At least two directors in the Land department of the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA) and the Department of Development Control (DDC) have been indicted by the police on allegations bordering on land speculation and racketeering and will soon be charged to court.
They were alleged to have connived with a suspected land speculator, Yakubu Daniel Ogwu to forge documents relating to plot 1308 Cadastral Zone A09, Guzape district of the FCT, Abuja.
The development is coming at a time the Minister of the FCT, Nyeson Wike has vowed to eliminate land speculators and restore the nation’s capital master plan.
Already, scores of demonstrators and experts in land administration who bemoaned the activities of land speculators and racketeering in the city, have thrown their weight behind the minister.
Wike had specifically warned land speculators that a new sheriff is in town. “And those doing land marketing, the period for that is over.”
Those involved according to Daily Sun investigation are Mercy Yusuf (who allegedly signed a forge R of O in respect of the land); Adamu Jubril (a Director of Land); Muktar Galadinma (Director, Development Control); Mr. Ekaliphang Ukpanah (Department of Deeds); Shafiu Ahmed; Uchechukwu Okike (at large) and Mike Okafor (at large).
The police are specifically pressing charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery, obtaining by false pretense and impersonation.
This development is a fall out of an investigation by the police over the ownership tussle between an engineering firm, Cona Engineering and Technical Services Nigeria Limited and one Yusuf Daniel Ogwu over a piece of land located at plot 1308 Cadastral Zone A09 Guzape District Abuja.
The company had mobilized to site for construction activities before Yusuf Daniel Ogwu surfaced with the said forged R of O claiming to be the original owner of the land.
However, available title documents showed that by virtue of the Certificate of Occupancy granted to Jamila Saleh Hassan on June 6, 2007 (file No: 20400), she became the beneficial owner of plot 1308 Cadastral Zone A09 Guzape District, Abuja.
That Jamila Saleh Hassan, through an irrevocable and registered Power of Attorney donated the above plot to Sunday Benjamin Egele sometime in June 2014.
However, Sunday Benjamin Egele through a power of Attorney, donated the same property to Cona Engineering and Technical Services Limited, in December 2018.
Before the execution of the said power of attorney between Sunday Benjamin Egele and the engineering firm, the company applied for the consent of department of lands through an application for search and the said property was certified unencumbered.
In addition, Mr. Sunday Benjamin Egele also tendered the search report which he obtained from the department of lands prior to the execution of power of attorney between himself and Jamila Saleh Hassan.
Armed with the above documents, the company comfortably consumated the transaction.
Thereafter, the company obtained building plan approval from the Department of Development and Control on October 17, 2019 and mobilized to site and started construction fully on October 16, 2020.
However, the Department of Development Control on October 16, 2020, wrote the company suspending the building plan over alleged ongoing investigation on the property following ” a letter of complaint of illegal trespass received by the department,” the letter reads.
Two years, after the letter of suspension of building plan approval, the department had in another letter dated April 29, 2022, re-instated the building plan approval after the company had signed a deed of indemnity.
In the final analysis, investigation by the police on the disputed land indicted the suspects including the complainant, Daniel Ogwu.
Investigation by Daily Sun revealed that the activities of land speculators have made land ownership a nightmare for potential investors.
The incident has become so bad to the extent that incidences of double or multiple land allocation has become the norm rather than the exception.
Thousands of Nigerians have fallen victims to the dangerous activities of land speculators in Abuja, with scores of them losing precious properties worth millions of naira, including lives in the process.