By Henry Umoru
ABUJA â€” MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero, in line with the recommendations of the Senator Abubakar Sodangi-led investigation committee, yesterday announced the revocation of 700 plots allocated by the former FCTA Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
Senator Aliero also said yesterday that 105 cases of forgery of land documents would be referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) out of the 1,250 forged land certificates during the said period, just as he said that all the beneficiaries have also been served with notice of revocation by the administration, adding that the culprits did not follow due process before they were given their respective plots.
It would be recalled that at the end of his assignment, Senator Sodangi, among others, in the report of his committee which investigated the affairs of the FCTA from 1999 to 2007 said that Mallam el-Rufai allocated 1,270 plots of land to some of his friends and family between 17th and 28th May, 2007 after the dissolution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on 16th May, 2007.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to the FCTA Minister, Abdullahi Zuru, who explained that the decisions were taken following the Senate directive on the matter stressed that the list of all the beneficiaries and FCT staff who were involved in the processing of the documents of the revoked plots of land have already been sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for investigation.
According to him, â€œthe issue is not about land taken from Peter and given to Paul. The Senate was of the opinion that he (el-Rufai) gave out certificates to people without official approval when FEC had been dissolved. So out of these lands, 700 of them have been revoked.
â€œThe minister had on resumption of duty directed relevant agencies to compile files on all forged documents on land allocation by the past administration. During the cleaning up of Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS), the minister directed the Director of Lands to provide him with all the files. We also have a meeting with EFCC because they are having some cases.
The committee has started working and the preliminary meeting with them is ongoing.
â€œThe FCT is suspicious of those allocations and they are studying them to determine their genuineness.
The owners of the land do not have the normal allocation forms, fees and allocation numbers given after which they will begin the process. The lands were allocated between the 17th and 28th of May 2009.â€
On plots of land returned by the immediate past FCT Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, Senior Special Assistant on Communications to the former Minister, Diran Onifade who does the same job for Aliero said that, â€œcontrary to speculations, there is no letter from the Head of Service directing AGIS to stop allocation of land that have been revoked by the Modibbo administration.
The office of Head of Service cannot write FCT because the directive was from the Senate. There is no line of communication with the FCT from the office of the Head of Service.â€