Land Scam: 854 FCT Indigenes Await Compensation 37 After



Teddy Oscar, Abuja


The House of Representatives’ investigation into alleged land  allocation racketeering in the FCT from 2010 till date on Thursday revealed that 845 indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are still awaiting their compensations 37 years, after their lands were taken over from them by the Federal Government.


Following the revelation, the ad hoc committee in charge of the investigation, summoned the FCT minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, to appear before it next week to shed light in the claims and others matters regarding land swap in the FCT.


In the same vein, the commandant general of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Olu Abolurin, has also been invited by the ad hoc committee, following alleged sale of several plots of land by the consultants and officers of the corps to unsuspecting public.


At the commencement of the investigative hearing, the Hon. Bimbo Daramola-led committee was informed how a principal officer, who also claimed to be a consultant with the NSCDC, sold parcels of land the public.


In a presentation by the Association of Allotees in Goza Estate,  Abuneme Okeke said the public was deliberately misled by the said officer because the transactions were conducted within the premises of the Gudu office of the NSCDC.


“The principal officer’s office is inside the Civil Defence office in Gudu and everybody that has to do with the transaction are always wearing Civil Defence uniform. We are talking of inside the Civil Defence office, not outside, not even outside fence but right inside.


“Apart from that, the receipt we were issued with after payment to an a count 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 (Federal Capital Development Authority). 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 N1.2m because everybody believed that if it was coming from an institution of government it must be genuine,” Okeke testified.


He hinted that trouble began when FCDA arrived at the estate, and marked some structures for demolition, but said that the allotees would be compensated before the demolition exercise.


“They said the estate has been marked for the Centenary Village, we are against that but the FCDA came and pulled down our houses without compensating us contrary to what we were told in spite of several representations we made to the FCDA,” he added.


He, however, noted that the said officer might have resigned his appointment and fled the country.


However, the Galadimawa community, who said it was no longer interested in the issue of compensation, suggested that the government should consider reintegration instead.


According to the counsel to the community, Musa Banya that was protesting the allocation of its ancestral home and farmland to five private developers by FCDA, the government can not pay the N2.8 billion compensation bill computed in 1975 when added to the interest that could have accrued till date.


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 recognize partial compensation.


He cited a certain Alhaji Yahaya on whose land Transcorp Hilton Hotel is standing today but awarded N20.00 by the government.


“What we are seeking for is reintegration since the government can’t afford to compensate us or resettle us where we came from,” Banya said.


Daramola observed that it is 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.


“More than anything else, the right of every Nigerian must be protected. This is not threat and that is why we are not going to look for anything but work with facts made available to us by Nigerians,” he said.


While declaring the hearing open, the speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was represented by the deputy House leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, said that the parliament has not gone out of its responsibilities to investigate alleged land scam in the FCT.


“The exercise is not to witch-hunt anyone and is not about selfish interest but how to move the nation forward,” he said.


The investigation continues on Tuesday next week.



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