The Bauchi State Government has given reasons for the demolition of a house located in the Commissioners Quarters, Old GRA, Bauchi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the demolished building was purportedly sold to a member representing Bauchi Federal Constituency, Mr Yakubu Abdullahi, years ago.
Mr Mukthar Gidado, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Gov. Bala Mohammmed, gave the clarification on Monday in Bauchi at a news conference.
He said although the state government came up with a policy that allowed for some of its residential houses to be sold to their occupants on owner-occupier basis, government houses in the Commissioners Quarters were, however, exempted.
“The said house located at No. 7, Buba Yero Road, Old GRA, Bauchi was allocated on 23/6/2014 to the State House of Assembly to serve as a Guest House, ” he said.
According to Gidado, in spite of the exemption of houses on Buba Yero Road from the Owner-Occupier Policy, the then the Commissioner for Works, Land and Housing under the past immediate Administration allocated the house to himself using a fictitious name.
“The house was later sold to Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi the member representing Bauchi Local Government in the House of Representatives, for nine million naira.
Gidado said that despite violating the government policy exempting the house from the owner-occupier scheme, there was no record either in the treasury or at the Ministry of Housing to show that nine million was paid into government coffers.
“Not only that, the whole process of the purported sale of the house did not follow due process because the value of the house was not assessed by relevant government agencies.
“The government formally requested Mr Abdullahi to provide documentary evidence of the sale of the house to him which up to this moment, he has not obliged the government with the documents,” he said.
Gidado noted that the notice of revocation was served on Abdullahi on Sept. 21 and the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy on Sept. 23.
“The revocation notice was duly acknowledged. In spite of the revocation order, Mr Abdullahi continued with the construction work on the site.
“Consequently, the State Development Board marked the building for ‘’Stop Work Order” on Sept. 27, which he flagrantly refused to comply with,” he said.
Responding, Abdullai admitted not to have acquired the property through allocation.
“I didn’t acquire that land through allocation. I purchased it from somebody who was genuinely allocated the land through owner-occupier. I bought the land four or five years ago.
“I didn’t even buy the land directly from the man who got the allocation. I am the third person that bought the land.
“ I did all the necessary documentation and I followed due process. I paid building approval issued by the government.
“I paid ground rents up to 2024, even though the Certificate of Occupancy was not issued in my name. (NAN)