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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Bauchi government defends demolition of Reps member house



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From Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi

Bauchi State Government has defended the demolition of a House No. 7, Buba Yero Road, Old GRA, Bauchi belong to a member representing Bauchi Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi.

Demolition of the house generated controversy among the people of the State, some people said it was politically motivated, others said due process was not followed the way Reps member acquired the House.

A press conference addressed by Comrade Mukhtar Mohammed Gidado

Special Adviser Media and publicity to the Governor of Bauchi State, said

“It has become necessary for the State Government to set the record straight and disabuse the minds of the general public about any insinuation on the whole saga,on the 1st of October, 2021, the State Government demolished an ongoing illegal construction work at the house under reference. The Government’s decision to demolish the construction work was informed by the following facts:

Gidado said “There is an existing policy of the State Government that allows, subject to the approval of His Excellency, the Executive Governor for some of its residential houses to be sold to their occupants on owner-occupier basis. However, Government’s houses along Buba Yero Road,

Old GRA, Bauchi popularly referred to as Commissioners Quarters are exempted from this policy, and The said House No. 7, Buba Yero Road, Old GRA, Bauchi was allocated to the State House of Assembly to serve as a Guest House on 23/6/2014.In spite of the exemption of Houses along Buba Yero Road, from the Owner-Occupier Policy of the State Government, the then Hon. Commissioner for Works, Land and Housing under the past immediate Administration in the person of Alh. Abubakar Tatari Ali allocated the house to himself using the fictitious name of one Mohammed Kabir of Danjuma Goje Street,Bauchi.”

He said ” The House was later sold to Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi the Member representing Bauchi Local Government at the House of Representatives at the cost of Nine Million Naira (N9,000,000.00). Despite violating the government policy exempting the house from the owner-occupier scheme, there was no record either in the treasury or Ministry of Housing to show that the amount was paid into government coffers. not only that, the whole process of the purported sale of the house did not follow due process because the value of the house was not assessed by relevant government agencies and approval of the State Chief Executive was not obtained.”

The adviser said ” Following the purported Sale of the House to Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the State House of Assembly wrote to inform the Government on 28/10/2019 about the development since the house had earlier been allocated to them to serve as Guest House. Consequently, the Government formally requested Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi to provide documentary evidence of the sale of the house to him which up to this moment, he has not obliged the State Government with the documents. The State Judiciary had also on 17th February, 2021 wrote to inform the Government that the house was being used as a hideout by criminal elements. These criminal elements have been terrorizing the residents of the neighbouring houses.

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Upon receipt of the reports of the State House of the Assembly and the Judiciary, Government directed its relevant agencies to investigate the matter. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi had demolished the main building of the property and commenced construction of a new structure at the site.”

He said a notice of Revocation was served on Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi on 21st and 23rd September 2021 in respect of the Certificate of Occupancy fraudulently granting him ownership of the property by the then commissioner of Works, Land and Housing, Abubakar Tatari Ali. The Revocation Notice was duly acknowledged. In spite of the revocation order, Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi continued with the construction work on the site. Consequently, the State Development Board marked the building for ‘’Stop Work Order” on 27th September, 2021 which he flagrantly refused to comply”.

He said ” A Team of the State Government officials led by the Secretary to the State Government went to the site on 29/9/2021 to confirm the development. Upon reaching the site, the team confirmed the construction work and was confronted by one Ibrahim Ago who threatened fire and brimstone, insulted and threatened the officials , as a result of that an emergency Security Committee meeting under the chairmanship 0f the Secretary to State Government was convened immediately to discuss the development. In attendance were the Commissioner of Police, the Commander 33 Artillery Brigade, Director DSS, Commandant National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Hon. Commissioner of Land and Survey, Hon. Commissioner of Works and Transport and the Special Adviser on Security. The Secretary to the State Government briefed the meeting on the development as captured in the preceding paragraphs. Consequently, it was resolved that , The State Police Command should provide security back-up for the demolishing exercise”.

Other decisions taken at the meeting Gidado said That the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice should provide the Security Service Chiefs in the State with the copies of the relevant documents relating to the case and to file criminal complaints against the said Ibrahim Ago. In compliance with the resolution of the security committee, a team was sent by the State Government on 30/9/2021 to demolish the illegal structure. On reaching the site, the team was confronted by thugs hired by Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi and led by the said Ibrahim Ago. The thugs fired at the team who had to withdraw to avoid casualty. On 1st October, 2021, Government again lodged a complaint to the police on the presence and activities of heavily armed hoodlums at the site right behind the Government House.

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Later that evening the illegal structure was demolished by the State Government”.

Abdullahi was one of the Political ally to Governor Bala Mohammed, even though he was in PRP during 2019 general election, he joined Bauchi Governor campaign team where they fought former Governor Mohammed Abubakar who lost to Governor Bala.
Abdullah was elected member representing Bauchi constituency under the platform of PRP but later when Yakubu Dogara decamped to APC ,Abdullahi too decamped to APC about a year ago,

Since then Political analyst believe there is silence rift between Governor Bala and Abdullahi

During Sallah Durbar Bauchi Emirate Council suspended the Reps member of the title of Wakilin Birini till further notice over what they call disrespect to emirs, and leaders.

Even though Political actors fingers the Governor as responsible for the suspension the allegations the Governor denied through his spokesman Mukhtar Gidado.

Speaking with Journalists in Bauchi, over the phone, Abdullah alleged that the governor personally sent a caterpillar to demolish his house at about 1 am and pledged to explore all legal means available to get justice done to him over the incident.
Abdullahi said when they came to destroy the house his private security guard protecting the building and neighbours protested the demolishing of the house, it fell on deaf ears.

The lawmaker said that this was not the first time that Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed’s lead administration in Bauchi State is confiscating his landed properties.

“A caterpillar was first sent to the house at about 1 am; the security personnel I hired to provide security at the house and neighbours resisted the move.

“The government had seized my plot in the name of constructing hospital without paying me compensation as it is the practice. Now they have turned to my house with the same reason of constructing a hospital out of share hatred and political enmity

“The plot was not given to me by the MA Abubakar’s administration. It was initially sold out to someone. I bought it from him.

“I obtained all the necessary papers for the plot and settled all dues that I am supposed to pay the government. I have all relevant receipts for the payments I made to all relevant government agencies.

“Bala Mohammed is a citizen of Bauchi and he has a house in Bauchi and has lived under opposition governments. Nobody dares to demolish his house. He will be judged by the citizens of the state,” Yakubu Abdullahi said.

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