The committee on the review of sales of Kwara state government properties from 1999 till date says there is no application or payment records for “Ile Arugbo”, the political home of Olusola Saraki, father of the former senate president.
The property was demolished in the early hours of Thursday following the revocation of the land by the government.
AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kwara governor, said the land originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic, was illegally allocated to a private firm — Asa Investments Limited — owned by the late father of the ex-senate president.
Speaking with reporters on Sunday, Suleiman Ajadi, chairman of the committee, said what was on the land was a “shed” that Saraki’s father used to “keep people waiting to see him for political meetings” adding that it was not a home for old people.
Ajadi said it was absurd that political meetings were being held behind a clinic.
“Let me draw the attention of Nigerians to the use of ‘Ile Arugbo’ to describe the land in question. Usage of that phrase leads to many people erroneously thinking of a structured building where old people were catered for,” he said.
“This is not so. What was on ground until the physical reclamation by the government was a shed used by the late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki to keep people waiting to see him for political meetings. In essence, the house built and lived in by the late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki is intact, not touched or demolished by the Kwara state government.
“In addition, it is Important to discuss the issue of ownership which should be central to the whole debate. With emphasis, from all records available, there is no ‘Right of Occupancy’ or ‘Certificate of Occupancy’ available to the private firm to 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? Another issue of note is the absurdity of putting a political gathering place beside a (medical) clinic. A hospital is supposed to be a serene environment for welfare of patients.”
The chairman added that the issue has generated “needless controversy”.