The Federal Housing Authority and the Federal Capital Development Authority FCDA have advanced reasons for the latter’s demolition of a mansion belonging to Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh’s ex lover, Joseph Egbri aka Kpokpogri. The house worth N700 million within the highbrow Guzape area of Abuja was demolished on Saturday.
Officials of the FHA led by its Managing Director, Gbenga Ashafa who had visited the site of the building three days ago, in the company of some top Management team of FCDA admitted that the plot of land originally belonged to FHA, but denied that proper building plan was approved before the mansion was erected.
FHA affirmed that notices to stop work were served at different stages and times of the work, but Kpokpogiri refused to comply, Vanguard is reporting.
Kpokpogri had debunked FHA’s reason for pulling down his house insisting that has his building approval and all other documents which he paid four million naira documentation fee for.
Kpokpogri noted that the FCDA monitored the house construction from the foundation to the finishing level.
He alleged that the government has decided to bring down his home because he was from the Niger Delta and has refused to sell the house to some powerful people.
The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, Engr. Shehu Hadi noted that the road alignment which the demolished building obstructed was designed to serve as an important bypass to the Abuja-Keffi axis.
He added that any plan to realign the road because of the building would be difficult and not a fair judgment to those that it would affect, considering that the demolished building was not in existence earlier when the plan started.
Also speaking, the Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima said the mansion, located in the highbrow District of Guzape, Abuja, was unapproved, and could not be allowed to over ride public interest.
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 was duly allocated the Area in the district to carry out its Mass Housing programme.
He however clarified 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.
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 FCT Administration and FHA, stating that all necessary communications were properly documented.
“There is adequate inter-agency Corporation, the Federal Housing Authority FHA approached the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA 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 their plots had 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 had given them noticed. We even marked the building for demolition, but the owner cleaned it off,” Galadima said.