Three months after a popular Abuja nightclub was demolished by officials of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), the place has become a defecation spot.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Caramelo Bar located at the exquisite Utako neighbourhood was demolished by officials of the FCTA in May.
The property, valued at an estimated “N500 million,” was pulled down two days after a demolition notice was delivered to the management.
Following the demolition, about 105 Nigerians who were in direct employment with Caramelo were rendered jobless and some homeless, according to the property owner.
The city administration had claimed that Caramelo was built on a piece of land marked for a hospital or school by the town planning office, an arrangement that was breached for the seven years the club served as a prominent spot for fun-seekers.
The authorities also said neighbours had complained about heavy activities of Caramelo owners and guests but did not present any petition or oral reservations against the property.
Before its demolition, Caramelo was known to operate an upscale gentlemen’s club and a two-star hotel in its one storey structure. Its presence was easily noticed amongst other properties in the neighbourhood.
However, three months after bringing down the multi-million naira property, authorities are yet to reveal their plans for the spot.
The spokesperson for the FCT Minister, Abubakar Sani, had declined to comment on the situation as he refused to pick the reporter’s calls.
On a recent visit, PREMIUM TIMES found that the spot that once housed the structure was covered with debris and heavy faeces.
Some residents spoke to our reporter about how scavengers and hoodlums have converted the place to a defecation spot.
Caroline Chukwu, a shop owner said: “As you can see, the place is full with faeces. All these guys that roam about have turned the place to their toilets.
“During the day and at night, you will see someone defecating there. Everywhere smells really bad and it smells worse when it rains,” she said.
Nonso, a security guard in one of the residential buildings, said he avoids the road on which the property was located because it has become messy.
“After the club was demolished, I started following there because it is a shorter route to access the road.
“On two different occasions, I stepped on faeces so I stopped. The government should build something on this spot to avoid future disaster. If this place is left like this for another year, it will become another dumping site for Utako residents,” he said.
Demolished property worth ‘over N500 million’
The club owner, Maxwell Eze, had claimed that the property was worth over N500 million.
“They just destroyed N500 million in a struggling economy. This is deliberate sabotage of this country’s economy,” Mr Eze told PREMIUM TIMES.
He said at least 105 Nigerians were in direct employment at Caramelo, with the lowest-paid not getting below the national minimum wage.
“Now, not only the 105 people have been rendered jobless, our suppliers and other indirect labourers will have to find ways to earn a living for themselves and families,” Mr Eze said.
At least two of his staff members who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES expressed dismay at the government’s action.
“Anguish is the only thing I feel right now,” Sunday Enenche, a barman at the fallen nightclub, told PREMIUM TIMES.
“This is the only employment I have known and I have used to feed my family for many years.”
He also said Caramelo was properly registered and paid federal taxes and other levies to at least 15 entities from the neighbourhood and professional associations to federal agencies.