Reps investigate fraudulent land allocations in Abuja

The House of Representatives has decided to investigate fraudulent land document allocations in Abuja that occurred before Nyesom Wike was appointed as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This decision came after a motion was presented by Hon. Jonathan Gbefwi during Thursday’s plenary session.

Gbefwi emphasized that according to Section 297 of the Nigerian Constitution, all lands in the FCT are owned by the federal government. He noted that Section 302 of the Constitution allows the President to appoint an FCT Minister, who would exercise delegated powers from the President.

Gbefwi highlighted that President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima began their terms on May 29, 2023, while Wike took office as FCT Minister on August 21, 2023.

During the period when the ministerial position was vacant, Gbefwi claimed, several land title documents were fraudulently allocated. He questioned whether the Director of Lands or other officials at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) had the legal authority to issue these documents in the name of the FCT Minister during this vacancy.

He also raised concerns about ongoing litigation involving some of these lands and noted that beneficiaries of the alleged fraudulent allocations were using them to seize disputed lands, potentially leading to conflicts.

Gbefwi argued that any construction on fraudulently issued or procured land documents should be halted to protect public interest.

The House agreed that lands involved in litigation or multiple allocations should be identified and their allocations revoked by the Minister until the issues are resolved. The matter was referred to the House Committee on FCT, which is expected to report back within four weeks.

Additionally, the House reviewed a supplementary Appropriation bill for N98.500 billion in capital expenditure for the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The breakdown includes N48.500 billion for Engineering Services, N18 billion for the FCT Education Secretariat, N16 billion for Public Buildings, and N16 billion for the Department of Transportation.

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