The Committee on the Review of sales of Kwara State government property from 1999 to date, has stated that the use of ‘Ile arugbo’ to describe the expanse of land where late Dr Olusola Saraki built the structure demolished by the state government last Thursday gave an erroneous impression of a structured building where old people were catered for, saying “this is not so.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Makanjuola Ajadi, disclosed this in Ilorin on Monday while briefing newsmen on the controversy surrounding government’s reclamation of the land.
It would be recalled that the building on the land opposite late Saraki’s house in Ilorin was reclaimed by the government while the building on it, known as “Ile arugbo” was demolished.
Ajadi said what was on the land until the physical reclamation by the government was a shed used by the late Saraki to keep people waiting to see him for political meetings.
“In essence, the house built and lived by the late Dr Olusola Saraki is intact, not touched or demolished by the Kwara State government,” he said.
The commitee chairman added that there is no proof of payment or Right of Occupancy to the land by Saraki, adding that the land was earmarked for the construction of state secretariat.
“The issue of the land in question came under the terms of reference of the committee which considered several other properties of government and submitted its recommendations in July 2019.
“As was the case with all the properties looked into by the committee, the committee’s recommendations are based strictly on available records.
“Based on the available records, the committee did not see proof of any payment nor an approved Right of Occupancy,” he said.
According to him, the committee discovered that there is a foundation on the land with erected columns at varying areas of the larger segment of it.
His words: “The Committee also noted that the land in question was also a part of a larger parcel of land, part of which has been developed into a Civil Service Clinic and Secretariat complex now housing the state Ministry of Finance, among others.
“With emphasis, from all records available, there is no ‘Right of Occupancy’ or ‘Certificate of Occupancy’ available to the private firm which the land was allocated in principle.
“There is also no application nor receipt of payments for the land. Where, therefore, is the right to a claim to this land?”
He described as absurd, putting a political gathering place beside a clinic.
“A hospital is supposed to be a serene environment for the welfare of patients; it is definitely not a political war centre where people make the loudest noise, fight, or found themselves enmeshed in the commotion and fatal stampede which was the lot of that place,” Ajadi stated.
Ajadi further stated that based on existing convention, land set aside by government for specific public use should not be converted to private use.
“In view of the above reasons, the committee is convinced to recommend that the land be repossessed and put to the original use it was meant for,” he stated.