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Abuja land deals get messier

Posted by By TONY ICHEKU/BASHIR UMAR, Abuja on 2008/04/25 | Views: 733 |

Abuja land deals get messier


It has been revealed from Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) that on his last day in office specifically on May 28, 2007, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai signed off seventy-three plots of land to individuals, however none of this persons signed for or collected the Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) themselves, but a certain Cyril Ezeamaka signed for, and collected, all the C-of-O.

• 2 persons collect 170 C-of-O
• Fresh documents indict El-Rufai, Sodangi, Adeyemi

It has been revealed from Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) that on his last day in office specifically on May 28, 2007, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai signed off seventy-three plots of land to individuals, however none of this persons signed for or collected the Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) themselves, but a certain Cyril Ezeamaka signed for, and collected, all the C-of-O.

Another individual, Babatunde Adetoba and the same Cyril Ezeamaka, at different periods, between them signed for and collected C-0f-O for about hundred plots of lands allocated to various individuals.

Meanwhile, the on-going Senate Committee investigation of the past administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is rapidly degenerating into a tit for tat exchange, exposing the sleazy lands deals between the former FCT administration of Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, his associates, cronies and partners one hand and Senators Abubakar Sodangi and Smart Adeyemi on the other.

Sodangi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the FCT, who is coordinating the probe may have taken El-Rufai advise to resign his position in the Committee in good faith. His failure to do so may at the end of day reveal him in the same shady colour as those implicated in the dirty land grabbing deals. For he is daily being dragged into the gang of opportunistic land grabbers who partook of the Abuja land bazaar.
Like his committee chairman, journalist turned politician Smart Adeyemi is also being accused of hunting with the hound and running with the hare over the FCT land controversy. But he has also scorned advice to resign his membership of the investigating Senate Committee.

But, as the investigation continues, the land grabbers continue to reveal the sordid deals implicating themselves. In a letter dated August 7, 2006, the attention of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was called to the fact that El-Rufai allocated 28 plots of land to his personal friend, Alhaji Idris Othman. Othman was said to be a member of the FCT Ministerial Committee and confidant of El-Rufai.

The lands located in various parts of the FCT, including Maitama, Asokoro, Garki, Wuse I and II, Utako, Dutse, Jabi and Galadimawa were allegedly allocated to him under various names such as System Property Development Consortium, four plots; Pure Technical Services Limited, two plots; various members of the Othman fgamily, six plots; , Zihabit Limited, six plots; Umaru S. Magori, six plots, amongst others.

Others names menthione in the swindle include Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal and Peter Akagu who served as Chief of Staff and Personal Assistant respectively to El-Rufai. Both were accused of the practice of allocating choice plots to themselves and later selling them off.
Mallam Abdu Mukhtar, chairman of the committee charged with the sale of Federal Government Houses in the FCT and a member of the El-Rufai administration’s allocation committee, was also fingered as one those allocated choice plots in Maitama, Jabi and Wuse II and who later sold same off.

Associates and friends of El-Rufai have in attempts to prove that Sodangi and Adeyemi are equally guilty of land grabbing, brought forth documents to show that Sodangi and family own 20 plots of land in various parts of Abuja, including choice areas like Maitama, Asokoro, and Wuse II. The equally allege that several persons from the Adeyemi family own 16 plots of lands in various parts of the FCT.

In the case of the senators however, it could not be substantiated that the persons bearing their surnames are relatives or aliases used by the senators to grab their portion of lands, even at that, Sodangi has made it clear that he only owns three plots: one before he became a senator, the second when he became a senator and was allotted one, and the third when he bought his official quarters in the course of the monetization exercise.

Adeyemi who has also denied allegation of owning a multiplicity of plots in the FCT, on the other hand, believes that there is a calculated attempt to drag his name in the mud over the issue, as a result of his opposition to the revocations and demolitions of the El-Rufai days. He said the former minister branded him an enemy because, as the then President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), he had warned the minister that there was an emerging ethnic coloration to the victims of the demolition, pointing out that most of them were Igbos.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.