BY AHURAKA ISAH, Abuja –
Owners of properties at the XK Apo Layout, Apo District of Abuja went a step further yesterday by urging President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to order over an alleged illegal seizure and occupation of their properties by the police.
The owners of the over 200 plots of land in the layout, who came out in their hundreds to protest against the action of the police who prevented them from getting access to their properties, accused the police of aiding the ENL Consortium Limited in preventing them from entering their properties, which were genuinely allocated to them by appropriate agencies.
A property owner in the layout and a school proprietor, Mrs Mary Sadoluwe, who spoke on behalf of the residents and land owners, told newsmen during the peaceful protest that she operates a school in the layout until her school was demolished along with other buildings in the XK Apo Layout, Apo District of Abuja.
According to her, residents and property owners in the XK Apo Layout, Apo District took the matter to court, which gave judgment in their favour.
She said the judgment of the trial court was challenged at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which also delivered judgment in favour of the land owners.
“After two weeks of occupation of the property, we were driven out by the same police that helped us to enforce the judgment of the Court.
“We are calling on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is out to fight corruption to come to our aid by calling the police to order”, Mrs Sadoluwe said in tears.
Already, the group of land owners has filed a N50 million fundamental right enforcement suit against the Police boss over the alleged forceful, illegal seizure and occupation of their properties and lands by the Police.
The plaintiffs, Yusuf Goya and Aminu Isah, representing the group called “Incorporated Trustees of Apo XK Extension Residents Association”, made up of persons who were initially allocated over 200 plots of land in the XK Apo Layout, Apo District, Abuja had, in their suit filed on their behalf by their counsel, Valentine Offia want the court to order the Nigeria Police to vacate the premises of their properties.
A 13-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, averred that following the judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal delivered on 13th August 2014, the plaintiffs, in suit No. CA/A/462/2011 were adjudged to be owners of the property known as XK Layout, Apo District in Abuja.
In an affidavit of urgency deposed to by one, Florence Ebere Chukwudi, the court bailiffs and Policemen, on October 12, 2017 enforced the judgment of the Appeal Court by evicting the judgment debtors, ENL Consortium Limited, from the property which was the subject of the dispute and handed same to the plaintiffs, who were the applicants in the present rights enforcement suit before the Abuja High court.
According to the plaintiffs, “From October 12, 2017, the applicants and other owners of the properties occupied and resided in peace until the 28th of October, 2017 when the Police invaded the property, ejected the applicants and forcefully occupied it on behalf of ENL Consortium Ltd adjudged as defaulters by the Court of Appeal.
“That in addition to the forceful eviction, the Nigeria Police locked the gates that serve as the entry points to the land to prevent the applicants and other house owners from returning to their homes”, the affidavit stated and added that the action of the Police amounts to aiding the judgment debtors to contravene the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (MFCT), Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and ENL Consortium Limited had been joined as 2nd to 5th respondents in the suit.
In the application for joinde, argued by their counsel, B. J Akomolafe, the parties said they will be affected in one way or the other by the outcome of the suit.
Police Commissioner (Legal), David Igbodo, counsel to the IGP had, told the court that the police are in the property to prevent break down of law and order.
Further hearing in the matter had been adjourned till February 5, 2018.
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