Saraki, Kwara, land
Late Olusola Saraki

By Demola Akinyemi

Kwara State government on New Year Day said that the controversial land of the second republic Senate leader Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki recently revoked by Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman was not paid for saying that there was no evidence of payment, even as it added that no formal application was made in respect of the land.

The Director-General of the State’s Bureau of Lands Ibrahim Salman who said this in a statement made available to journalists in Ilorin on Wednesday also clarified that no Right of Occupancy was ever issued to Asa Investment through which the late politician acquired the land.

The statement added that the land was consequently acquired by the state government in the 1970s in the overriding public interest and was designed to construct the Phase 11 of the state secretariat which was indeed constructed but later abandoned at the superstructure level.

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It also said that it was after the project was abandoned that Asa Investment took over the land to build what is now referred to as, ’’Ile Arugbo’’ by Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, where the politician used to meet his supporters and also give food items to aged women.

According to the statement, “The entire land was acquired in the 1970s for Overriding Public Interest and same was initially designed to host the phase II of the State Secretariat. The construction of the said State Secretariat Phase II was actually commenced and it was at superstructure level before the same was abandoned.

“The entire land was later redesigned in the 1980s for the construction of a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the Clinic and the State Secretariat.

“The Clinic was subsequently constructed in 1982, while the remaining plots of land were conceived for the expansion of the Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.

“The dream of the State Government was stalled when part of the land slated for the parking lot was spuriously allocated in principle to one Asa Investment for commercial purpose.

“From available records, the allocation was not based on a formal application, nor application forms filled; there was no evidence of payment for the said allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and consequently, no right of occupancy was ever issued to the Company.

“Furthermore, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and constructed what is today known as “Ile Arugbo” on part of the land that was designed as a parking lot and later conceived to host the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.

“Following a resolution of the Kwara State House of Assembly mandating him to revoke/withdraw the spurious allocation, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq recently signed an instrument to reclaim the land on the ground that same was unlawfully allocated to a private Company contrary to the public purpose of its acquisition and occupied in breach of the terms of allocation.

“This (press) release is intended to state the facts on the land recently revoked/withdrawn by the state government as contained in our records.”The statement concluded.


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