Housing rights in Abuja – Nigeria: Suit No. CV/437/08 Yagba Tsav & 6 others v Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Federal Capital Development Authority

Following the creation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the movement of the Federal Capital of Nigeria from Lagos to Abuja, the Federal Government has been developing the new capital according to a development blueprint called the Abuja Master Plan (AMP). As a result of this development, demolition of homes and forced evictions of inhabitants of Abuja have been carried out since 2003 by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), ostensibly to meet the requirements of the AMP.

The 7 Plaintiffs in this case are representing all the inhabitants of Tudun Wada village, one of the affected communities in Lugbe, Abuja. The suit is being brought against the Minister of the FCT and the FCDA to prevent them from forcefully evicting the Tudun Wada community from its present abode.

The Plaintiffs have been living in Tudun Wada Village, Lugbe Layout for over 20 years to the knowledge of the government. Through their own communal efforts they have provided schools, hospitals churches, mosques and markets and other socio-economic infrastructure. The government has stationed bulldozers and other equipment and police in riot gear in readiness to forcefully evict the whole community. The community has made several appeals to the government to follow the due process of law but these appeals been treated with contempt. Consequently the Plaintiffs have resorted to the Federal High Court to restrain the governement from forcefully evicting them from the village without recourse to due process of law.

The government continues to claim the Tudun Wada community are squatters with legal right to the land which is vested in the President of Nigeria. IHRDA is assisting the Plaintiffs in pursuing the suit.

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