$18.3 Billion Fraud: FCT, Abuja Centenary City Project’s Fund

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Nigeria Centenary City project was flag off in 2014 by the past incumbent political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the auspices of the led former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Federal Government of Nigeria to celebrate the country attainment of 100year since it amalgamation of 1914.

This centenary City project was criticized by the masses, that it is a mis-priority for the federal Government to embarked on such massive capital project at the expense of the average Nigerians, the unemployed youths and that Nigeria still in debt to international organization, that what the federal government under the former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should focus on eradication of corruption, creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed youth roaming the nooks and crannies of the various states, security of life and property of Nigerians.

The federal government under the control of the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had approved the high capital intense centenary city’s project in 2014 to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary anniversary and the former SSG to the federation and former speaker of the National House of Assembly Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim to the former President, was the pioneer and driver of the project, estimated to worth over $18.376bn.

The present Mohammadu Buhari led federal government of Nigeria which has been acknowledged and reckoned with zero tolerance against corruption and financial mismanagement.

The National House of Representatives of the federal government of Nigeria has constituted a panel/committee under the Code of conduct Bureau (CCB); the committee to probe the Centenary City project under the former president Goodluck Jonathan, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim and a former minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja minister, Bala Mohammed over the Centenary City project.

The committee of the House of Representatives also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim over his role in the acquisition of the vast land measuring approximately 1, 267 acres for the controversial multi-billion dollar FCT, Abuja Centenary City project and a former FCT minister, Bala Mohammed over the $18.376bn Centenary City project.

The committee also called the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) should equally probe the owners of Centenary City Plc, Ms Boma Ozobia, and Mr. Paul Oki. That Ms. Boma Ozobia and Mr. Paul Oki are the sole directors of Centenary City Plc, a firm incorporated for the sole purpose of executing the Centenary City project that was handed the $18.376bn Centenary City project.

The House of Representatives panel/committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), chaired by the Representative of Benue State of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Hon. Herman Hembe disclosed that the two agencies should ascertain the role played by both the former Secretary General of the Federation under the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Federal Capital Territory Ex-minister, Mr. Bala Mohammed in the promotion and selection of investor as well as management of the entire $18.376bn FCT, Abuja Centenary City project.

He said that the promoters of the centenary city’s project allegedly “abused” the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s led federal government directives and also flouted the existing laws guiding the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja land-swap policy to suit individual and other business interests. He made this known in its report before the House of Representative on 2nd March 2017.

The committee said, “The implementation of the centenary city project from beginning to its current status leaves much to be desired that from the onset the federal government under the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan directives were flouted, relevant laws were violated and contractual obligations were wantonly breached.

the committee’s report enumerated several outcome of their enquiry conducted before the before Hon. Speaker Yakubu Dogara, House of Representative on committee’s investigation into allegations of financial irregularities, misappropriation and fraud.

The report states disclosed that the former SSG, Anyim Pius Anyim was the main driver of the FCT, Abuja Centenary City project, that he knew or should have known that financial consideration was the real essence for sourcing for a private investor for the project. That there was nothing in the portfolio of Centenary City Plc owned by Ms Boma Ozobia, and Mr. Paul Oki to suggest that the company had the financial capacity to implement a project of worth over $18.376bn.

The panel also urged that President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government should direct the managing director of the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) to revoke the status of certificate of Free Trade Zone granted to the Centenary City Plc and that the company should be deregistered from the status of free trade zone to a non free trade zone entity.

The committee prayed that the Right of Occupancy and the Certificate of Occupancy “purportedly granted” the company on April 10, 2014 by the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Ex-minister, Mr. Bala Mohammed should be revoked in respect of the vast land measuring approximately 1, 267 acres covered by the Centenary City project should be restored and return to their original owners.

The House of Representative which is the lower chamber of the National House of Assembly of the federation was presided over by the House of Representatives Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

The Chairman of the committee therefore prayed all the members of the House of Representatives that the only feasible way to do justice and equity to all parties is to restore them to the position they were and put the law on motion through the appropriate law enforcement agencies to investigate the circumstances of the project and prosecute anyone found guilty.

The Speaker of the House of Representative adjourned the matter till further date.

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