The Federal Housing Authority has urged its land allottees in FESTAC Phase II, Festival Town, Lagos to maintain the peace and refrain from joining issues with the Kuje-Amuwo community which recently secured a court judgment against the Authority over a disputed portion of the Area.

The indigenes, relying on a Federal High Court, Lagos judgment had embarked on harassment of allottees and demolition of the property of residents of FESTAC Phase II in a bid to enforce the judgment delivered by Justice Okon Effreti Abang on February 29, 2016.

The FHA, in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, decried the resort to self-help by the plaintiffs in the case even as the copies of the judgment were yet to be obtained.

Noting that only court bailiffs, sheriffs and the police were empowered to enforce court judgments under the Sheriff and Civil Processes Act, the FHA said the wanton destruction of property and the demolition of the ongoing FHA approved projects in FESTAC Phase II, including projects of the Federal Government concessionaire for the reclamation and sand filling of the area amounted to self help and a blatant breach of the law.

It appealed to the Kuje Amuwo community to give peace a chance by ensuring the sustenance of the rule of law in the process of ascertaining their rights on the disputed portion of land.

The FHA, which said it had proceeded to the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the Federal High Court in the case, warned the Kuje Amuwo community to desist from further harassment and intimidation of law abiding citizens and the willful destruction of property.

The Authority also said it has invited the Law Enforcement Agencies to protect the lives and property of citizens in the FESTAC Phase II area.

The Alamuwo of Kuje Amuwo, Oba Isaac Owolabi and three others had instituted a suit against the FHA claiming that about 4.017 hectares being a portion of land in the Phase II of Festival Town belong to the Amuwo community and was not properly acquired.

 By the Federal Government Gazettes No 54 of November 6, 1975 and No 45 of September 9, 1976, the government acquired about 2,024.60 hectares of land along Badagry Expressway and lying between Amuwo Odofin Scheme, International Trade Fair Complex and the Military Cantonment and referred to as Festival Town in the Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The Lagos State government on May 11, 1988, granted an Indenture covering the Federal Government Acquisition to the Federal Housing Authority. The tenor of the grant is in perpetuity for as long as the Federal Government or the Federal Housing Authority requires the land.

The judgment against a Federal land duly acquired after payment of compensation and partially developed since 1977 as Festac Phase 1, is perverse and an abuse of court process.

FHA has therefore requested the relevant security agencies to preserve law and order in the area while the Federal Government in collaboration with the Concessionaire/Developer duly contracted by the Federal Housing Authority is taking steps to vacate the judgment.  

The general public is therefore advised not to have any dealing with the Kuje Amuwo family and its agents on the land.