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We got court order to demolish Enugu architect’s buildings, says agency

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The Enugu State Government, yesterday, defended the demolition of the Enugu residence of an architect, John Emejulu, insisting it was legally done.

Emejulu on Wednesday allegedly destroyed part of the newly built perimeter fence of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, while executing a judgment of an Enugu State High Court granting possession of a property near the airport undergoing rehabilitation.

The architect claimed that the perimeter fence was erected on part of the 400 plots of land he bought from Nike community in 2008.

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However, the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) on Friday demolished a twin duplex on Eziokwe Street, Community Estate, off Nike Lake Resort Road, Trans Ekulu, Enugu, belonging to Emejulu.

This came after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Thursday that the Federal Government would prosecute Emejulu for the perimeter fence destruction.

The Chairman of the ECTDA, Mr Umunnakwe Onoh, said Emejulu’s buildings were pulled down because they were blocking a waterway.The ECTDA’s action attracted criticism, with some critics saying the demolition of Emejulu’s structures was done by the state government to revenge for the destruction of the airport’s perimeter fence.

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But Onoh said the state government’s action was not a revenge against the architect. He said: “He destroyed Federal Government’s property which he has to sort out with them, but this is a state function, exercising control of unapproved structures. He was given a 21-day notice and he was properly served.

“The property stood on a waterway and it had to go. There is another building close to that one, on the same street, which has already been marked for demolition and the tenants have already moved out because the property already has severe cracks from the foundation and we are going to pull it down very soon.”

The agency chief said they secured a court order before destroying Emejulu’s buildings. Onoh said: “We had prayed the court to authorise the demolition of the respondent’s (Emejulu) illegal structure located at No 23/24 Eziokwe Street, Community Estate, Enugu with code no. 003005835 and this was granted by the court.”The court order obtained by The Guardian was given by Justice P.C. Amalu.

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In this article:
Hadi SirikaJohn Emejulu
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