Govt Probes Illegal Land Acquisition In Asaba

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The Delta State Government has formally set up investigative panels to unveil the discrepancies in illegal allocation of lands and issuane of “fake” certificates of occupancy (C of Os) in the state.

Two of such panels are already constituted with five member each, according to the Chairman of the State Task Force on Demolition of Illegal Structures and Commisssioner for Lands, Surveys and Urban Development, Barrister Raymos Guanah.

In an interview with our correspondent, Barrister Guanah revealed that the panels had been empowered to investigate all cases relating to land acquisition and to make appropriate recommendations to the Governor.

According to Barrister Guanah, among the areas to be looked into are the separate discovery of illegally fenced 10 hectares of land another 20 hectares of land and other lands found to have been illegally acquired and fenced or built on by individuals.

Moreover, Barrister Guanah disclosed that midway into the recent demolition exercises, some persons came up with claims that their buildings were demolished in errors, but acknowledge that he was aware that the ministry served all developers with relevant papers to stop work.

“All the same, we set up the committee to look into their claims,” he said.

The second committee according to him is investigating eases relating to the land of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), where an individual allegedly used an illegal C of O to sell the land to a developer.

He said that the developer also had an approved building plan and a consent of a land already allocated to an institution.

The Commissioner reiterated his warning that at the panel sitting, any staff of the ministry of lands found to have perpetrated an unlawful act will be dealt with, adding that some staff might have misled the government into taking wrong decision.