The encumbrances surrounding allocation of 246 hectares of land earmarked for military barracks in Maitama District of the Federal Capital Territory in 1996 came to fore during Senate Committee on FCT hearing on Monday through a report presented to the Committee by the current Minister, Mohammed Bello.
The Senator Dino Melaye led Senate Committee on FCT waded into land impasse between authorities of Nigeria Army and allottees of the affected area barely two months ago, but the Minister sought time to enable investigations.
Presenting the report, the Minister disclosed that the plot in dispute which is about 246 hectares was actually allocated to Nigeria Army in 1996 to be used as Military barracks.
“Distinguished Chairman and members, the land which is 246 hectares of land was allocated to Nigeria Military to be used as barracks in 1996. But in 2009, about 600 plots was resold for N5.6billion by that administration”, Bello said.
Bello exculpated military authorities of any complicity, but urged the Committee to allow them time to continue dialogue with those involved, stressing, that their discussion was already yielding results.
The Minister added that the FCT administration was working hard to identify other areas of land dispute as a result of multiple allocation that has been a culture of past administrations.
DAILY POST checks revealed that Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero was the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory having been appointed by late Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua 2008.
Committee Chairman, Dino Melaye explained that it was wrong for the plot to be allocated to individuals, noting that it posed threat to national security as individual owners could resold it to enemies who could use it as a base to attack military barracks.
“It is an act of irresponsibility on part of government officials to allocate plots earmarked for institutions to be allocated to individuals because of greed”, he said.
He urged the FCT minister to compensate those who would lose their allocation since the problem was not theirs.
Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai cautioned against allocating plot of land that are strategic to national security, insisting that there was no way millitary authorities would allow civilian occupation of Maitama plot as it was too close to barracks.
He called on the Senate to be committed to national securities, stressing that peace was what the nation need to deepen its democratic structures while ensuring that Nigeria Military will continue to subject itself to civil authorities.