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Alleged illegality: Enugu Agency demolishes structures at popular restaurant

The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, has demolished some structures at Breathe Restaurant & Lounge located at Independence Avenue at Independence Layout, Enugu, citing alleged lack of title documents, fraudulent submission of Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O), construction of more buildings than were approved, change of purpose of building permit without approval, among others.

The agency said it acted following the revocation of the withdrawal of building plan/permit in line with the powers conferred on it by the law, and based on item 11 of the affidavit sworn by the developer, Ndubuisi Madueke, in support of his application for building permit.

In the said item 11, the developer had sworn: “If at any point it is found that any information stated in my drawing is false, or that I deviate from the contents of the building drawing submitted to the Authority containing my intended development plan, that this owner/builder permit is deemed invalid and automatically stand revoked.”

Recall that ECTDA had about a week ago raised the alarm over what it described as proliferation of fake title documents, forged building approvals, manipulation of permits, and illegal structures in parts of the Enugu metropolis saying it had revoked several of the permits/approvals for such approvals structures, as they posed a danger to human and environmental safety.

In a 16th February 2024 letter addressed to the proprietor of the restaurant with reference number ENS/ECTDA/ADM/376/VOL.1/27, entitled “Withdrawal of Approved Building Plan/Permit” supported by Building Permit number ECTDA/EPC/1380 approving the construction of one unit of one storey building for restaurant and one room self-contain bungalow for security house only as well as a C-of-O for Plot 31 Ekulu River Layout, GRA, Enugu, the Executive Chairman of ECTDA wrote: “ I hereby write to refer to the above subject matter for strict compliance of the Enugu Municipal Master Plan, and inform you that your approval for building construction issued by the Agency with plan No. ECTDA/EPC/1380 DATED 2ND may 2023, has been withdrawn for the following reasons:

“Non payment of necessary fees to the Government for Building Plan Approval/Permit.

“Fraudulent submission of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of a property at Ekulu River Layout in GRA to obtain approval/permit for building of a property at Independence Layout.

“Construction of five (5) building structures as against two (2) structures in the building plan.

“Change of purpose clause without approval.

“Failure to abide/comply with all application laws requirements, ordinances, building codes and zoning regulations, as contained in the Owner/Builder Permit Affidavit form signed and sworn in a competent court of law by your very own self (see item 7 of the copy attached).

“Failure to notify the Agency of any additions, deletions, or changes to any information that you provided on the affidavit disclosure (see item 10)”.

The ECTDA Chairman also cited item 11 of the sworn affidavit when the developer declared he would automatically that his Owner/Builder Plan Permit is “deemed invalid and automatically stand revoked” should he be found to have given false information or deviated from the building plans submitted in pursuit of the application.

DAILY POST reports that the ECTDA, however, did not demolish the two permitted buildings (a one storey building and a security house) in order to allow the developer to regularise the structures with proper application with the correct plot and zone.

It could be re-called that the owners of the investment had at a press conference last week stated that they had the requisite approvals for the facility.

They also alleged that the Chairman of the ECTDA, Mr Uche Anya was after them owing to personal reasons and not in government interest.

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