What the 8th Senate appears set out to do in this circumstance is to encourage the FCT Minister and officials of the FCTA and the FCDA to abide by the dictates of a valid court judgment de- livered by Justice D.Z. Senchi, on November 11
President Muhammadu Buhari, as far as the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is concerned, is the governor of the Fed- eral Capital Territory (FCT). The activities of officials of the Federal Capital Territory Ad- ministration (FCTA) and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) are there- fore his through the delegated authority of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
In other words, the blame for the lack of remedy for any corrupt tendencies or acts of impunity by officials of the FCTA or FCDA or even the FCT Minister rests securely at the door-step of the President of Nigeria.
As a man with the fearsome reputation of dealing with corrupt men and women in the society, it is expected that those who work with Buhari directly at the Presidency and indirectly at the FCT Ministry, etc, must be above board in their dealings with members of the society or in carrying out their duties to the nation. Any doubts about Buhari’s commitment to the war against corruption could be deciphered from the way the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is handling the arms-gate scandal without being entangled with ethnic sentiments or religious considerations. Unfortunately, it would appear that all is not well with the way land allocations are be- ing handled in the FCT.
Some officials of the FCT Ministry, FCTA and FCDA appear bent on sustaining the corrupt tendencies and acts of impunity that reigned supreme under the past governments even now that the affairs of the country are being directed by an anti- corruption regime. An appraisal of what is happening now between officials of the FCT and MINANUEL INVESTMENT LTD over the lingering issue of approvals for the recon- struction of 372 houses at Lugbe Extension 1, along Airport Road, now known as Kyami District, Abuja, brings to sharp focus the prob- lems of land allocations in the FCT.
For instance, in a Petition dated February 12, 2016 and signed by Barrister Samuel Ogala for Falana & Falana Chambers and directed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, the 8th Senate has been called upon to intervene and cause the FCT Minister, the FCTA and the FCDA to “approve the building plan for MINANUEL INVESTMENT LTD over plots ……. at Lugbe Extension 1, along Airport Road, now known as Kyami Distirict, Abuja and removal of illegal structures on the land”.
This Petition reared its head because the FCT Minister and his officials at the FCTA and the FCDA have allegedly vowed not to approve the building plan for 372 houses earlier destroyed on the orders of the immediate past FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed. This is in spite of a valid court judgment affirming MINANUEL INVESTMENT LTD as owners of the land and declaring “null and void the re-allocation of plots….. at Lugbe Extension 1, along Airport Road, now known as Kyami District, Abuja, to third parties…”
The issue at hand is that since both parties to the case earlier resolved on November 11, 2013 (N.C.R Associates Ltd, suing through its lawful Attorney, MINANUEL INVESTMENT LTD & the Minister FCT & 2 Ors) are satisfied with the judgment of the court as there is no pending appeal against the judgment, why are the FCT Minister and the officials of the FCTA and the FCDA refusing to approve the building plan for the construction of 372 units of housing belonging to Nigerian citizens who took out mortgage facilities to own houses in Abuja?
If these are not acts of impunity and corruption, why are officials of the FCTA and the FCDA allegedly bent on re-allocating plots of land belonging to MINANUEL INVESTMENT LTD to third parties despite a valid court judgment insisting that no such thing should take place? There is no doubt that what is happening at Lugbe Extension 1, Airport Road, now known as Kyami District, Abuja, was allegedly orchestrated by Senator Smart Adeyemi as Senate Committee Chairman on FCT in the 7th Senate and Alhaji Bala Mohammed as FCT Minister in the Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP-led Federal Government.
The issue is: why should the FCT Minister, under a corruption-fighting President, condone the acts of impunity allegedly perpetrated under past federal governments? If the FCT officials are not out to sabotage the anti-corruption campaign of President Buhari, why are they not doing the needful to ensure granting approvals for the building plan for reconstructing the 372 housing units for subscribers (Nigerians citizens) who have paid for the structures? It is, however, heart-warming that the Sen- ate committee chairman on FCT, Dino Melaye, has vowed to see to the end of this matter given that the only way to extend justice to Nigerian citizens who took out mortgage facilities to purchase the said houses in Abuja is “the building plan approval for plots…at Lug- be Extension 1, Airport Road, now known as Kyami District, Abuja and immediate removal of illegal structures currently being developed by trespassers on the land”.
What the 8th Sen- ate appears set out to do in this circumstance is to encourage the FCT Minister and officials of the FCTA and the FCDA to abide by the dictates of a valid court judgment delivered by Justice D.Z. Senchi, on November 11, 2013, in Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/714/12, which held that “the fresh allocation of the plots to private individuals was illegal, null and void and the said allocations… are hereby set aside. Ac- cordingly, the defendants are hereby restrained from taking possession or re-allocating same or any part thereof to any person or group of persons…”
•Dr. Adegoke, a researcher, wrote in from Abuja. Tel:09083049928