Seven Persons Arrested Over Land Racketeering in Abuja

By: Wisdom Acka

Seven suspected Land racketeers and illegal developers have been arrested in the highbrow area of Guzape II District in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

The suspects, apprehended from two sites, were taken to Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Mobile Court in Area 3, Garki District, Abuja for prosecution over land degradation.

The raid was led by officials of the FCT Departments of Development Control, Urban and Regional Planning, Land Adminstration, and Abuja Geographical Information Systems (AGIS), as well as security personnel, who provided security cover for the sting operation.

Speaking on the development, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmed, decried the increasing rate of land racketeering in Abuja; adding that the authorities acted due to complaints from some contractors handling ongoing infrastructural works in the area.

The Executive Secretary, who was represented by the Authority’s Director of Surveying and Mapping, Bashir Mahmood, stated that the affected sites were within Guzape II layout, which has been duly allocated by the FCT Minister.

Similarly, Director, Development Control Department, Mukhtar Galadima, reiterated that developing without approval was deemed illegal, according to the FCT Act of 1976 and Nigeria Urban and Regional Planning Law.

Galadima revealed that the suspects were caught in possession of a layout purported to be from AMAC, showing Kpegyi, which is located along Karshi-Jikwoyi road, “and they are using it to develop in Guzape II”.

His words: “We are prosecuting them before the AEPB Mobile Court for offences bordering on land and environmental degradation for claiming and developing what is not theirs”.

Also speaking during the operation, the Director, FCT Department of Land Administration, Adamu Hussaini, called on the public to ensure that due diligence is carried out before any transactions, to avoid falling prey to people advertising land on social media.