SENATE VOWS TO PROBE OBASANJO, JONATHAN, 6 OTHERS OVER LAND GRAB
The Senate has vowed that, in addition to former President Goodluck Jonathan and immediate past minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it will also probe other former ministers of the nation’s capital, as well as presidents who violated the Abuja master plan.
The Red Chamber had last Friday threatened to order the revocation of plots of land said to have been allocated to Jonathan and 29 others in Maitama district, Abuja.
Senator Dino Melaye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, who announced the commencement of the probe yesterday, said no former minister of FCT or president would be exempted from the proposed probe.
With this development, those who are expected to be probed include former ministers from 1999 – Ibrahim Bunu, Mohammed Abba Gana, Nasir el-Rufai, Aliyu Moddibo, Adamu Aliero and Bala Mohammed.
The probe may also be extended to former presidents like President Olusegun Obasanjo since, by law, a president is the governor-general of FCT and appoints a minister to administer the city on his behalf.
Melaye said, “With this administration of change, it is no longer going to be business as usual. Permit me to remind FCT administration again, by stating that this committee will not hesitate to ensure that all administrative anomalies, misappropriation of funds or misapplication of laws – as the case may be, that were occasioned by the past administrations of FCT, are fully addressed.
This is what justice demands in this circumstance – to right the wrongs.”
He lamented the bastardization of Abuja master plan, and he wondered why former FCT ministers allocated green areas designed for flood drains, city buffers, recreations, urban farming, reserved land and undevelopable areas.
Melaye said: “Therefore, the committee is worried and frowns at satanic and misleading advice and recommendation to convert very important and beautiful natural endowments or features which are very scanty, like the world acclaimed Maitama Hills, popularly known as Ministers’ Hill, which could serve as a tourist attraction to the residents of FCT.
“I want to state here again that if the bourgeois of this country need special allocations, a new district can be dedicated to them and not destroy the beauty of the city centre, a national monument like the Maitama Hills.
“Therefore, the committee’s decision on these allocations remains unwavering. A stop-work order must be served by the Department of Development Control and all trees removed must be replaced.
The committee demands that 100 per cent of its instructions be adhered to.”
On the immediate past FCT minister, Melaye said, “despite Senator Bala Mohammed’s defence to justify his acclaimed under-utilisation of existing infrastructure, the entire allocation along Mississippi Street is an eyesore.
“The five most important actors in land matters in FCT (directors of land administration, including their executive secretary, Engr. Ismaila Adams), affirmed that. The consequence of this, if allowed, is flooding, epidemic, overcrowding, erosion, because all trees have been removed from all plots allocated.
“This is a government of change, and this is the most proper period to right all administrative wrongs championed by the past administrations,” he added.