.other seizures include 45 plots of land,a duplex
.several banks’ accounts frozen
.scores of officers under investigation
,,as ICPC exonerates
CG of complicity
The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC,Mr
Ekpo Nta on Thursday stunned the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee probing alleged land swap, allocations and racketeering in the Federal Capital Territory,FCT,Abuja when he revealed that his Agency seized a total of 61 houses from an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,NSDC in the course of
the on going investigations in to land scam in FCT.
Others seizure by the anti-graft in the course of the investigation, according to the ICPC boss, include 45 plots of land at different locations within the FCT and a duplex while several banks’ accounts used for the illegal land deal had been traced and frozen
The ICPC boss who further disclosed that the 61 houses seized from the Civil Defence Corps top official made up of 40 numbers of three bedroom flats,20 numbers of two bedroom flats and a duplex
while official letters had been written to the appropriate government land authorities on the status of the seized
property and publication made in National dailies for public to know so as not to fall victims of illegal dealing again.
He said that the Agency embarked on the investigation following a formal complaint from the Commandant General of the NSDC, Dr Ade Abolurin who personally visited him on May 15,this year that some of the officials of the Corps were involved in selling lands illegally to unsuspecting members of the Public in the name of the Agency under an un existing Housing Estate Scheme in Abuja and Nassarawa State respectively and demanded for full investigation into the scam with a view to getting to the root of the matter.
According to Mr Nta, “impressed by the action of the Commandant General of the Cor Corps by reporting his own officials for alleged wrong doings and demanding for an independent investigation while others heads of Agencies or Organisations will be covering up it were their own organisations, I commenced an immediate investigation by directing the Special Squad I set up on land matters to swing into action and the team even started with some officers who the CG came with”.
“We made findings, we made efforts to get additional information from other Government Agencies and banks which assisted us immensely in the course of our investigations”, he further explained.
According to Mr Nta “In the course of the investigation, we established that six different Companies were used in the scam, we have frozen the banks’ accounts of certain officers and the Companies used, we seized several property including 61 houses,45 plots of land and a duplex traced to some of the officers, interestingly, the 61 houses made up of 40 units of three bedroom flats,20 units of two bedroom flats and a duplex were seized from a single officer”.
The ICPC boss who disclosed that the particular company upon which the Committee invited him on to an up date on its investigation, Danime Nigeria Ltd through which the NSCD officials carried out the illegal deals were not among the six other companies that were investigated promised to commence another round of investigation on it based on the new information now at its disposal.
Mr while stating that all the interrogated officers had been released on administrative bail except one who was on the run said that investigation had revealed that the affected officers used the NSCD’s Co-operative Society to swindle the members of the public who thought it was a genuine transaction since it involved the name of the Corps and the transactions took place within the premises of the FCT Command of the Corps located at Gudu district and the officers always wear NSDC uniform during such illegal transactions.
On whether the NSDC as an Organisation was culpable or not, Mr Nta declared that investigation so far showed that the CG of he Corps, Dr Abolurin, knew nothing about the deal until he got wind of the development which he promptly reported to the ICPC for an independent investigation saying that it was a rare occurrence for any public officer or head of any organisation to take such an action against the officers of his own organisation.
On whether there would be a way of compensating the 186 victims of the scam since the property of the perpetrators had been seized, the ICPC boss said, “that is beyond our power, the final decision rests on court, ours is to arrest, investigate and prosecute, but as we speak, we have established abuse of office against some of the officers investigated. It is the court that will now decide their fate, but the law recognises the interest of pro curer”.
The Committee chaired by Hon Bimbo Daramola commended the submission of the ICPC boss on the matter, saying that it would assist in no small way in getting to the root of land scam in the FCT.
This is coming just as the Committee lashed out at the former FCT Commandant of the Corps, who is now an Assistant Commandant General, ACG,Alhaji Rabe Saidu for claiming ignorance of all the illegal transactions
that took place under his Command for over two and a half years running.
The ACG had claimed that he was away to Mecca when the scam blew open and that he was never queried by the leadership of the Corps but his Second in Command, Mr Isikilu Akinsanyan countered him, saying that the ACG was actually queried on the illegal transactions.
According to Hon Daramola.”How can such illegal deals go on for over two years under your nose and you are claiming that you were not aware, something is wrong, these are human beings and not spirits. Your officers wearing uniform and giving out receipts bearing official logo of the Corps, we may have to bring back your CG to shed more lights on your claims that you were not at any time queried about the deals”.