REVEALED: Real Reason Govt Demolished Architect Emejulu’s Building in Enugu
More details have emerged on why the Enugu state government demolished a residential building belonging to an architect John Jerry Emejulu, who, on Wednesday, demolished part of the Enugu Airport fence.
The house, located at Eziokwe street in the Community Estate area of Trans-Ekulu, in Enugu East, was, on Friday, pulled down by officials of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA).
Although some reports had claimed that the act was a reprisal following the falling of the Airport fence by Emejulu, findings have however shown that the government’s action is unconnected with the Enugu Airport.
Investigation by Naijatell over the weekend revealed that the house was standing on a water channel and needed to give way. Chairman of the ECTDA, Dr. Joseph Onoh also collaborated the findings.
It was also gathered that Emejulu had been served with notice of demolition before the government’s act, informing him that his property was standing on the waterline.
It was further gathered that not only Emejulu’s property was pulled down by the ECTDA. The agency had equally pulled down shanties that sprang up around the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Other residents whose properties were affected, confirmed to Naijatell on Saturday that they had earlier received a pre-demolition notice from the Ministry of Works and Housing.
On the demolished architect’s building, Naijatell further gathered that the demolition was carried out in compliance with a valid court order after it was duly served on the occupant of the house, Emejulu.
In the order obtained by Naijatell, the ECTDA prayed for an order authorizing it “to demolish the respondent’s(Emejulu) illegal structure located at No. 23/24 Eziokwe Street, community Estate, Enugu with code No. 003005835.”
The agency also prayed the court for an order restraining the respondent from carrying out any such development at that location.
The Court granted the application by Motion Ex-Parte stating that “the Applicant is authorized/ directed to remove the respondent’s illegal structure located at No. 23/24 Eziokwe Street, community Estate, Enugu with code No. 003005835.”
Meanwhile, the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) has insisted that its actions were lawful and not in reprisal to architect Emejulu’s destruction of the Enugu airport perimeter fence.
Chairman of ECTDA, Dr. Josef Onoh, while reacting to the allegation that the state government exercised revenge on Emejulu for demolishing about two kilometers of perimeter fence at the Enugu Airport, said it was not true.
Onoh said: “It was not a revenge. He destroyed a federal government property which he has to sort out with the federal government, but this is a state function, exercising control of unapproved structures. He was duly given 21 days notice and he was properly served.
“The property stood on a water way and it had to go. There is another building close to that one, on the same street, which has already been marked for demolition, tenants in that one have already moved out because the property already has severe cracks from the foundation and we are going to pull it down very soon.
“If you are observant, you would have noted that the ECTDA has been carrying out control measures in Enugu Capital city and Emejulu’s property cannot be an exception, despite whatever axe he has to grind with the federal government.”
Following the destruction of the Airport fence, the Federal Government has vowed to deal with architect Emejulu “decisively for wilfully destroying a national security asset belonging to over 200 million Nigerians.”
In a related development, owners of property adjacent to the Enugu Airport that were demolished recently by architect Emejulu have cried out to the federal government to come to their rescue.
The landlords who made the call while narrating their ugly experience on Saturday, said Emejulu led armed thugs to destroy their property after demanding 15 million naira each from them.
Speaking on behalf of the landlords in the neighborhood, Mr. Basil Madueke, whose duplex was destroyed, said it was the third time the perpetrator came with armed thugs to demolish their property.
Madueke who led newsmen round the affected structures, stressed that Emejulu’s level of intimidation and brutality were unbearable.
He alleged that Emejulu has been terrorizing the neighborhood claiming to be the rightful owner of the entire area including the Enugu Airport land, which was also affected by his destruction exercise.
Madueke explained that he, just like most other landlords, rightfully acquired their lands from Best Shelter Limited and have the necessary documents backing them up.
Also narrating his experience, a tenant of one the affected buildings, Mr. Kingsley Obiora, said that they woke up in the morning on that fateful day and were shocked to see touts pulling down the fence of their compound.
Obiora, who expressed sadness at the incident, added that the armed thugs came into their apartments, destroyed other parts of the building and carted away their personal belongings.
Another landlord, Mr. Joshua Akachukwu Otu, gave similar narrative, describing the incident as embarrassing as he acquired his property legally.