Accusing fingers of the public may be pointing at the wrong direction on who to blame over the demolition of Prince Joseph Kpokpogri’s Abuja mansion, as fresh details have emerged before The Union Nigeria.
A reliable source in government circles in Abuja, disclosed that a governor of one of the oil rich states in South-South, Nigeria, is behind the unfortunate incidence which took place on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
According to the source, Kpokpogri’s travails allegedly began after a former Governor of Delta State, visited and held meetings with him in the 700 million naira mansion at Guzape Hills, Abuja.
It was alleged that the meeting did not go down well with the governor who immediately kicked off scheming to leave Kpokpogri devastated since he no longer perceived him as loyal.
The governor through a kinsman who works at the FCDA allegedly designed an afterthought map with a road running through the land in question.
The source alleged that the FCDA staffs were hosted in a meeting at the State’s government house annex in Abuja where money exchanged hands after which the demolition took place.
The Union Nigeria reached out to Prince Kpokpogri but couldn’t get reaction on the matter which he said was already before a competent court of law.
Protests Rocked Demolition
It would be recalled that the Justice League Chamber of Nigeria, had protested in Abuja over the demolition of the house.
The PUNCH reported that the same group had threatened mass action if the Federal Capital Territory Development Administration did not compensate Kpokpogri for demolishing his house.
Kpokpogri had alleged that his building at Guzape worth over N700m was unlawfully demolished by the FCDA without notice.
In a petition signed by the Abuja chairman of the group, Jude Vodah, titled ‘Demand for Immediate Compensation of Prince Joseph Kpokpogri over Illegal Demolition of his N700 Million House at Guzape Hills, Abuja, by FCDA Officials on Saturday, May 14, 2022’, addressed to the Director of the FCTA, the grouped said it was shocked by the demolition of Egbri’s house, and subsequently called for compensation.
The petition partly read, “We gathered that the attacks on the right to own property by Prince Kpokpogri guaranteed under Section 43 of the 1999 Constitution started in February 2022 and continued till May 2022 when the worst was done. There are records that the demolition has left scores of persons injured, and hospitalised while rendering Prince Kpokpogri homeless.
“It is obvious that the attacks and demolition succeeded with the tacit approval of the Minister of the FCT in the person of Honourable Musa Bello. Little wonder, the men who came to demolish the building said they are acting on “order from above”. The petition read.
FCDA Denied Oppression Allegations
Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) disowned Prince Joseph Kpokpogri after the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) demolished his multi-million naira mansion in Abuja.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report claimed that officials of FHA, alongside its Managing Director, Gbenga Ashafa, visited the site of the doomed building three days before the demolition, in the company of some top management team of FCTA.
The officials claimed that the plot of land originally belonged to FHA, but a proper building plan was not approved before the mansion was erected.
According to FHA, notices to stop work were served at different stages and times of the work, but Kpokpogri refused to comply.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Malam Shehu Hadi, who was also in the team that visited the site, said the road alignment had been done long ago and FHA was duly notified.
Also speaking on the development, the Director, FCTA Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, said the mansion, was unapproved, and couldn’t be allowed to override public interest.
He said the building was an obstruction to a major road network, connecting the popular Apo Bridge to many parts of the city.
He explained that the land has been duly allocated to carry out its Mass Housing Programmes.