Indications have emerged that the recent legal battle between the FCT Administration and the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, over rights to streets naming may soon be resolved, as both parties are considering setting up an interagency committee to iron out all grey areas around it.
This is as the FCTA on Thursday hinted that it will be prosecuting cartel said to be involved in illegal “Street Naming” in Abuja.
The Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, Umar Shuaibu, disclosed that the ruling of the FCT High Court on the street naming has been appealed, adding that the FCTA was not taking over AMAC’s responsibilities, but doing what the law permits it, as a major provider of infrastructure in the Capital City.
He equally noted that it’s intervention on the issue was to restore the integrity of the process, alleging that investigation has exposed unscrupulous individuals who were converting the exercise for personal gains, using AMAC as a cover.
He said, “The existence of a cartel who are operating for their personal aggrandizement using the AMAC as a cover. Even the AMAC leadership is not aware of the extent of the damage and quantum of corruption perpetrated in the guise of “Street Naming” under it.
“As such the FCTA is going to engage the anti-corruption agencies to ensure that all those involved in the infamous activities are brought to book or face the wrath of the law”.
On his part, the Executive Chairman, AMAC, Christopher Maikalangu, stated that his council was interested in having a harmonised process for the purpose of achieving a desired result.
While claiming ignorance of the rot in the street naming process, saying the committee in charge of it had been in place before he came into office, the Chairman however assured that the Council would cooperate with FCTA on the issue, to find a lasting and mutual beneficial solution.
Recall that The Abuja Inquirer had in December 2022, reported that the AMMC no longer had the powers to name streets or roads in the FCT as an FCT high court had ruled that such powers resides with local government authorities.
Justice Edward Okpe in his ruling on a case brought before him by Chief Obidi Ume, declared that AMMC or any other department of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, did not have the power “to demolish, dismantle or destroy street signs and posts mounted by the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, or any other area council for that matter.”
He contended that by the provisions of Sections 7, 303, 318, First Schedule, Part II and Fourth Schedule, Section 1(g) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 only the local government councils had powers to name roads and streets.
The orders followed a suit by Ume over the actions of the AMMC in removing his street name in Jahi District on December 7, 2016, where he purchased the naming subscription form of N25m which was approved on April 13, 2018, by AMAC.