Residents of I & J estate one in Abuja have kicked against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s purported plan to convert its clinic to a centre for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
n separate petitions to the CBN and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the estate residents association said the estate was lawfully sold to the occupants in 2006.
They argued in the petitions signed on their behalf by J. S. Owolabi and Ajamaji A. B. that the “the interest of the CBN clinic cannot override the interest of the 220 occupants”.
They also alleged that the apex bank is planning to deny residents the use of the entrance gate by fencing off the rest of the estate to isolate the clinic.
The CBN, which is a part of the private sector-driven Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID), has been involved in the national response to the pandemic.
Isaac Okorafor, spokesman of the apex bank, did not immediately respond to TheCable’s enquiry for comments on the matter.
When TheCable visited the estate located at Zaria street, Garki, on Thursday, it observed that the clinic, run by the CBN medical services department, is located metres away from the main entrance gate.
Although there are no ongoing works at the clinic, TheCable learnt that the CBN had carried out an inspection of the site to commence its renovation.
‘ESTATE SOLD TO US IN LINE WITH FG GUIDELINES’
In a separate petition to the managing director of the federal capital territory (FCT) development control, the estate residents’ association said the estate was sold to them in 2006 through due process.
The petition dated September 3 read: “We, the residents of the estate are hereby constrained to inform you and seek your intervention in stopping the CBN from carrying out the proposed plan … to convert their old clinic building to a centre for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“CBN is not the sole owner of the estate by virtue of the sale of the estate to occupiers in 2006 in line with the approved guidelines issued by the federal government in respect of the sale of federal government houses in the FCT.
“On the strength of the reasons hereby advanced, we respectfully wish to urge the management development control of FCT to advise the bank to maintain the status quo as we have had continuous peaceful co-existence since 2006 not to talk of now that a beautiful and standard clinic has been completed for the wellbeing of the staff and their families.”
The residents said they had met with the directors of CBN relevant departments, including those of the medical services, corporate services and security services but that they ”could not reach a resolution”.
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