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CSO trains FCT community leaders on CDA with mining coys



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The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), a non-profit organisation, has urged community leaders to consult with other stakeholders in their communities before signing any agreement with mining companies seeking to operate in their area.

The group’s Programme/Communication Manager, Mr MacDonald Ekemezie made the call on Wednesday, at a one-day capacity building held in Karshi community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The workshop was on “Community Step-down Training on Negotiating and Understanding of Community Development Agreements (CDAs)”.

He said that the general idea of a CDA was to promote sustainable and mutually rewarding benefits from mining projects, including pro-poor initiatives and other strategies which may be beyond the immediate scope of impacts for a project.

Ekemezie said that a CDA should address issues of clarity and transparency.

According to him, this will help all parties to clarify and manage expectations and establish a transparent and participatory framework with measurable outcomes.

He also said that increased participation of community members, government, and other stakeholders in the determination of how benefits would be managed and implemented should be part of the processes leading to the signing of a CDA.

Ekemezie said that the reason for the training was to empower the community with the required skills to be able to negotiate and enter into agreements that would be beneficial to them.

He urged the community stakeholders to ensure that there was clarity in any CDA saying that the community must understand what agreements they were signing.

In his address, Alhaji Ahmed Doka, District Head of Karshi Central commended CTA for the initiative, saying it would go a long way in helping them protect their community from exploitative mining companies.

He said that the community renewed their CDA with the mining company operating there in 2022, but noted that some of the promises by the company were yet to be met.

He said, “We renewed our agreement in 2022 and we agreed on some of the things they are supposed to do for us.

“They are supposed to tar some roads. But they haven’t and they are not here. They have done about three boreholes for us.

“We have been doing much engagement with the mining companies. Though we need to improve,” he said.

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FCT News

Wike makes good his threats, revokes 165 lands of notable Nigerians




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The Minister, Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has made good his promise to revoke lands that violates and contraven the terms of development of the Right of Occupancy as he has revoked 165 lands in Abuja, some of which belonged to notable Nigerians.

A document signed by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Olushade Adeshola, which was obtained revealed that the revocation was due to the violation and contravention of the terms of development of the Right of Occupancy.

The document reads, “The Federal Capital Territory Administration hereby informs the general public that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, has in the exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 28 (5) (a) and (b) of the Land Use Act, 1978, revoked the underlisted plots with names and titles as reflected in our records for continued contravention of the terms of development of the Right of Occupancy to wit non-development.”

The affected plots are situated within Central Business District, Maitama (A05); Maitama (A06); Wuse II (A08); Gudu (B01) and Wuye (B03).

Others are Jabi (B04); Utako (B05); Katampe Extension (B19); Idu Industrial Area (C16) and Asokoro (A04) Districts respectively.

Some notable Nigerians affected by the revocation order are former Senate Chief Whip, Udoma Udoma, former Cross River Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, the first Minister of Niger Delta, Ufot Ekaette and late publisher of LEADERSHIP Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah.

Wike, on his first day as the Minister of FCT vowed to revoke any land contravening the Abuja Land Use Act no matter those involved.

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FCT News

Abuja Development Control office allegedly enmeshed in a land scandal of acquiring C-of-O by forgery




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An alleged scandal of Illegal acquisition of Certificate of Occupancy on a land property by means of forged documents is unfolding at the office of Abuja Geological Information Services (AGIS)

The land, which originally belonged to one Jamila Saleh Hassan is located at the highbrow Cadastral Zone of Guzape District.

According to findings, Jamila Hassan, through her father Alhaji Saleh A. Hassan had initiated and closed a deal to sell the property to one Mr. Bako Matunji Chonoko in 2008 at an agreed sum of Six Million Naira.

Upon the payment of the agreed sum and further verifications at the office of the AGIS ascertaining the viability of the property, a Power of Attorney and Deed of Assignment were executed by Jamila Saleh Hassan in favour of Bako Matunji Chonoko, and handed over to him together with the original statutory Right of Occupancy.

Subsequent findings revealed that the new owner of the property equally sold it to a business entity known as New Balcyon Ventures Limited through his agent called Daniels Yakubu Ogwu.

However, it was revealed to Daniels Ogwu when he went to verify the records of the land sometime in 2018 at the land registry that the said property had surprisingly acquired a Certificate of Occupancy in the name of one Sunday Benjamin Egele, in addition to a registered Power of Attorney in his favour.

It was upon this discovery that Chonoko caused a complaint to the Development Control Department of AGIS in January 2019.

The petition reads in part: “we hereby appeal to your good office to thoroughly investigate the apparent fraudulent infraction against Sunday Benjamin Egele on the said plot of land.

“To assist you in your investigation, please find attached the following documents: acknowledgement by Alhaji Saleh A. Hassan of the receipt of N6,000,000 dated 1/08/2007; statement of account showing evidence of the draft raised in favour of Jamila Saleh Hassan; irrevocable Power of Attorney dated 30/08/2007; deed of Assignment dated 30/08/2007 and statutory Right of Occupancy.”

