The Federal Capital Territory Administration has demolished the Divine Words of Jesus Christ Church, including a school and orphanage in Kubwa, a satellite town in Abuja, despite a pending suit before a Federal Capital Territory High Court.
The demolition of the orphanage by the Department of Development Control officials has, however, rendered 150 orphans homeless.
Five buildings comprising a church, orphanage, school and staff quarters were pulled down by the FCT officials on Tuesday.
Our correspondent gathered that the land on which the buildings were constructed had been a subject of litigation between the orphanage proprietress who is also the General Overseer of the Words of Jesus Christ Church, Bishop Victoria Ezemoka and her brother-in-law, Goddiful Ezegwo.
Ezemoka, a widow, noted on Wednesday that the case over the ownership of the land was yet to be determined by the court, adding that the case was instituted in 2013.
The proprietress and her workers looked shocked when our correspondent visited the scene.
She said, “When I met the Development Control department over the issue, they simply asked me to reconcile with my brother-in-law, but Ezegwo gave me three conditions which I couldn’t meet.”
Following the demolition of the orphanage, Ezegwo said she had relocated the children to her two-bedroom apartment, adding that she was making moves to rent a bigger place for them.
The lawyer to Ezegwo, Titus Agundu, flayed the demolition of the buildings which he described as illegal, stressing that he would seek damages against the FCTA over the incident.
“I was in court when I received a call that the buildings were being demolished. This case is still before the court and had not been determined. We will take action against the FCDA and seek damages for the demolition of the five buildings; This is illegal and unacceptable,” he stated.
The lawyer to the FCT Administration, Murtala Dahiru, expressed surprise over the demolition, noting that there was no court order to that effect.
“I’m surprised to hear about the demolition, I am not aware of it because the case is still in court and had not been decided,’ he said.
When contacted, the Director, Development Control dept., Muktar Galadima, said he had documents to justify the demolition.