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Praco MD: Lebanese money launderers used FCDA to demolish our estate



FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, ordered demolition of multi-billion Naira Praco Estate in Abuja despite court order

The Managing Director and Project Manager of Praco International Ltd., Dr. Chukwudubem Ezekwelu Esq., has revealed that the demolition of their estate under development was actually masterminded by some dubious Lebanese businessmen in Nigeria suspected for money laundering.

Dr. Ezekwelu made the revelation during a press conference today, March 28, 2024, at the Company HQ in Abuja.

He was referring to the incident that occurred on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, involving officials of Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The said officials had defied a substantive court order and demolished a housing estate undergoing development.

What did Praco MD say?

While addressing journalists, Ezekwelu regretted the ‘willful damage and demolition of… Praco Housing Estate by men of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA)’.

He stated that Praco has all necessary required authentic and lawful title and approvals to develop the property.

He expressed worry and deep concern about “the ugly incident” despite concerted efforts to prevent ‘the unwarranted demolition of the property’.

According to him, FCDA officials defied a substantive court order to demolish an estate undergoing development.

The property, owned by Praco Ltd., is situated at Plot 581, No E27, Cadastral Zone, Kugbo with registration number FCDA/DC/BP/ASD/29163.

Praco International Managing Director and Project Manager, Chukwudubem Ezekwelu Esq.

Praco International Managing Director and Project Manager, Chukwudubem Ezekwelu Esq.

How did it all start?

Ezekwelu recalled: “As early as 7.45am, the officials of FCT, alongside a retinue of security personnel drawn from the military, police and the National Security and DSS, NCS, Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), stormed the site with no less many heavy equipment like, excavators, bulldozers, etc.

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“Efforts by the developers to stop the demolition citing a substantive order of an FCT High Court 44, Wuse Zone 2, presided over by Hon. Justice Eleojo Enenche, dated March 22, 2024, in Suit No FCT/HC/CV/1739/24 on Motion No M/5827/2024, were rebuffed and ignored.

“The court had granted us a restraining order following an ex parte motion in the suit filed by Engr. Success Obioma, Praco International Ltd, Psalm 127 Limited and Peace Be Still Ltd. against the FCT Minister, FCDA, Deed Registrar FCDA, Director of Urban/Regional Planning, Chairman AMMAC, the Director of Land Administration and six others.

“The plaintiffs had, through an affidavit deposed to by Simon Nnaemeka Nwani, prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the “Defendants/Respondents by themselves or their servants, agents, privies, proxies or whosoever acting on their express or presume authority from further demolishing or destroying Claimants’ developments, which include, but not limited to infrastructure and house…

“Developments were put on the land by the Claimants after securing Defendants’ approval upon payments of necessary fees pending determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction.”

What did the court rule?

Ezekwelu noted that the application was made by J. M. Matthew, counsel for the applicants, on behalf of Praco.

During the hearing, he stressed, Justice Enenche upheld the application and made an order of interim injunction.

The order restrained FCDA or anyone acting on its behalf from demolishing or destroying Praco’s developments.

Enenche also restrained them from invalidating, withdrawing or revoking Praco’s title to any of the properties.

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The injunction will subsist pending the determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction.

The court adjourned hearing on the Motion to April 9, indicating that the order subsists for initial period of 7 days.

According to Ezekwelu, FCDA security personnel prevented journalists from video recording or photographing of the demolition of Praco Housing Estate, which lasted for more than two hours.

He regretted that FCDA, which is a creation of the law, can trample on the order of court of competent jurisdiction.

What is FCDA’s interest?

Praco MD, during live interview, disclosed that some dubious Lebanese businessmen masterminded the demolition.

He noted that the suspected Lebanese money launderers used FCT Ministry to demolish the project.

Ezekwelu added: “A highly placed official in FCDA, who has interest in Sunrise Estate, was behind the serial attempts to cause a breach of the law.”

He also alleged that the Lebanese owners are selling Sunrise properties in foreign currencies, up to $750 million.

This, he said, is in itself an evidence of laundering Nigeria’s foreign currency reserves abroad.

When journalists at the demolition site, after hearing from Praco management, approached FDCA officials for their comments on the matter, they refused to talk to press, but rather, used police and Army officers to chase them away.

Watch video clip of the press conference, wherein Praco MD, Chukwudubem Ezekwelu, accused ‘Lebanese money launderers’ of using Wike to demolish their ongoing estate project, below:

Matters arising

Diaspora Digital Media (DDM), it could be recalled, had on March 27, 2024, reported that the Nigerian Government, under the office of the FCT Ministry, ordered the demolition of multi-billion Naira Praco Estate located in Abuja.

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