By SONI DANIEL, KINGSLEY OMONOBI & HENRY UMORU
Abuja — Controversy now trails the uncompleted one-storey building in Apo, where 10 persons, mostly artisans, were shot dead last Friday by security agents on the suspicion of being terrorists. An online news media linked the building to a former president’s sister but a security source said the building actually belongs to a serving Major General in the Nigerian Army.
According to the online publication, documents from the Abuja Geographical Information Systems, AGIS, shows that the property, located at No. 8 Bamanga Tukur Street, Gudu District, near the Gudu cemetery, belongs to the former president’s sister.
The security source, which did not want to be quoted because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, pointed out that the identity of the owner of the building was not in doubt and would be made public at the appropriate time.
“The identity of the owner of the building is not in doubt at all. What happened that Friday had nothing to do with the ownership of the building,” the source said in response to Vanguard enquiry yesterday.
But effort to unveil the identity of the owner of the building from the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, proved abortive, as officials of the authority declined to comment on the issue.
The Director of Development Control in the FCDA, Mr. Yahaya Yusuf, who was contacted by Vanguard, had initially promised to get in touch with one of our correspondents after verifying the ownership with officials in charge of the Gudu District.
But an hour later when our correspondent called back the director, whose office approves the construction of structures in the FCT, his phone rang and he did not respond to the enquiry as at the time of going to the press.
Similarly, no official of the Abuja Geographic Information Service, AGIS, was willing to speak on the matter despite several calls made to the agency last night.
“But a staff, who spoke in confidence, pointed out that it would not be possible to ascertain from AGIS who actually owns the house, since allocation paper could easily be changed as soon as a new buyer acquires a house or piece of land from the original allottee.
“You can have one name as the original allottee in our system but another person actually owns the plot or building and may not be conscious of the need to come forward and change the ownership to reflect the current owner,” the AGIS staff explained.
Also yesterday, the Nigerian Army washed off its hands from the building, saying that it had nothing to do with its ownership.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-General Ibrahim Attahiru told one of our correspondents that the Army was neither aware that the house belonged to one Mrs. Adunnu Oluwole Salisu, said to be a sister to former President Olusegun Obasanjo nor an officer of the Nigerian Army.
“The Nigerian Army does not have anything to do with that house. Equally, the story about the house belonging to a Colonel is unfounded.”
He added that in the first place, the Army had nothing to do with last Friday’s operation which resulted in the death of many persons since it was carried out by a sister security agency.