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12 pilots evicted after police siege to Abuja hotel

There was a row on Tuesday over the seal off of Stonehedge Hotel in Abuja by some policemen from the Force Headquarters.

The hotel, which is being managed for Zamfara State by a firm belonging to Magajin Garin Sokoto,  Hassan Danbaba, has been under siege in the last eight hours.

The gun-wielding policemen, who stormed the hotel at about 10.12am, ordered 12 pilots and 26 other guests to quit the place.

The pilots are of MaxAir and Azman Air.

About 100 staff on duty were also sent packing by the policemen who came from IGP Monitoring team.

Both the Force Headquarters and the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police denied the deployment of policemen the hotel.

Although no reason was given by the policemen and no court order was presented, it was learnt that there is a lease dispute between Zamfara State Government and Magajin Garin’s company, Bina Consult and Integrated Services Limited.

The former Zamfara Liaison Office (turned into Halal Hotel) was leased to Magajin Garin’s company in 2009.

In an October 7, 2009 letter to Magajin Garin Sokoto, the Zamfara State Government had handed over the property to Bina Consult.

The letter, signed by a former Permanent Secretary, Abdul Razak Adamu, reads: “Following your request to take over the Zamfara State Halal Hotet Abuja on lease basis, I am directed to convey to you the approval of Zamfara State government.

“By this therefore, you are to take over the affairs of Zamfara State Halal Hotel at Central Business District Abuja on lease basis for a period of twenty (20) years on conditions stated on page 22 item 1, page 23 item 4, as well as the payment of Three Hundred and Ten Million naira (N310,000,000. 00) only payable in two installments N155,000,000.00 for the first five (5) years and another N155,000,000.00 for the 2nd  five years when due. Fifty percent (50%) of the above amount will be added to the third 3rd and fourth 4th payments (the second ten years) totaling Four Hundred and Sixty-Five Million Naira (N465, 000,000. 00) only.

“Further legal documentations should be pursued soonest. Please accept my congratulations “

As at press time, it was learnt that the lease disagreement between Zamfara State and Magajin Garin’s company is before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Justice Yusuf Halilu had on October 31, 2019 issued an order restraining Zamfara State Government from “taking steps to revoke or terminate the Lease Agreement pending the hearing and the determination of the motion on notice.”

The judge also issued an order of interim injunction restraining Zamfara State government from interferring with Magajin Garin’s peaceful possession of the property.”

One of the pilots said: “We were all asked to leave immediately and we have no choice than to do so.

“It was really embarrasing. We thought it was a security scare but we got to know of a business dispute.

When contacted over the incident, Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, said he was not aware of such development.

Also the Public Relations Officer FCT Police Command, Anjuguri Manzah, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, also said he was unaware of such operation

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