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Court restrains FCTA from encroaching into site of Abuja centenary city

Court restrains FCTA from encroaching into site of Abuja centenary city
November 29
00:04 2022

The Abuja federal high court has restrained the federal capital territory administration (FCTA) from encroaching into the area covering the Abuja centenary city project.

The temporary order was given in a suit marked FCT/ABJ/CS/2130/2022 and filed by Centenary Economic City Free Zone and Centenary City Free Zone Company.

The city, whose foundation stone was laid by former President Goodluck Jonathan in June 2014, is described as a private sector-led project to build a smart city similar to Dubai, Monaco, and Singapore.

However, not much progress has been recorded on the project that is located around the Kuje area council in the FCT.

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There have been issues delaying work on the site over allegations on non-payment of compensation to previous owners of properties in the area, as well as concerns raised over whether the site of the project falls under the restricted zone of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).

NEPZA and the FCTA have also previously spoken on plans by the government on the project, while, in 2016, an investigative report by a house of representatives committee on FCT into alleged irregularities on the project had, among other recommendations, said the approval of the project to the Centenary City Plc was “shrouded in secrecy”.

However, the Abuja centenary city project is currently under the supervision of the Centenary City FZE.

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The suit by the Centenary Economic City Free Zone and Centenary City Free Zone Company has the president; attorney-general of the federation (AGF); NEPZA; minister of industry, trade and investment; minister of the federal capital territory (FCT); federal capital territory administration (FCTA); and Arab Contractors (OAO) Nigeria Limited as defendants.

Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, in a ruling dated November 22 and seen by TheCable, ordered the defendants from taking any action until the determination of the suit.

“[They are restrained] from committing further acts of encroachment, incursion and continuing to deface and destroy the master plan of Centenary Economic City Free Zone in any form whatsoever, in respect of the parcel of land, measuring approximately 1,262.27 hectares, situate, lying and being in Plot 1271, Wawa District, Cadastral Zone E24, designated as Centenary Economic City Free Zone, by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 1st September 2014, pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice,” the judge said.

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