TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

FCT Minister's Aides in Multi Billion Naira Land Scam

Listen to article

Bala Mohammed
Two aides of the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, are in hot water of allegations of collecting tens of millions of naira from those desperate for land in Abuja. The two alleged to be in the center of the storm are the Special Assistant, (Land), Alhaji Farouk, and the minister's Personal Assistant (Land), Baba Manu.

Over the years ,several plots of land have fraudulently given to phoney and unregistered companies, and individuals. For instance, 24 hectares of land at Plot No. 5 in Cadastral Zone, C10 of Wumbai District were allegedly allocated to Arquitetura Engenharia Commercial Limited, at a time the firm had not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

It was learnt that while the certificate of land allocation was issued to the engineering firm on July 28, 2005, the company actually got registered with the CAC on September 9, 2005.

There were reports that a letter of petition was written to the immediate past FCT Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, on the land scam but he failed to act on it until he was shoved aside last March.

The large scale land scam swept away Director, Land Administration, Hajiya Nana Buhari and the Deeds Registrar, Dr. James Agbonhese at AGIS who were sometime last year , placed on compulsory leave on the orders of Senator Mohammed.

Interestingly, while Farouk is the FCT minister's kid brother, Manu is the minister's wife younger one. sources at the FCT hinted that considering the high cost of land in Abuja, within a few months, Farouk and Manu were instant multi millionaires, under the watch of the Director, Lamd Administration, and Deeds Registrar.

With the strategic nature of their offices, being relatives and proximity to the minister, they arranged Certificates of Occupancy (C of O's ) at princely fees.

According to our source, the bubble bust recently when after collecting N40 million from one of their 'clients' for some paper work in respect of a land, they could not deliver. The clients who sensed that the minister is on his way out, mounted pressure for refund, wrote to the minister and brought in the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). further learnt when the minister got wind of the deals by these young men, he decided to hang them out to dry. The minster, it was gathered ensured the EFCC took in the duo, who investigation revealed, had no less than N2 Billion each as balance in separate bank accounts.

Our source however maintained that “ what is baffling the investigators is, how could these young men perpetrate such in the minister's office without him, or his directors knowing. We are talking tens of millions here, and how did they get hands on these land papers which are authentic with the minister being aware but looking the other way”

Said our source” When the minster got wind of the deals he was furious. So when the EFCC got involved he cooperated fully. During prelim investigation, it was established that the whistle blowers paid over N40 million to these guys for some paper work concerning a land. Investigation also revealed that Manu and Alhaji Farouk have no less that N2 Billion each in two accounts with two undisclosed banks. The EFCC is still digging to see if they have other accounts, also they want to know if other top officials in the FCT aided these guys”