The rights group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) has alleged widespread indiscriminate allocation of public land to political officeholders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The organization has therefore asked the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello to open the books for the public scrutiny of the allocations, saying Certificates of Occupancy are being issued to “oil vested political interests”.
The group has invoked the Freedom of Information Law to ensure full disclosure.
HEDA chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju said the group had petitioned the FCT Minister to bring to his notice how public officers were illegally acquiring lands in Abuja without recourse to due process.
According to him, land remains at the centre of survival and livelihood of indigenous peoples.
He said, “Public lands are being taken over by the privileged few in government. The consequences for future generations are enormous. It is time drastic steps are taken to avoid selling the heritage of communities to private individuals and their children.”
HEDA called for “full investigation” into allegations that the FCT approved large portions of land of about 6,000 square metres each by signing out statutory rights of occupancy to known politicians.
He said beneficiaries were highly placed people in the corridors of power.
“The Minister must immediately respond to reports backed with scanned copies of the alleged granted statutory right of occupancy certificates and we have carefully combed out, some vital details from the Certificates.
“In line with our mandate to promote accountability and foster transparency, and in view of the above report, bearing in mind that the Land Use Act vests in the Governor of a state to grant statutory right of occupancy, we hereby demand for the urgent confirmation and verification of the above relayed report and the above certificates of occupancy as we believe that records available to your office will clarify the numerous questions in the mind of the populace as regards this alleged inappropriate signing off of large plots of land to political officers. “
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