What transpired between me and developer who claimed I was anti-Igbo – Wike

Share this:

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has lamented how a land developer in Abuja who accused him of being anti-Igbo allegedly abused him via text messages.

Wike stated that the Federal Capital Territory will take a new phase and will no longer be conducive for those with the intention of deceiving the government with land developer identities.

The minister, in an interview granted to a group of journalists recently, said in the text message which he described as insulting, the land developer claimed that he vowed to deal with the Igbos.

The minister said, “In his text, he said, ‘You said you want to deal with the Igbos.’

“Imagine such a blackmail. The land we are talking about, did he give it to the Igbos? How can you think you are too smart to tell the public that I said I will deal with the Igbos and people can sit down and listen to such a thing?”

He stated that land grabbers present themselves as developers to the government with deceptive intentions.

Speaking on the lawsuits against the FCTA, he stressed that the suits against the FCTA were on before he assumed duties as the minister.

He added, “The problem in this country is impunity. ‘I’ve been doing it before and I’ll continue to do it and nothing will happen.’ Criminals are criminals, they may come in different ways. I’ve never seen land grabbing like in this FCT. Since I came in, there have been so many petitions.

“One company called has over 10 petitions from different owners of properties. So, I summoned a meeting of all of them and they came with their lawyers who are senior advocates. I said look what is this? company A presented their own, company B presented their own, company C and company D Company and E did the same.

“I said okay I’m going to seek advice from external solicitors. I’m not going to take it from inside the house because the legal secretariat and land department have been so compromised. So, I sought the views of two very senior lawyers. They wrote to me with their opinions but arrived at the same thing.”

Wike explained that the land in question was allocated before he became the minister.

“First of all, what happened? This land that this so-called ethnic jingoist talked about was allocated when there was no minister. The minister left on May 29, 2023, and in June, the land was allocated by the Director of Lands.

“These guys think they too are clever. We met and said to Company B, don’t do anything again until we are able to make a final decision. Do you know what happened? These guys, thinking they were too smart, went on trying to fence and allocate the land to people to buy.

“How did I know? a lady came and said look honourable minister, I want you to advise me. There’s a place I want to buy land. I asked where and she named the area and I said no, we were having problems with it and I told her not to. Another time, the lady came back because she is a friend of mine and said people were buying and building. I said what?

“Then, I was going to commission the biggest water park that is Sunrise and it was in the same area. So, I commissioned the water park which was on a Friday and on the Thursday this same company and their allies went to court stopping me from commissioning the water park project and alligning with the FCT lawyer. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the injunction. I drove from that place, came back and called the general counsel to ask who was handling the case for FCT,” the minister said.

He said he then instructed the general counsel to call the external lawyer and get the file back.

“How can you compromise with a plaintiff against us? I mean, I’ve never seen people who are so fraudulent in life. What they do here is that they sue me as the FCT minister, a suit which I was not aware of.

“These guys think we are PDP Anambra State. That is their job. They have court judgments in their pockets. This is how they keep PDP in Anambra state and they can produce court orders and judgments overnight and I told him you’re wasted.

“Who served me any court injunction? Nobody served me any court injunction because we had already agreed that nobody should do anything and then you moved thinking that they were clever and began to sell the land,” he said.

He added that the activities of the land developers have affected the government revenue generation as the land is not used for economic purposes.

“What is the benefit of the government selling the land? What they do is tell the government, we need 300 hectares and we are willing to develop it but they will not do anything. Then they become land speculators and make money. It is so embarrassing,” he added.

He, however, stated that illegal activities would no longer be tolerated as due processes would be followed in acquiring land.

“As long as I am in this FCT, it will no longer be business as usual. If you ask for land, I will ask for your financial capacity and the duration within which you’ll develop the place. If the duration expires, FCT is entitled to take it back,” he stated.

Speaking on the legality of demolitions in FCT, he said the investors are not using the acquired lands for their investment that could generate revenue.

He said, “If you say you want to build a park that will create jobs and revenue is what they call investments. Not when you say the government gave me land, we want to build houses and the government gave you land, even when I know that it is an illegal allocation and you start allocating to individuals who are now buying from you and then building by themselves. And that has depreciated the initial intentions of allocating the land.”

On why FCT demolished the buildings instead of taking legal action on offenders, the minister said, “Judgments and orders do not come overnight. It won’t work. They are connected with the legal secretariat here. They can sack land administration.

“What happened was they asked the court to tell FCTA to return the land documents to them and the court said FCTA release their documents to show that you have titles to the land.”

In a document signed by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola on September 21, 2023, the FCT minister ordered the revocation of about 165 plots of land over the violation and contravention of terms of development of the Rights of Occupancy, as contained in Section 28(5) (a) & (b) of the Land Use Act.

This, however, led to outrage by affected and concerned Nigerians, calling for the withdrawal of the order.

An Abuja land owner, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Kamba, the minister, and the Director of Development Control to court for demolishing his building under construction at Plot 226, Cotonou Street, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja.

Despite the public outrage, the FCTA in October, vowed to take action against defiant landowners for tampering with land previously revoked by Wike’s order.

Share this:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.