Minister of Federal Capital Territory FCT, Mallam Bala Mohammed is battling to explain all he knows about a multi-million Agro-Allied firm which a non – governmental organisation (NGO) says belongs to him in alleged violation of the 1999 Constitution.
Purpose Driven Initiative (PDI), an NGO said in adverts in some papers last Friday : “ Let us talk about corruption. This is how the Nigerian government conducts business and fights corruption.
The whistle-blowing group alleged that Mallam Bala Mohammed, has abused his office and violated the 1999 Constitution by incorporating Bird Trust Agro-Allied Limited on May 31, 2012.
“The company, Bird Trust Agro-Allied Limited then applied for and was given(by the same FCT that the major shareholder, Bala Mohammed, heads) a 40.4 hectares, plot 1683 in Cadastral Zone E05 of Aviation Village in Abuja on April 11, 2014,”the group said.
Rising in defence of the minister, a pro- government coalition, New Generation Coalition, said Obasanjo enjoyed the same perks while in office.
It said: “Is it corruption? As a sitting President, Olusegun Obasanjo incorporated a company, Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited. Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited applied for and was granted a 100.12 hectares of land, Plot No.1 Cadastral Zone E09 Kuje, Abuja on June 27, 2005.
“The sitting Minister if FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai(now APC chieftain) allocated the land and signed Certificate of Occupancy no. 17c2w-1b99z-9d15r-cb2au-34u3 certified to Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited on July 24. 2006.
“Just like Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited, Bird Trust Agro Limited is a company in which the sponsors engage in farming and other allied agriculture production and processes.
“Under the Fifth Schedule Part 1 Code of Conduct for Public Officers of the 1999 Constitution, Section 1 states that ‘a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.’
“Section 2 states that without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph …, nothing in this sub-paragraph shall prevent a public officer from engaging in farming.
“Is it corruption for a public officer to engage in farming as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 with the view to making Nigeria self-reliant in food production?”