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Centenary City: ECTDA Waging War On Criminality, Illegal Developers

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The Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) says it is aware of an attempt to twist its enforcement operation on Friday, January 19, 2024 out of context.

The Executive Chairman, ECTDA, Uche Anya, said the operation resulted in the demolition of a kidnappers’ den and some illegal structures, recovery of arms, surveillance, and communication equipment, as well as arrest of suspected kidnappers at the Centenary City, Enugu.

He said: “It is apposite to state that the action of the ECTDA in Centenary City is Rule of Law at work. At ECTDA, we observe the rule of law.

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According to him, the ECTDA Law prohibits carrying out any development or municipal service within the Capital Territory without the written approval of the Authority. For the avoidance of doubts, Section 13 (1) of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority Law, 2009, provides: “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, as from the commencement of this Law, no person or body shall carry out any development or municipal service within the Capital Territory, unless such development or municipal service has been approved in writing by the Authority.”

Anya said, whereas the current ECTDA leadership is determined to stop unauthorised developments and carry on with the urban masterplan restoration and renewal process, including those initiated by successive administrations, we took the initiative to mark the affected properties in October 2023, issuing notices that should accord the developers a window to regularise their titles/properties, if any. The video of a marked, but undemolished property trended by the developer on the social media falls into this category.

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Meanwhile, it is to be made clear that the ECTDA operation of Friday, January 19, was based on an intelligence report about an illegal development/property that served as kidnappers’ den at the Centenary City. In the course of our due diligence, we also found out that the property, like many others at Centenary City, had no title or approval from the appropriate authorities.

Although the building was not fully completed, the criminals had already mounted sophisticated surveillance equipment such as CCTV cameras, PTZ cameras, in addition to about two dozens of mobile phones denoting the dangerous level of sophistication.

As some of the videos already in public domain clearly show, we made some chilling discoveries on storming the property with security operatives, including several guns and suspected kidnappers, whom the security agents were able to apprehend.

For emphasis, even though the notices had since expired, no unapproved but completed or occupied building was demolished during the exercise by ECTDA. We are still calling on the developers to do the right thing.

Nevertheless, we are determined to stamp out the culture of distorting Enugu municipality masterplan and shall not allow any development that contravenes the law or serves as hideout for criminals. Therefore, we shall not succumb to the rule of blackmail, including recycling and trending of videos of past demolitions.

Rt. Hon. Uche Anya
Executive Chairman, ECTDA
Dated: January 20, 2024

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