By Mary Amodu
The minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Mohammed Musa has refuted claims by the management of DAAR Communications, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) that the government demolished part of its buildings in Abuja in order to inflict pain on the owners of the property.
Reacting to the development at a press briefing in Abuja, the Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, on behalf of the minister accused CEO of the company, Chief Raymond Dokpesi of blocking other Nigerians around him to have access to their property.
Shuaibu also explained that the company failed to honour the agreement between it and the government in order to resolve long-term ‘land dispute’, which he alluded to violations of some laid laws.
“It is important to let the public know that this removal was not intended to inflict any pain on the owners of the property but rather to enable other citizens have access to their legitimate properties.
“It is also a culmination of series of meetings between the Management of DAAR Communications owners of AIT and the Federal Capital Territory administration to end many years of misunderstanding,” he said.
AMMC boss further stressed that government resorted to demolition of a security post and part of the fence camping the company which is located in the heart of Asokoro Area, Federal Capital Territory, after it exhausted every means to resolve the disagreement amicably.
He recalled that the Management of DAAR Communications led by Dokpesi paid a courtesy visit to the FCT Minister in November where discussions about the issue held.
He explained, “After very fruitful deliberations on the areas of contention, each side expressed satisfaction over the new reconciliatory approach and the sincerity in reaching a logical and peaceful conclusion.
“Thereafter, both parties agreed to visit the site for an on-the-spot investigation of the area where surveyors from both parties were able to identify the problematic areas on a satellite image map, leading to a common agreement on the necessity to remove the portions of the fence that has encroached into adjoining plots of land belonging to other Nigerians.
“Indeed, at that meeting, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, expressed confidence in the ability of the current FCT Administration to end the matter satisfactorily and pledged to abide by its outcome.
“Unfortunately, while everybody is happy and pleased that the issues have been resolved and in line with the commitment of both porties, DAAR Communications has been evasive in doing its part by voluntorily removing the illegal fence and other structures causing obstruction to their neighbours.
“The FCT Administration was therefore left with no other option than to do the needful by removing the illegal structures. With this removal, other allottees are now free to access their plots of land.”