The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Properties (SPIP) has placed a property housing the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) under investigation. The property, Murjanatu House, which is being managed by Zamani Estate Agency and Property Ltd, also houses branches of First Bank Nigeria Ltd and Standard Chartered Bank, among others.
The panel’s head of media and communication, Lucie-Ann Laha said the action of the panel in placing a “Under Investigation” notice on the building on Monday was in furtherance to the findings of the panel thus far. She said according to findings, the property, which is situated on Plot 445 Maitama Cadastral Zone A05 in Abuja, was originally allocated to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
The property became a subject of investigation following a petition to the panel on December 12, 2018 by one Ambassador Abdullah Alifa, the chairman of Petroleum Financial Corporate Ltd (PFC). Alifa, in the petition, had told the panel that his company in 2003 won a competitive bidding exercise conducted by NBTE to develop and manage the property for a period of 23 years with effect from the date of completing the envisaged building.
He said in 2006 while the company was still at the development phase, “There was an illegal and inexplicable encroachment of the property by Messrs. D.B. Mangal Limited and AFDIN Construction Company.
This encroachment was purportedly based on a spurious claim of a revocation of the title of NBTE, which was obviously in total disregard of the extant laws of the country in that respect.”
The petitioner said the encroachment happened after his company had paid N24million to the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) in 2005 for the recertification of the certificate of occupancy of the NBTE property, which he said was handed over to PFC on behalf of the NBTE.
He said Messrs. D.B. Mangal Limited and AFDIN Construction Company continued with their construction on the property despite an order of court by Justice Sidi Bage in 2007 directing “the cessation of all such activities on the property.” He said the recovery of the property would be for the NBTE, who he said is the rightful owner of the property.