EXCLUSIVE: How Lands meant for courtrooms were illegally sold by Kwara Ex-Govs, Saraki, Ahmed - 9japarrot


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Thursday, 19 November 2020

EXCLUSIVE: How Lands meant for courtrooms were illegally sold by Kwara Ex-Govs, Saraki, Ahmed

By Nimatallahi Tijjani

The judicial panel on assets recovery have been informed about several plots of land allocated in 1980 for the construction of courtrooms in Ilorin, which were arbitrarily sold out by the adminstration of former Governors Bukola Saraki and Abudulfatah Ahmed without following the due process.

The Director General of the Bureau of Land Barrister Bolaji Edun stated that Tanke area of Ilorin had been allocated to the judiciary as part of the planning for the state but were gradually auctioned out from 2009 without the government first revoking the allocation of same in line with the law.

These were answers given by Edun on questions regarding a petition filed to the panel by the state judiciary which seeks restoration of the land amid shortage of courtrooms in the state capital. The  unlawful encroachment on the left over lands by at least two occupants ,  Candidate Hotel and the Nigeria Society of Engineering Secretariat were also raised by the judiciary

Edun said the earliest state allocations on the land were made in 2009 and the issuance of C of O started in 2013 while the Bureau of Lands could not find the C of O of Candidate Hotel in its record.

"The extension and encroachment seen at the Hotel were not part of the C of O granted. In fact there is no record of its title in our files,” he said.

Edun gave proper clarity that the entire land from Rhema Chapel around Tanke Tipper Garage to Prince Gambari building in Tanke Iledu was allocated to the state judiciary in 1980.

 Acting Surveyor-General of Kwara State Ibrahim Muhammad testified that the entire land belongs to the judiciary, saying he could not find any file in respect of revocation of the land from the judiciary.

On Wednesday, members of the Kwara State Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the sales of Government assets inspected the land where Candidate Hotel and Nigeria Society of Engineering Secretariat are built in Tanke.

As  a result of the inconsistencies in the testimony given by the  
Candidate Hotel Raphael Adunmo before the panel, Chairman of the panel Justice Olabanji Orilonishe had earlier adjourned the ongoing public hearing for the inspection. 

The panel found out about the  massive encroachment on the land during the visit, with existing judiciary structures for high courts converted to poultry and the hotel’s makeshift bar.

The panel observed that the Candidate Hotel and Nigeria Society of Engineering Secretariat are built on the frontage of the proposed Kwara State High Court in Tanke.

Adunmo who is a retired Chief Town Planning Officer in the state, had earlier denied building permanent structures beyond his approved land but later admitted encroachment when the hearing resumed after the visit.

"There was a publication in respect of the layout of the land and I applied. I was given allocation and I have papers for my allocation and C of O. I encroached on the land because it became problem for my hotel. It used to be criminal hideout,” he admitted.

Adunmo stated that he took over the structure when it became a hideout for criminals after several reports to F Division Police Station and the then Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Dr Bayo Ishola, and others officials of the ministry without allocation.

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