The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has pulled down a N700 million mansion belonging to Prince Joseph Kpokpogiri, the estranged partner of Nollywood star, Tonto Dikeh in the upscale Guzape District, Abuja.
Kpokpogiri, however, decried the action by the FCTA, describing it as an act of oppression due to his refusal to sell the building to some powerful persons who had sought to buy it.
FCTA’s Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima said the mansion was an unapproved structure, and could not be allowed to override public interest.
The sprawling structure, which straddled on top of a rock, was bulldozed after FCTA officials said that it had no approved building plan before it was built on a plot of land belonging to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) for the purpose of its mass housing programme.
After the demolition exercise yesterday, Galadima said that the edifice built in the fast developing district, apparently obstructed a major road network, connecting the popular Apo Bridge to many parts of the city.
He also denied lack of inter-agency collaboration between FCTA and FHA, stating that all necessary communications were properly documented.
“There was adequate inter-agency co-operation. The Federal Housing Authority approached the Federal Capital Territory Administration for allocation and they were given global approval and were asked to make sure that whatever they do aligns 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 its plots have been affected by the realignment of the road, and that we were going to give them 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”, Galadima said.
FHA officials, led by its Managing Director, Senator Gbenga Ashafa explained that they served several notices to the developer to stop work at different stages, but were ignored by Kpokpogiri.
Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority , (FCDA) Shehu Hadi who was also in the team that visited the site for the exercise, said the road alignment which the demolished building obstructed, was designed to serve as an important bypass to Abuja-Keffi axis.
After the demolition exercise, however, Kpokpogiri decried the action by the FCTA as an act of oppression.
He alleged that his house was demolished because he refused to sell it to some “powerful ” but unnamed individuals who had begged him to sell the property to them.
He vowed that he would fight till the end to get justice for the demolished building.