The FCT Administration has demolished Caramelo Lounge, a strip club based in Utako District, Abuja. It also revoked the Certificate of Occupancy issued on the plot.
The demolition was carried out Monday morning by Department of Development Control (DDC), an agency under FCTA, accompanied by a joint team of security personnel.
It was gathered that the FCDA authority arrived the scene as early as 7:00am and asked the staff and guests out of the building before the demolition.
The demolition came barely three weeks after FCTA officials arrested 32 alleged strippers at the club. The building is located at Plot 630 T.O.S Benson Crescent Utako.
The Managing Director of the club, Max Eze who said that the authority served them quit notice on Friday 10th May at 7:00pm. He added that to their surprise the FCDA mobilized their bulldozers, with police cordon around the building, and started pulling it down on Monday.
Eze expressed shock at the manner in which the demolition was carried out as the officials did not allow them to take anything from the building.
The Managing Director who was visibly angry and disturbed refused to comment further as he moved round the wreckage helplessly.
The Carmelo boss said he had lost N500m to the demolition and wondered how he would survive the damage done to his business.
Eze however denied allegations that his business was promoting prostitution, even as he noted that the lounge could not stop anybody from having fun.
He said even in the most prestigious hotels, people had the right to do whatever they wanted to do as adults.
He said he had been running the lounge for over seven years and had usually paid all manner of taxes without defaulting, lamenting that it was unfortunate that at a time when the nation was undergoing unemployment crisis, the government could render 150 of his employees jobless.
Eze said he was given only 48 hours’ notice instead of the regular 21-day notice which the FCTA usually gives.
He presented a document showing the notice of demolition issued by the FCDA with number 001403, and drew the attention of our reporter to the part of the document where the 21-day notice was crossed out and replaced with 48 hours written in blue ink.
The notice reads in part, “The authority observed with dismay that the development or structure on Plot 630 is defective and constitutes danger or nuisance to the public/adjoining plot.
“Take notice that you are given 21 days 48 hours to comply by pulling down the structure or have the illegal development demolished in accordance with Section 61 of the Nigeria Urban and Regional Planning Act 1992.”
It was learnt that the FCTA authorities posted a notice of demolition on Friday night after courts had closed; and had demolished the building on Monday morning before any court had opened, thereby making it impossible for anyone to stop the demolition.