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FCTA, Nigerian Army headed for showdown over Jonathan’s cousin’s multi-billion naira Maitama extention



FCTA, Nigerian Army headed for showdown over Jonathan's cousin's multi-billion naira Maitama extention

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA and the Nigerian Army may be headed for a titanic battle, as soldiers have seized the multi-billion naira Maitama Extension District.

 Heavily armed soldiers have blocked off the area allegedly on the order of the Chief of Army staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai.

Soldiers reportedly stormed the 230 hectare site being worked on by a construction company,  Kakatar Civil Engineering Limited and sealed it off.

Kakatar is owned by Robert Azibaola, a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan, prompting rumors that he may be fronting for the former president.

The company was awarded the contract of providing engineering infrastructures for the proposed highbrow district by the FCTA.

However, the army claims the land, which has been allocated to over 400 Nigerians, belongs to it, but is yet to show documents to back up its claim.

According to investigations, the soldiers were led to the site by a general, with orders to take over the place and not to allow anyone in or out of the premises.

Read also: Buhari’s slow response stalls return of Etete’s $85m loot 

Maitama Extension, which was first named ‘Jonathan District’ by the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Mohammed Bello, before it was rejected by former President Jonathan, has former heads of state, serving and former top military officials, top former ruling party leaders and some powerful and influential traditional and religious leaders in the country as allottees.

The Army, while justifying it’s action, insisted that  the land was its own and that it took it back to prevent further encroachment. The area in question shares boundary with the Lungui Barracks of the Nigerian Army.

The Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said: “The said property is on Nigerian Army land and the army will not allow anybody to encroach on its land. Consequently, the property has to be sealed to prevent further encroachment.”

Reacting to the seizure of the land and the ‘detention’ of its equipments,  the spokesman for Kakatar, Mr. Austin Ekeinde, said in a statement that the action of the Nigerian Army had caused the firm daily losses estimated at hundreds of millions of Naira and caused untold hardship for thousands of families, as workers in Kakatar are now being forced to stay home.

“It is instructive to note at no time did the company suggest or claim that the land upon which it was using as a site to coordinate the project belongs to Kakatar. Never.

“All that we have been doing is to speedily complete the contract in accordance with the terms given by the FCDA and pull out our multi-million equipment so that the plot owners can move into their property and live happily.

“And as a proof of our sincerity of purpose, and good neighborliness, no notice of any security breach or infraction has ever been sent to us by the Nigerian Army.

“Nigerians should also note that no enquiry as to our presence or intention to recover any land was ever sent to us before the costly invasion locking in our equipment and driving away thousands of Nigerians working with us”, Ekeinde said.

Findings  also show that official residences being built for the Senate President, his deputy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his deputy and other principal officers of the National Assembly, may suffer serious setbacks as they are located within the seized district.

There are emerging reports that the FCT minister, Mr Muhammed Bello has delved into the issue to seek an amiable resolution.

By Timothy Enietan-Matthews…

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