The Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, has advised the Federal Capital Territory ministry to ‘put on hold’ the planned demolition of Mpape, a populous suburb of Abuja.
The advice was contained in a letter, to the FCT Minister dated August 16, 2012, made available to PREMIUM TIMES.
The Attorney General advised the FCT minister to suspend the planned demolition pending the determination of a suit before an FCT High Court contesting the exercise.
“All proposed actions be stayed in respect of the subject matter pending the determination of the substantive suit and any appeal arising therefrom,” Abdulahi Yola, Solicitor of the Federation and permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry said in the letter.
Mr Yola said the justice minister asked for a halt in the demolition “in consonant with this administration’s avowed commitment to the enthronement of rule of law.”
Mr. Adoke’s advice follows a petition written to the AGF’s office by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana.
The Attorney General’s letter was in a swift reaction to a petition to his office, earlier that day, by Mr Falana.
Mr. Falana petitioned the Attorney General after the FCT minister defied an earlier court order which called for a stay of the planned demolition pending the determination of the suit filled in the court by residents of the area.
According Ogala Samuel, a lawyer with Falana Chambers, the FCT administration moved in to Mpape with bulldozers and had began demolition some houses on Thursday.
The ruling by Justice Idris Kutigi asked for a return to status quo after the judge ordered a speedy hearing for the suit.
Residents of the area told PREMIUM TIMES the bulldozers were moved out of the area, Thursday afternoon, after the Attorney General’s letter was published.
Mpape, a suburb in Abuja is located on a high ground behind the elite Maitaima district. It is a quarry zone, with lots of construction companies mining quarry in the area. The suburb, a slum, houses about half a million residents, mainly quarry workers and lower and middle class workers in the city.
Download original copy of the letter here.