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Reps to probe fraudulent land documents issued before Wike’s appointment

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The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate the fraudulent allocation of land documents in Abuja before the appointment of Nyesom Wike as the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Jonathan Gbefwi who solicited for the House intervention.

He lamented that several land title documents were fraudulently allocated while the FCT Minister position was vacant.

He said: “The House notes that by virtue of Section 297 of the Constitution, the ownership of all lands in the FCT, Abuja, is vested in the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The House notes also that Section 302 of the Constitution provides inter alia, that the President may, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 147 of the Constitution, appoint for the FCT, Abuja, a Minister who shall exercise powers and perform such functions as may be delegated to him by the President, from time to time.

“The House is aware that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn in on Monday 29th May 2023, marking the start of the Four-year term as President and Kashim Shettima as Vice President.

“The House is aware also that the current Minister of FCT, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, CON, assumed office as the FCT Minister on the 21st of August 2023.

“The House observed that in the period 29th May 2023 – 21st August 2023, several title documents on land in the FCT were issued to some real estate developers in a highly suspicious manner.

“The House wonder if the Director of Lands or any official of the FCDA, who issued R of O’s, purportedly in the name of the Minister of FCT, at the period when the office of the Minister was vacant, have the legal right or authority to do so.

“The House is concerned that some of the lands affected were subject to litigations which were yet to be resolved.

“The House is disturbed that some of the beneficiaries of these alleged fraudulent allocations are already using them to forcibly grab disputed land which is a recipe for conflicts.

“The House is convinced that if the title document of any land is fraudulently issued or procured, whatever is built on it should not stand in the interest of the public,” he noted.

The lawmakers who observed that some of the land documents have been backdated, unanimously resolved that all such lands which are subject to litigation or multiple allocations, should be identified and their allocation withdrawn by the Minister pending the resolution of the matter.

The motion was referred to the House Committee on FCT chaired by Hon. Aliyu Betara and reported back within four weeks, for further legislative action.

Also at plenary, the House laid the report on the capital expenditure supplementary Appropriation bill of N98.500 billion for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

The breakdown of the N98.500 billion showed that the sum of N48.500 billion is for Engineering Services, FCDA; N18 billion is for FCT Education Secretariat; N16 billion for Public Building; and N16 billion for the Department of Transportation.

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