House Summons FCT Minister, Civil Defence Boss over Land Racketeering

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The House of Representatives  Thursday summoned the  Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed and Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCD), Dr. Ade Abolurin, over allegations of discrepancies in the allocation of land in Abuja.
The minister is  to appear before the lawmakers  next week to shed light on  the allegations surrounding the  land swap policy of the FCT.
On the other hand, Abolurin was summoned over  an alleged sale of several plots of government  land to members of the public  by some consultants and officers of the corps.
The summons came as  the ad hoc committee of the House opened its  investigations into  an alleged land  racketeering in the FCT from 2010 till date.
Chairman of the committee, Hon.  Bimbo Daramola, said the lawmakers had been informed of  how a principal officer, who also claimed to be a consultant with the NSCDC, sold parcels of government  land to  the public without due authorisation.
Daramola  said it was the duty of the parliament to ensure justice for all Nigerians, irrespective of their status.
"This won't go down as just another probe, because this is one probe we are ready to get to its root. It is not about witch-hunting anybody but there is no big or small Nigerian in this situation,” he said.
The committee was told that some  civil defence corps officials  deliberately misled the public by conducting the land sales  within the premises of the NSCDC in Gudu. Information available to the committee showed that all those involved in the illegal land allocation were  always wearing civil defence uniforms and transacted their business right in the premises of NSCDC.
"Apart from that, the receipt we were issued with after payment to an account name Denamy Nigerian Limited 32223405192110 has Civil Defence logo and coat of arm on it.
"We are illiterates, so we ask questions and the Principal officer showed us approvals from Development Control Department of the FCDA. We even have to pay for the fencing of the Goza estate, which was not supposed to be so.
"People were buying this land, which was not cheap at between N800,000 and N1.2million because everybody believed that if it was coming from an institution of government it must be genuine."
Some of the beneficiaries of the illegal land deal became apprehensive  when the  FCDA came to  the estate and marked some structures for demolition as  the estate has been marked for the Centenary village.
Meanwhile, the committee also learnt  that the federal government has not fulfilled its promise of compensating 854 indigenous communities of the FCT after 37 years their land was taken over from them.
The  Galadimawa community one of the said communities    said it was no longer interested in the issue of compensation but that the government should consider the  reintegration of the indigeneous people.
Counsel to the community, Mr.  Musa Banya, said  they were  protesting the allocation of their  ancestral home and farmland to five private developers by FCDA.
He lamented that  the government had not paid  the N2.8 billion compensation bill computed in 1975 and  the interest that could have accrued since then.
He said though the government claimed to have partially compensated some of the communities but that it amounted to nothing as the constitution does not recognise partial compensation.
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