the site last Saturday, determined to commence construction.

The adjourning shop owners alerted the Lugbe police station when the matter nearly resulted in violent confrontation between Adebayo’s workers and staff of Fingerprint Communications Limited which operates the DSTV franchise in Lugbe. They insisted that the space was the only setback between their office, which was once occupied by Happy Note Microfinance Bank, and the access road.

The police officer, Inspector Samuel Olusola, who arrived at the site to forestall any violence, eventually took Mr Adebayo and his construction workers to the Lugbe police station. The DPO, Supt Ugochukwu, later advised against any violence and therefore ordered Mr Adebayo to stay action while all the parties should seek further clarification from the Federal Housing Authority.

Our correspondent was shown a copy of a building approval signed by one Ms Queen Phillips, a staff of the FHA field office in Lugbe. Our enquiries at the office however revealed that Ms Phillips who purportedly signed the document has since been redeployed to the FHA office in Gwarinpa. We could not ascertain whether her deployment had to do with such controversial allocations.

When the head of the town planning department at the Federal Housing Authority, Surveyor Eyong, was reached for clarification, he denied knowledge of the allocation. He however said he would see the two parties to determine whether the allocation was authorized or not. The meeting will be attended later in the week by Adebayo, an engineer, and Mrs Peace Nwakego, owner of the building and managing director of Fingerprint Communications Limited.

It is against this backdrop that owners of such cornershops intend to petition the FCT minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike, and his Housing and Urban Development counterpart, Alhaji Musa Dangiwa, over indiscriminate allocations of setbacks and open spaces meant for public convenience within the Sector ‘F’ Corner shops. They also lamented that many of the cornershops in Lugbe have since been turned into residential homes allegedly with the connivance of FHA field office in Lugbe.

The new FCT minister, who has frowned at such indiscriminate constructions, insists that such buildings which have turned Lugbe and other settlements into big slums and hide-outs for hoodlums will be demolished.


Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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