HOW ARMY EVICTED OWN GENERAL
A retired Army General was away in Abuja on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. But back at his Kanta Road, Kaduna residence, his personal effects, wife and children were forcefully evicted by military policemen deployed from 1 Mechanized Division, (1Div.) Nigerian Army, Kaduna.
Having retired from the Army in 2006 after over 33 years of service, Brigadier-General Kyuka G. Achi, said he had since paid over N5 million for the house situated at 13A, Kanta Road, Kaduna put for sale for N7 million. This was following, ' Offer of a leasehold interest in Federal Government landed property in the states,' by the Presidency.
But in a swift reaction, the Army authority said the house in question was not for sale. That the retired officer was given quit notice severally without vacating the house. Hence, the need to force him out of the house to give way to a serving Army officer newly posted to the state.
However, in a letter dated June 28, 2010 to Achi by the Secretary, Presidential Implementation Committee on Federal Government Landed Property In The States, signed by Dr. Muhammad L. Yahuza, Achi was congratulated for accepting the offer to buy the two bedroom bungalow including two rooms boys quarters (BQ) for N7million.
Achi told Daily Sun at the scene of the eviction exercise on arrival from Abuja that he accepted and signed for the offer on June 30, 2010. He paid the same day the sum of N700, 000.000 being 10 percent of the total cost of the property into Union Bank Nigeria PLC, with a bank draft number, 000961251 as demanded by the committee.
He also displayed a bank cheque of N350,000.00 and another of N4.3million issued by Union Homes Savings and Loans PLC dated July 6, 2010 and received by the presidential committee on July 7, 2010.
According to the embattled General, the property belonged to the Federal Government and it was the same government that put it up for sale. He stressed that he owed the Federal Government allegiance than the Army authority having verified the sincerity of the transaction.
He said 'by the time I was retiring, there was a publication, entitling us who are living in the house to buy the houses, the publication came up, I filled the form and went for verification and there was no problem. Nobody ever told me that the military was interested in the house. I went down to Abuja and they said I was qualified that there was no problem. 'I have paid N5.3million. I was not expecting this type of harassment. No single condition was attached except that we were to go for verification. I went for verification and I was qualified. In fact, I never got any problem with the presidential committee.
' I don't have to process it through the military because the Federal Government put up the advert. Who is the owner of the whole thing, is not the Federal Government? Federal Government advertised, that is why I asked if we are running two governments. If we are not running two governments, which authority do we suppose to obey? Am I not supposed to listen to my civilian government?'
Asked if he had any problem with the GOC: 'No, I don't have problem with him. But if he has not commanded them, they won't have the right to do what they have done. Nobody told me they had interest. I have followed the process and paid some money, they came and packed my things out.
'We were served letter, we were many, before we ran to the Federal Government to come to our rescue. The government wrote a letter to the Chief of Defence Staff and every other military formation and the GOC, 1 Division was copied.
' I have the letter, but they have scattered my things. I don't know where it will be now because they have packed all my things outside. I went to the GOC of 1 Div. Kaduna and I told him about it, Major-General Kamarudeen A. Role. He said, he did not know that the houses did not belong to the Army. If there is anything, I expected him to make verification.' But Colonel Abayomi A. Dabiri of the Army Public Relations Department of the division said: 'I am aware that Gen. Achi retired in 2006-2007. Our terms and conditions of service state that you vacate the quarters within 90 days after retirement. He was served severally for over one year.
'I am also aware that the property is not for sale by the Federal Government as you have mentioned. Moreso, there are serving officers who have been posted here that do not have accommodation. Let him produce evidence for sale. 'If I have my property, I can evict the tenant any time that is suitable to me. He was allocated that house when he was serving in the Army. Now that we have officers who have been posted in and requires accommodation, I think it is proper for us to provide our serving officers where to stay.'
Daily Sun later gathered that the retired General has been asked to return to the house. But the terms and conditions of settlement between the two parties were still skechy at press time.
…Return of the evictors
From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Kaduna
The battle between the General Officer Commanding (GOC) I Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, General Kamaroudeen Role and retired Brigadier General Kyuka Achi over the property on 13a, Kanta Road, in the heart of the city is far from over.
• Gen. Achi's personal effect s
In a dramatic twist of event yesterday, the army authorities abducted the two sons of the Kaduna born General, as they again forced their way into the premises, and removed their properties.
The General's sons, Akut and George aged 30 and 29 respectively, were said to have obstructed the team of military police sent from 1 Division to undertake the ejection order on the property. The army said it had to return to complete the 'job after giving the man a week's grace following the intervention of another General,' who allegedly pleaded on behalf of Achi and his family.
But Achi said that he had a court injunction restraining the Army from ejecting him from the premises, an order that the authorities of 1 Div have refused to make any comment on. However, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, the Army Public Relations Officer of the division, Colonel Abiodun Dabiri, said that the reaction of the Army to the ejection was contained in the advertorial published in one of the dailies, Wednesday, August 18, 2010.
According to him, in the said public notice signed by the GOC 1 Div himself, the army had mentioned a number of properties it said were not for sale among which was the one in contention, adding that anybody who bought any of the properties was doing that at his or her own detriment. Asked on the whereabouts of the two sons of the retired General who where whisked away at the early hours of yesterday, the army PRO said that he was not aware of the development. But Akut told Daily Sun when they were been bundled into a black coloured Honda Academy car that they were being taken to 1 Div Nigerian Army.
Among the documents presented by Achi to buttress his case was a letter by the Secretary, Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC), Dr. M L Yahuza: 'I wish to refer to the attached self explanatory letter on the ejection of retired Brig. Gen. K G Achi by the GOC 1 mechanized Division, Kaduna from the Federal Government House at no. 13, Kanta Road Kaduna and inform you that residential buildings allocated from the pool of the Federal Government agencies are now the responsibility of the PIC, in line with the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
'In the circumstances, the action of the GOC 1 Mecahnized Division Kaduna is therefore a clear contravention of the guidelines approved by the FEC as the property in contention is not among those ceded to the Army by the FEC. 'Consequently, am to kindly request that the GOC 1 Mechanized Division Kaduna be advised to halt the unlawful ejection of retired Brig. Gen. KG Achi from no. 13 Kanta Road Kaduna forthwith.'
According to Achi he is surprised that 'the same soldiers repeated their action. We went to the court, got a court injunction and they still continue to disobey the court, disobey the papers of the committee set up by the President. And the GOC was also copied all these papers.
'For now as you all can see am outside but I will stay outside and fight my battle from outside and they have asked me to leave the premises. They (Army) have packed my two boys away and I don't know where they are now and I have just been told of the development. My wife is inside the house and they have nailed the door and her inside there. That is the situation am in now.
'I cannot see the GOC at this time that he has ordered his boys to do their worse. What will I see him for, how many times will I see the GOC? I have seen him so many times already. He is not disobeying me, there is a letter by the committee that the President set up. If they cannot listen to that one even if I talk from now till next year they will listen not to me?'