15th May, 2012
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde on Tuesday decried fraudulent dealings in land acquisition in the Federal Capital Territory , FCT.
“For some of us in the law enforcement regime in this country, if there are areas that have become interesting to visit and where fraud is being perpetuated, it is land administration in the FCT. It is in the FCT that people brandish supposed originals of Certificate of Occupancy of plots of land and other people still come and contest it with the original Certificate”.
At the public presentation of a United Nations Development Programme, UNDP – sponsored report of a “Systems Study on the Federal Capital Territory Land Administration and Documentary on Grassroots Involvement with Budget Process in Abuja”, Lamorde described the results of the study as commendable, stressing that such a report should be expanded and applied not only in the FCTA but across Nigeria.
He described land scam as the biggest scam in the FCT, and explained that, since “land is very important to us in Africa; I hope we can move forward positively from this study and replicate it in other parts of the country”.
In his submissions, the Acting Chairman of the ICPC, Ekpo Nta, stated that, “land plays a very critical role in our private lives and national development. High propensity for corrupt practices in land administration if left unchecked can lead to frustrations, demolitions, civil strife and deaths.”
He noted that, “the choice of land Administration in the FCT as an area of interest, was unavoidable. We are delighted that the study was embraced by all levels at the FCT administration because they are interested in running corrupt- free land administration system so that they can work in peace and safety.”
The Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed represented by Engr. Anthony Ozodinobi, Permanent Secretary of the FCT applauded the ICPC for initiating the systems study and highlighting the issues and challenges of land administration.
He said “the FCTA will actively work to improve and remove bottlenecks within the system and take a closer look at the overlaps and capacity deficiencies within the FCTA which will lead to improved service delivery.”
Also in attendance at the presentation were Secretary of the ICPC, Elvis Oglagba; Representative of the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Gambo Muazu; Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. Sam Soba, and board members of the ICPC.