Kwara Govt: Saraki family didn’t pay for the land we revoked

The state government says there is no evidence of payment for the land seized from the Sarakis.

Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki are gradually becoming political rivals. (News247)

Days after former Senate President, Bukola Saraki attacked Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak for taking over a piece of land that allegedly belong to his family, the state bureau of lands says Saraki family didn’t pay for the land.

In December 2019, the state government seized the land saying it is originally meant for the construction of a secretariat and the parking lot of the civil service clinic.

But Saraki in a statement he personally signed said the land was duly allocated to his family, adding that a right of occupancy was issued on it.

However, director-general of the bureau of lands, Ibrahim Salman said there was no evidence of payment for the land, adding that no right of occupancy was ever issued on it.

“The entire land was acquired in the 1970s for Overriding Public Interest and same was initially designed to host the phase II of the State Secretariat. The construction of the said State Secretariat Phase II was actually commenced and it was at superstructure level before same was abandoned.

“The entire land was later redesigned in the 1980s for the construction of a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the Clinic and the State Secretariat.

“The Clinic was subsequently constructed in 1982, while the remaining plots of land were conceived for the expansion of the Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.

“The dream of the State Government was stalled when part of the land slated for the parking lot was spuriously allocated in principle to one Asa Investment for commercial purpose.

“From available records, the allocation was not based on a formal application, nor application forms filled; there was no evidence of payment for the said allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and consequently, no right of occupancy was ever issued to the Company.

“Furthermore, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and constructed what is today known as “Ile Arugbo” on part of the land that was designed as parking lot and later conceived to host the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.”

Salmon said the land was seized following a resolution of the Kwara state house of assembly mandating the government to revoke the allocation.

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