BASG Comes Clean on Why it Demolished House Acquired by Reps Member in Bauchi
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
Against the background of an alleged victimisation of the member representing Bauchi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, leading to the demolition of his house at Old GRA, Bauchi, Bauchi State government has reacted on the matter.
Abdullahi informed that he bought the land on which he built the demolished house from a former Head of Service in the state and subsequently followed all necessary procedures, including registering it with the state Ministry of Lands, where he paid the sum of N360,000.
But while briefing the press on the controversy trailing the demolition of the structure, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mukhtar Mohammed Gidado, said the property in contention was allocated to the Bauchi State House of Assembly to serve as a guest house on 23rd June 2014.
The governor’s media aide informed that the property was among those referred to as Commissioners Quarters exempted from government existing policy that allowed for some of its residential houses to be sold to their occupants on an owner-occupier basis subject to the governor’s approval.
“He said despite being exempted from being sold on the owner-occupier basis, the then Commissioner for Works, Land and Housing under the past administration, Abubakar Tatari Ali, allocated the house to himself using the fictitious name of one Mohammed Kabir of Danjuma Goje Street, Bauchi.”
“The house was later sold to Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the member representing Bauchi Local Government at the House of Representatives at the cost of Nine Million Naira (N9,000,000.00),” Gidado informed.”
The government further said that, the nine houses have over the years being used as official residences of Commissioners and other top Government functionaries including security chiefs posted to the state and therefore could not have been sold on owner-occupier basis as being claimed by the Federal lawmaker.
According to him, “The Government’s decision to demolish the construction work was informed by the following facts: There is an existing policy of the State Government that allows, subject to the approval of His Excellency, the Executive Governor for some of its residential houses to be sold to their occupants on owner-occupier basis. However, Government’s houses along Buba Yero Road, Old GRA, Bauchi popularly referred to as Commissioners Quarters are exempted from this policy”.
According to the Governor’s aide, following the purported Sale of the House to Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, the State House of Assembly wrote to inform the Government on 28/10/2019 about the development since the house had earlier been allocated to them to serve as Guest House.
“Consequently, the Government formally requested Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi to provide documentary evidence of the sale of the house to him which up to this moment, he has not obliged the State Government with the documents.
Also, The State Judiciary had on 17th February, 2021 wrote to inform the Government that the house was being used as a hideout by criminal elements. These criminal elements have been terrorizing the residents of the neighbouring houses.
He said that, “Upon receipt of the reports of the State House of the Assembly and the Judiciary, Government directed its relevant agencies to investigate the matter. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi had demolished the main building of the property and commenced construction of a new structure at the site”.
According to the SA, a Notice of Revocation was served on Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi on 21st and 23rd September 2021 in respect of the Certificate of Occupancy fraudulently granting him ownership of the property by the then commissioner of Works, Land and Housing, Abubakar Tatari Ali.
He however said that The Revocation Notice was duly acknowledged saying that, “In spite of the revocation order, Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi continued with the construction work on the site. Consequently, the State Development Board marked the building for ‘’Stop Work Order” on 27th September, 2021 which he flagrantly refused to comply”.
He added that a Team of the State Government officials led by the Secretary to the State Government went to the site on 29/9/2021 to confirm the development. Upon reaching the site, the team confirmed the construction work and was confronted by one Ibrahim Ago who threatened fire and brimstone, insulted and threatened the officials.
“An emergency Security Committee meeting under the chairmanship 0f the Secretary to State Government was convened immediately to discuss the development. In attendance were the Commissioner of Police, the Commander 33 Artillery Brigade, Director DSS, Commandant National Security and Civil Defence Corps, Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Hon. Commissioner of Land and Survey, Hon. Commissioner of Works and Transport and the Special Adviser on Security. The Secretary to the State Government briefed the meeting on the development as captured in the preceding paragraphs.
At the meeting, it was resolved as that the State Police Command should provide security back-up for the demolishing exercise while the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice should provide the Security Service Chiefs in the State with the copies of the relevant documents relating to the case and to file criminal complaints against the said Ibrahim Ago.
In compliance with the resolution of the security committee, a team was sent by the State Government on 30/9/2021 to demolish the illegal structure. On reaching the site, the team was confronted by thugs hired by Hon. Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi and led by the said Ibrahim Ago. The thugs fired at the team who had to withdraw to avoid casualty.
He concluded that, “as I stated earlier this press conference has been convened to give the general public the true picture of the whole scenario regarding the controversy over House No. 7, Buba Yero Road, Old GRA, Bauchi. It is my hope that with the facts that have been made available to you, the General public will be better informed about the position of things on the property in question”.
“I want to reassure the good people of Bauchi State that the State Government is up to its responsibility of ensuring safety, security and adherence the rule of law, and will not allow anybody, no matter how highly placed to compromise this standard. Those that seek to dare the Government do so at their own peril”, he warned.”