ILORIN: The Kwara State government has said that the controversial land of the second republic Senate leader, Late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, which was recently revoked by Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman was not paid for, saying there was no formal land claim and evidence of payment.
Ibrahim Salman, Director-General of the State Lands Bureau, who said this in a statement made available to journalists in Ilorin on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, also made it clear that Asa Investment was never granted a right of occupation through which the late politician acquired the land.
The statement added that the land was thus purchased in the overarching public interest by the state government in the 1970s and was planned to construct the state secretariat’s Phase II, which was actually built, but later abandoned at the superstructure stage.
It also said that it was after the project was abandoned that Asa Investment took over the land to build what is now referred to as Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki’s ”Ile Arugbo” where the politician used to meet with his supporters and also offer aged women food items.
According to the document, in the 1970s, “the whole land was purchased for overwhelming public interest and the same was originally named.”
The entire land was eventually renovated to create a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the Clinic and the State Secretariat in the 1980s.
“The clinic was later built in 1982, while the remaining parcels of land were planned for the clinic’s expansion into a full-fledged hospital.
“The State Government’s vision was thwarted when part of the land intended for the parking lot was in theory spuriously allocated for commercial purposes to one Asa Investment.
“The allocation was not based on a formal application or the application forms filled out from the available records; there was no proof of payment for that allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and, consequently, no right of occupancy has ever been granted to the company.
“Also, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and built what is now known as “Ile Arugbo” on part of the land that was designed as a parking lot, and was later to host the Civil Service Clinic’s expansion into a full-fledged hospital.”
Following a resolution by the Kwara State House of Assembly mandating him to withdraw or revoke the spurious allocation, Governor Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq recently signed an
instrument to recover the land on the ground that it was illegally allocated to a private company that was contrary to the public purpose of its acquisition and occupied in violation of the allocation terms.
“This (press) release is intended to state the facts found in our records on the land recently revoked/withdrawn by the state government,” the statement posited.