By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—A popular night club in Abuja, Caramelo, was, yesterday, demolished by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, with the owner claiming that over 100 staff have been rendered jobless.
Caramelo was known to operate an upscale gentleman’s club and a two-star hotel in its one-storey structure.
The demolition is coming less than a month after the club was raided in which about 34 ladies alleged to be strippers were arrested with those arrested claiming to be sexually abused by some policemen involved in the raid.
It was gathered that the FCTA’s Department of Development Control, DDC, stormed the club as early as 7am, with bulldozers accompanied by a joint team of security personnel and within hours, reduced the one-storey building to rumbles.
Furniture, electronics and other household items were submerged in the concrete that formed the larger part of the debris.
The FCTA had said the club is located in a residential area and that the use of the building violates Abuja Master Plan and that the club owners were given vacation notice last week.
Umar Shuaibu, Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, an FCTA agency, had told journalists that the plot where the club is built was originally zoned as a health clinic.
He had said the club was raided following complaints from residents on alleged nuisance, leading to surveillance in the area.
“The outcome of the surveillance revealed that the complaints are genuine and real. Please note that the substance of these complaints include, noise nuisance from loud party music, nude/strip dancing club activities, intractable traffic challenge, resulting from uncontrolled patronage to the commercial nightclub within the residential precinct,” Shuaibu said.
Reacting to the development, Managing Director of Caramelo Lounge, Max Eze, expressed dismay over the removal exercise, as they were taken aback by the short notice given to them to vacate the property.
Eze, who subtly admitted to the conversion of the original land use, however, said the management of the lounge had been paying millions of naira as annual contravention fees to the government.
He said the worth of the property demolished is in the tune of over N100 million and about 100 staff have been rendered jobless.
Some other clubs in the city were, subsequently, raided by the FCT authorities.