Court judgment threatens Festac Town Phase II re-development scheme



The housing agency stated that the judgment against a federal land duly acquired after payment of compensation and partially developed since 1977 as Festac Phase 1, is perverse and an abuse of court process.
A federal High Court, Lagos judgment delivered by Justice Okon Effreti Abang on February 29, 2016 in favour of Kuje-Amuwo community may threaten re-development of the FESTAC Town Phase II scheme.

The indigenes, relying on the judgment had embarked on harassment of allottees and demolition of the property of residents of FESTAC Phase II in a bid to enforce the judgment.

The Alamuwo of Kuje Amuwo, Oba Isaac Owolabi and three others had instituted a suit against the FHA claiming that about 4.017 hectares being a portion of land in the Phase II of Festival Town belongs to the Amuwo community was not properly acquired.

By the Federal Government Gazettes No 54 of November 6, 1975 and No 45 of September 9, 1976, the government acquired about 2,024.60 hectares of land along Badagry Expressway and lying between Amuwo Odofin Scheme, International Trade Fair Complex and the Military Cantonment and referred to as Festival Town in the Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The Lagos State government on May 11, 1988, granted an Indenture covering the Federal Government Acquisition to the Federal Housing Authority. The tenor of the grant is in perpetuity for as long as the Federal Government or the Federal Housing Authority requires the land.

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, decried the resort to self-help by the plaintiffs in the case even as the copies of the judgment were yet to be obtained.

Noting that only court bailiffs, sheriffs and the police were empowered to enforce court judgments under the Sheriff and Civil Processes Act, the FHA said the wanton destruction of property and the demolition of the ongoing FHA approved projects in FESTAC Phase II, including projects of the Federal Government concessionaire for the reclamation and sand filling of the area amounted to self help and a blatant breach of the law.

It appealed to the Kuje Amuwo community to give peace a chance by ensuring the sustenance of the rule of law in the process of ascertaining their rights on the disputed portion of land.

The FHA, which said it had proceeded to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the Federal High Court in the case, warned the Kuje Amuwo community to desist from further harassment and intimidation of law abiding citizens and the willful destruction of property.

FHA urged its land allottees in FESTAC Phase II, Festival Town, Lagos to maintain the peace and refrain from joining issues with the Kuje-Amuwo community, which recently secured a court judgment against the Authority over a disputed portion of the Area.

The authority also said it has invited the Law Enforcement Agencies to protect the lives and property of citizens in the FESTAC Phase II area.

“The judgment against a Federal land duly acquired after payment of compensation and partially developed since 1977 as Festac Phase 1, is perverse and an abuse of court process.”

FHA has therefore requested the relevant security agencies to preserve law and order in the area while the Federal Government in collaboration with the Concessionaire/Developer duly contracted by the Federal Housing Authority is taking steps to vacate the judgment.

“The general public is therefore advised not to have any dealing with the Kuje Amuwo family and its agents on the land.”
It would be recalled that the Federal authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the developers – New Festac Phase II Property Development Company Limited (NFPDC), and concessioned 1,126 hectares in 2013 for 30 years with three years moratorium.

Under the project, six prominent Nigerian-based estate surveying and valuation firms were appointed to handle the sales of Egolima District of Festac Phase II Imperial City measuring about 240 hectares of land comprising over 800 plots of land of various sizes and uses.

The consortium, mostly professional member firms of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV) consisting of M.I.Okoro & Asssociates, J.Ajayi Patunola & Company, Osas & Oseji, Herbert Onodingene & Partners, Godwin Iteghete and Company and Sola Badmus & Company.

The agents recently launched an off plan sales with an introductory price of N25 million per plot size of 850 square metres for the first 100 plots as an incentive to encourage buyers but price of sale value would move to between N35million to N40million immediately after the first 100 plots.

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