The Kwara State government has defended the revocation of a swathe of land illegally acquired by the late strong man of Kwara politics, Dr Olusola Saraki.
The state bureau of lands in a statement disclosed details surrounding the plots of land in the prime Government Reservation Area, Ilorin, in a bid to clarify issues surrounding the episode. The full statement reads:
“The entire land was acquired in the 1970s for Overriding Public Interest and same was initially designed to host the Phase II of the State Secretariat. The construction of the said State Secretariat Phase II was actually commenced and it was at superstructure level before same was abandoned,” the Director General of the Bureau of Lands, Ibrahim Salman said in a statement.
“The entire land was later redesigned in the 1980s for the construction of a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the Clinic and the State Secretariat.
“The Clinic was subsequently constructed in 1982, while the remaining plots of land were conceived for the expansion of the Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.
“The dream of the state Government was stalled when part of the land slated for the parking lot was spuriously allocated in principle to one Asa Investment for commercial purpose.
“From available records, the allocation was not based on a formal application, nor application forms filled; there was no evidence of payment for the said allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and consequently, no right of occupancy was ever issued to the Company.
“Furthermore, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and constructed what is today known as ‘Ile Arugbo’ on part of the land that was designed as parking lot and later conceived to host the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.
“Following a resolution of the Kwara State House of Assembly mandating him to revoke/withdraw the spurious allocation, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq recently signed an instrument to reclaim the land on the ground that same was unlawfully allocated to a private Company contrary to the public purpose of its acquisition and occupied in breach of the terms of allocation.”