Mohammed Musa Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has signed off choice land plots in massive scale for himself and leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in a manner that underscores a worsening pang of corruption in public space.
The beneficiaries of this massive round of land allocations include APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, and his wife, Senator Remi Tinubu, both of whom used proxy names.
The land largesse has carefully been carved up among the proverbial fat cats of the presidential seat of power in Abuja. The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, who currently faces trial for sundry corrupt enrichment; current SGF, Boss Mustapha; former Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawan Daura; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika are among prominent names whose allocations’ right of occupancy (R of O) have been delivered.
The Minister personally took care of himself, members of the federal cabinet, principal officers of the two chambers of the legislature and many of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aides with two choice allocations of 6,000 square metres each. Separate choice plots in Maitama and Guzape districts were received by each beneficiary. Other beneficiaries of the land allocation largesse with only a plot each are non-principal officers of the National Assembly and fringe aides within the Presidency.
Several of the beneficiaries in this land bazaar orchestrated by the Minister have previously benefited from government allocations in the FCT under different official positions. For instance, as Tinubu, Saraki and Amaechi were recipients of choice land allocations in Abuja whilst seating as governors and chairmen of the Governors Forum respectively.
Following his appointment as FCT Minister, Bello had promised to address all land racketeering in Abuja. He proceeded to inaugurate two committees to address the public petitions. The committees pored through case files, invited individuals involved and finally made recommendations. However, as it shows, Bello’s interests had switched to more pecuniary matters. Not a single recommendation of the committees has attracted his attention.
Contrary to what is on ground, the Minister recently claimed that his administration had resolved 500 lingering land racketeering cases. Our sources assert that he has not attended to any. Furthermore, none of the requests by organised official groups from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for allocation of land for low and medium-income estates to address peculiar housing challenges has received his attention.
For staffers of the FCT, Bello has been a particularly indolent Minister with established cases of sitting on budgetary appropriations for utilities in the FCT wand continued instances of elapsed budgetary provisions repeatedly returned to the treasury.