Malam Muhammad Bello, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, on Tuesday told a High Court of the FCT that Zainab, the daughter of former President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, allegedly forged several documents to lay claim to ownership of a disputed plot of land in Abuja.
Mrs Zainab had filed a legal action at the court against the FCT Minister and three others over the disputed landed property.
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 defense to the suit over the ownership of plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, the Minister and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) who are 3rd and 4th defendants denied ever allocating any plot of land to the plaintiff.
The Minister averred that there was nothing to show that the former President’s daughter ever applied for land in the FCT or made any payment officially or otherwise to FCDA to entitle her to any land in Abuja.
In the defense statement dated September 21, 2021 and filed by their lawyer, Mr Yakubu Abubakar, the Minister and FCDA informed the court that Zainab claimed ownership of the plot of the Abuja land through a Power of Attorney which the donor, one Haliru Malami later disowned as purported seller.
The respondents 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.
Besides, they submitted 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.
They further argued that there was nothing in the records of their Department of Land Administration and the Abuja Geographic Information System, indicating that the plaintiff paid any money whether official or otherwise in respect of the land, adding that their review of events revealed that the registration of the purported Power of Attorney was irregular.
More so, the respondents stated 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.
Therefore, they are praying the court to dismiss the case with cost because she is not entitled to any claim in the originating summons.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge,
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi has granted permission to the plaintiff to amend her statement of claim and subsequently fixed December 15 and 16 for a definite hearing of the matter.