Upon investigation into the petition, a shocking discovery was made indicating that the documents relied upon to award a Certificate of Occupancy to Egele was actually a forged diplomatic passport of Jamila Saleh Hassan.

Further investigations revealed that one Mercy Yusuf, who had been a well known land racketeer in AGIS, sold the land to Sunday Egele by creating a fake data page of alleged diplomatic passport of Jamila Hassan.

When Jamila Hassan was contacted, neither she, nor her father, Alhaji Saleh A. Hassan confirmed ever having any contact whatsoever with Mercy Yusuf or Sunday Egele and also affirmed that the data page used to secure the C-of-O did not carry her original signature.

It was gathered, that at this point, the Development Control Department was compelled to activate its Alternative Dispute Resolution at AGIS in order to arrive at an amicable settlement on the matter.

It was gathered also that an agreement was made whereby the Mercy Yusuf and Sunday Egele would pay a sum of One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira and a duplex building as compensation to Daniel Ogwu and the business concern he presents, New Halcyon Ventures Limited.

However, the agreement was not concluded because the terms offered was not consented to by the aggrieved parties.

Further findings reveal that while the matter remained pending on the terms of the Alternative Dispute Resolution, both Mercy Yusuf and Egele began to walk away from their guilty pleas and, indeed, issued threats to the aggrieved parties.

Thus, Ogwu reported the matter to the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police, and the police report on the matter was made on April 4, 2023.

While the police report also establishes guilt on the part of Yusuf and Egele, a new twist was however added to the story because a certain newspaper and blogs publications circulated through a reporter of the Sun newspaper known as Godwin Tsa, made a false presentation of facts about the matter.

The news report which was published in several newspapers and blogs surreptitiously made a whitewash of the allegations against Yusuf and Egele and tend to put the victims, Daniel Ogwu and his partner company as conspirators of the infraction on the matter.

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FCT News

FCT minister orders arrest of landlord of Abuja collapsed building




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***Says he must be made to resettle tenants

The minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike has issued a matching order has for the immediate identification and arrest of the owner of a two-storey building that collapsed in Abuja on Wednesday night.

The building had at least 39 occupants, with two confirmed dead while 37 were rescued and taken to various hospitals.

The building which caved in around 11pm on Wednesday amid heavy downpour, located at Lagos Crescent, Garki Village in the Garki District is one of the first storey buildings in the area.
According to Wike the original residents of the area were designated for resettlement, but wondered why for years, the FCT Administration could not carry out such resettlement.
“It is unfortunate that we woke this morning to the very disturbing news of this building collapse. It is not what we contemplated.
“Let me thank the agencies particularly NEMA and FEMA that have supported us to rescue not less than 37 lives. It is unfortunate that we lost two lives.
“I will appeal to the Permanent Secretary to make sure that funds are raised to pay the hospital bills of those who were rescued so that we do not lose any more person, and this should be done immediately.
“Secondly, these are the things we have been saying, nobody knows whose turn it will be, therefore when government says it will take actions in areas we believe there are illegal developments or buildings that do not comply with the standard codes, it is not as if anybody has any personal vendetta but for me it is for us to do the right thing.
“I don’t know why it has taken long that the FCTA has not resettled them and so we will take immediate action to see that the indigenes of these place are resettled and then government has to plan out this place.
“When government says take building plan, it is not to suffer anybody but to make sure that everyone is protected. Cities are planned to forestall this kind of occurrences. Imagine buildings without approval. I will ask that we must identify and arrest the owner of this property. It is very important.

“Government will, of course, take over this area and make sure no further development is carried out here. I want all the stakeholders here to please work with government in the interest of everybody. No one has come here to say I like A, I don’t like B. I know sometimes government’s decisions may not be too comfortable with the people, but in the long run, it is in the interest of the people.
“Now we are all gathered here and none of us is happy we are here. These are the things we are trying to forestall. Again I sympathize with those who lost dear lives, while government will pick up the bills of all those in the hospital.
“We will also support the rescue efforts and ensure that they get to the last level and rescue everyone still trapped in the rubble”.
Director General of FCT Emergency Management Agency FEMA, Dr Abbas Idriss said 37 persons were rescued at the scene of the collapsed structure.
He said the victims were evacuated to various medical facilities in Abuja.
“Thirty Seven persons have so far been rescued and evacuated to hospital, others reportedly still trapped. Rescue team and others are on ground. Rescue operations on but slowly due to ongoing rain”. They are making frantic efforts at getting an excavator to remove people from the rubble”, he added.
The DG commended the efforts of all stakeholders working hard manually to rescue trapped persons, including members of the community.

It was gathered that the victims were taken to various hospitals including the National Hospital, Asokoro, Nyanya, and Garki District Hospitals, Alliance hospital and Zenith hospital.
Also speaking, Director, Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, explained that the building had no planning approval because the area is meant for resettlement.
“The building is located within the Garki indigenous settlement. The building had two suspended floors, one used for commercial activities while the other floors were used as residential accommodation. The building caved in yesterday (Wednesday) and 37 persons were rescued
“The status of the place is that it is not a planned area so the development had no planning approval. In fact, the area is meant for resettlement from here to Apo resettlement town”

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