By John Ikani
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria (FCT), Mohammed Bello, on Tuesday, told a High Court of the FCT that the daughter of former President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, Zainab, allegedly forged several documents to lay claim to ownership of a disputed plot of land in Abuja.
According to the Minister, there was nothing to show that the former President’s daughter ever applied for land in the FCT or made any payment to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to enable her own any land in Abuja.
Zainab had filed a legal action at the court against the FCT Minister and three others over the disputed land.
Specifically, Zainab, by the suit, is seeking the sum of N500 million as general damages against the FCT Minister and the other defendants, just as she sought for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants and their agents from laying claim to the property.
However, in a joint statement of defence to the suit over the ownership of Plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, the Minister and the FCDA who are 3rd and 4th defendants, denied ever allocating any plot of land to the plaintiff.
The defendants in their statement of defence dated September 21, 2021 and filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Yakubu Abubakar, informed the court that Zainab claimed ownership of the plot of the Abuja land through a Power of Attorney which the donor, Haliru Malami, later disowned as the purported seller.
Zainab, through her company, Marumza Estate Development Company Limited, had dragged Itban Global Resources Limited, Haliru Malami, FCT Minister and FCDA before a High Court of the FCT, laying claim to the ownership of Plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, having allegedly purchased the land from the FCDA through Itban Global Resources and Malami.
But the defendants averred that before filing the court case, Zainab had allegedly given conflicting accounts of how the land was purportedly acquired through a former minister of the FCT as well as acquisition by way of purchase from the 1st defendant.
They stated that the 1st defendant, who allegedly sold the land, issued a letter on March 4, 2021, denying ever selling the land and ever issuing Power of Attorney to the plaintiff.
The 3rd and 4th defendants further claimed that upon the discovery that the plaintiff was laying claim to the plot of land through irregular documents, they voided and set aside a Certificate of Occupancy purportedly obtained from FCDA.
They, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the case of the plaintiff with cost because she was not entitled to any claim in the originating summons.
During the hearing of the case on Tuesday, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi granted permission to the plaintiff to amend her statement of claim and subsequently fixed December 15 and 16 for definite hearing of the matter.
Justice Adeniyi had on July 11 declined a request by Zainab for an injunctive order against the minister of the FCT and three others over the disputed land.