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Centenary City project: Reps call for trial of Anyim, Ozobia, others

By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA— THE House of Representatives, yesterday, recommended that former Secretary to Government of Federation, SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, and ex-FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, be investigated and prosecuted over the role they played in the irregularities surrounding the Centenary City Project.

The recommendation followed the unanimous adoption of the Committee on Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Others to be prosecuted, according to the amended recommendations, are Ms. Boma Ozobia and Mr. Paul Oki, who along side the former SGF and FCT Minister allegedly promoted the project.

House of Representatives

The committee also called on the current Minister of FCT, Malam Musa Mohammed Bello, to immediately revoke and withdraw all Rights of Occupancy, R of O, and Certificates of Occupancy, C of O, issued to Centenary City by the former minister.

However, there was a mild drama immediately lawmakers started considering the report on the floor of the House as the man who presented the minority report when the committee first laid its findings, Linus Okorie, who hails from the same state of Ebonyi just like Anyim, made failed efforts to shut down the reports of the committee.

On the first four recommendations, Okorie represented a lone voice,  faulting every intent and purposes of the report, demanding its immediate deletion, saying the report was not a true representation of what transpired.

This drew flaks from lawmakers who tried to shut him down for holding a minority opinion, but for the intervention of the presiding chairman, Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuf.

Demanding answers from Okorie on recommendation 1, Lasun said:  “Because the report has been distributed to members, it’s assumed that they have read it. So please go ahead and give your reasons the recommendation should be deleted.’’

Linus said his opinions as a member of the committee were not reflected in the report so submitted to the House by the chairman of the Committee, Herman Hembe, adding that non-inclusion of his minority opinion made the report incomplete.

At this stage, Lasun told Okorie to “calm down”, noting that “irrespective of whatever you have against the report on behalf of your constituents or whoever it is you are representing”, the House would still consider the report, having been slated for same.

The question was put as to whether recommendation 1 of the report be deleted, most of the members supported it, leaving the lone voice of Linus Okorie unheard.

Also in the presentation of recommendation 2 which was also carried, Okorie tried but failed.

On recommendation 3, Toby Okechukwu ,PDP, Enugu, raised concerns regarding the committee’s position, saying that the FCT should do its job which ordinarily should be its responsibility under the contract agreement so signed, demanding that the recommendation be deleted.

Okechukwu’s motion was ‘killed’, even after it was taken in another line of argument by Linus Okorie who happens to be the only member of the 37-man Committee with a minority report.

He raised the same objection on recommendation 4 which suggested that the EFCC wade in and conduct a probe of the former SGF and all other promoters of the project.

But Abdulrazak Atunwa ,APC, Kwara, moved that recommendation 4 be amended to include the immediate prosecution by civil courts of all indicted persons in the report and the recovery of all public funds wasted in the conceptualization and operation of the Centenary City Project from inception till date.

The recommendation was unanimously accepted.

 


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