The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has taken legal action against the defaulting titleholders, who have not yet paid their land rent debt in Abuja.
Already, the government has taken legal action against some of the landowners for their non-payment of prescribed landloaders.
The government is asking for an order to compel the debtors to erase their debts or confiscate the property concerned, because they are recalcitrant to pay the debt, despite several appeals.
The Nigerian Tribune reported last month how the FCTA announced it was ready to prosecute around 413 defaulting landlords by the end of August, being the first set, for failing to pay land rents in the region of $29 billion. of naira.
The government has insisted that since all pleas have failed, it has no choice but to take legal action against the first group of defaulting owners.
It should be recalled that the Permanent Secretary of the FCT, Mr. Adesola Olusade, recently inaugurated a Debt Recovery Committee with a mandate to collect outstanding debts owed to the administration of the FCT with particular interest in land rents and other miscellaneous costs in land administration and other Land-related departments.
The Coordinating Committee on the Recovery of Unpaid Land Rents and Other Related Charges in the FCT is headed by the General Counsel/Legal Secretary of the FCT, Mohammed Babangida Umar. The committee earlier announced the engagement of five law firms, owned by Senior Solicitors of Nigeria (SAN), engaged to prepare legal documents to initiate legal action against the defaulting incumbents.
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In a statement issued to reporters in Abuja over the weekend by the Director of Information and Communications, FCT / Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee, Muhammad Hazat Sule revealed this development. .
The statement reads: “As a result, the legal fireworks have commenced and may result in the forfeiture of the affected assets to the government in accordance with applicable laws.
“It is disheartening that some of the debtors have not paid their unpaid ground rents, despite several appeals and warnings, thus undermining the government’s efforts to provide essential services to residents.
“The Committee wishes to inform the public that there will be no sacred cows as the law will surely take its course as the only language it will understand is for debtors to erase their unpaid debt.
“All debtors are urged to settle their outstanding debts or face the wrath of the law.”
The administration of the FCT has assured that it will not back down in pursuing the legal option, as it needs funds to ensure the development of infrastructure.