The Federal Housing Authority, FHA, has disowned Joseph Kpokpogiri, after the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, demolished his multi- million Naira mansion in Abuja on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that officials of FHA, alongside its Managing Director, Gbenga Ashafa, visited the site of the doomed building three days ago, in company of some top Management team of FCTA.
The officials claimed that the plot of land originally belonged to FHA, but proper building plan was not approved before the mansion was erected.
According to FHA, notices to stop work were served at different stages and time of the work, but Mr Kpokpogiri refused to comply.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Shehu Hadi, who was also in the team that visited the site, said the road alignment had been done long ago and FHA was duly notified.
Mr Hadi noted that the alignment, which the demolished building obstructed, was designed to serve as an important bye-pass to Abuja-Keffi axis.
He added that any plan to realign the road because of the building would be difficult and not fair judgment to those that it would affect, considering that the demolished building was not in existence earlier when the plan started.
On his part, the Director, FCTA Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, said the mansion, located in the highbrow District of Guzape, Abuja, was unapproved, and couldn’t be allowed to override public interest.
Mr Galadima noted that the mansion, sitting on a rock in the fast developing district, was an obstruction to a major road network, connecting the popular Apo Bridge to many parts of the city.
According to him, FHA has been duly allocated the area in the district, to carry out its Mass Housing Programmes.
He, however, said that when the road network of the district was officially realigned, FHA was promptly notified that some plots of lands within its area had been affected.
Mr Galadima added that FHA was ordered not to allow any further development on the affected plots, as replacement plots would be given to them.
He also denied lack of inter-agency collaboration between FCTA and FHA, stating that all necessary communications were properly documented.
“There is adequate inter-agency cooperation, the FHA approached the FCTA for allocation, and they were given approval and were asked to make sure that whatever they did, aligned with the approval.
“The plot in question was part of what was in the allocation, but because of the importance of the road, we wrote to FHA, notifying it that a number of plots had affected the realignment of the road, and that we are going to give it replacement plots.
“We told them that no development should be allowed on the plots, and this was around 2019; we came for site visit and have given them notice.
“We even marked the building for demolition, but the owner cleaned it off,” Mr Galadima said.
Mr Kpokpogiri has, however, claimed that the decision to pull down his mansion worth over N700 million, was an act of oppression.
Mr Kpokpogiri alleged that his house was demolished because he refused to sell it to some ”powerful” individuals who had begged him to sell the property to them.
He assured that he would fight fervently to get justice.