The government recently reduced Caramelo Lounge, located at Plot 630 T.O.S Benson Crescent Utako in Abuja, to rubble. This occurred on Monday morning after the FCT authorities issued a 48-hour final demolition notice. The incident comes barely three weeks after FCTA officials raided Carmelo and Ibiza club, arresting 32 alleged strippers.
Prior to the demolition, they revoked the certificate of occupancy issued on the plot. The Department of Lands Administration of the FCTA revoked the certificate. The Department of Development Control (DDC), an agency under FCTA, carried out the demolition.
One major reason for the action taken was that the Carmelo s***p club was contravening the Land Use Act of the capital city.
The Managing Director of the club, Max Eze, agreed that the authority served them quit notice on Friday, 10th May 2019, at 7 pm. However, he lamented that they demolished the building barely 48 hours after the notice.
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According to Eze:
“They came here Friday night at about 7 pm and marked this place for demolition, and today is Monday. By 6.45 am, they came and pulled down this structure. There was no prior notice before now.”
He also expressed outrage at the way the DDC demolished the building. They were unable to take anything from the building.
The MD refused to comment further as he moved helplessly around the wreckage.
Lawan Bolorunduro, an accountant with the outfit, admitted that the land where they constructed the s***p club was originally meant for a hospital.
“Though we contravened the land use act, this land was originally planned to be used for clinic but we are using it for a lounge. We have been paying contravention fee to Abuja Municipal Management Council, while we were still thinking of how to negotiate with them on what next to do.”
Also, he stated,
“We received the notice of demolition telling us that the place is marked for demolition in the next 48 hours and, early this morning, they moved in.”
Speaking about the raid of Caramelo Lounge barely three weeks prior to the demolition, Bolorunduro explained,
“About three weeks ago, they came to destroy our perimeter fence over claims that we were operating a stripper’s club. They arrested a lot of our strippers and immediately we stopped.”
“Since then, we have been trying to settle with them before replacing the fence. Only for us to receive notice of demolition on Friday evening at about 7 pm giving us 48 hours to vacate the premises.”
“While we were still trying to see how to pacify the authority, this morning at about 7.30, they were here with their bulldozer and they pulled down the structure. We were not allowed to remove anything from the building.”
However, he added that the management has been paying annual contravention fee to the Abuja Municipal Management Council legally.
“Well the deed has been done, what we will now do is to approach the law court. We have lost quite a lot, we should be looking at over N80 million.”