There was no approval for the Property

In a dramatic twist to the ongoing dispute over a 214-hectare land in the Asokoro District of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, has vehemently denied allegations of ethnic bias in the demolition of a property allegedly belonging to Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu, Chairman and CEO of the SNECOU Group Limited.

The demolition has sparked a heated debate, with Ukachukwu accusing Wike of acting without judicial approval and targeting him because of his Igbo heritage.

During his monthly live media chat, Wike provided a detailed explanation of the events leading up to the demolition.

He argued that the allocation of the land to Ukachukwu was unauthorized, as it was done during a period when there was no acting minister to approve such transactions. This period of oversight, according to Wike, has led to rampant land-grabbing activities in Abuja, facilitated by compromised officials within the land department of his ministry.

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Wike highlighted the complexity of the issue, revealing that upon taking office, he was confronted with numerous petitions related to land disputes. In response, he convened a meeting with the involved parties and their legal representatives to thoroughly examine each case. Determined to address the corruption within the land department, Wike stated his intention to seek guidance from external legal advisors rather than relying on internal counsel.

“I have been doing this before. I will continue to do it. And nothing will happen. Criminals are criminals. They may come in different ways. I have never seen people like land-grabbing people in this place. I came in, I met so many petitions. One company came with different petitions, with different owners of properties.”

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“I summoned all of them. They came with their lawyers, senior advocates. And I said look what is this? Companies presented their own cases. Company A presented their own case, company B presented their own, company C, company D, Company E, I said okay, I am going to seek advice from external solicitors.”

“I am not going to take advice from insiders, because the biggest fraud is that the land department has been compromised. I sought the views of senior lawyers and told them, we need to do things differently.”

“This land, by this so-called ethnic jingoist, was allocated when there was no minister. The minister left on May 29, 2023. By June the land was allocated by the director of lands.”

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“We all met and agreed that nobody should do anything on the land until we are able to make a final decision. You know what happened? These guys thought they were too smart and they started selling the land,” he said.

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