Empty apertment in Abuja will be held and sold off – FG - Soul 2 Soul Mates Blog

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Empty apertment in Abuja will be held and sold off – FG

Empty apertment in Abuja will be held and sold off – FG

A new anti-corrup­tion crusade, which focuses on the sei­zure and sale of empty houses in Abuja, the na­tion’s capital is in the offing.

Hints of the new ap­proach emerged yesterday from the Chairman, Spe­cial Presidential Investiga­tion Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla.

He said that under the in­itiative the Federal Govern­ment would take over emp­ty houses in Abuja and sell them.

Obono-Obla, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecu­tion, made this known when the “Say no Campaign”, a civ­il society organisation, visit­ed him in Abuja.

He said there was need for the government to col­laborate with civil socie­ty groups in order to search out properties of looters of the national treasury.

Obono-Obla said: “I want the houses taken over, that is where CSOs will have to work with us. We have to take over those buildings and sell them and maybe put the money into education for our chil­dren.

“I was appointed to work to galvanise the anti-corrup­tion war. This assignment is a very important one and I will do it well, ’’ he stressed.

He said there was a law known as the Recovery of Public Property Special Pro­visions Act, which had been in existence for the past 40 years without being imple­mented by successive re­gimes.

According to him, if that law was used, corruption would have been reduced drastically in Nigeria.

The presidential aide said that the law specifies that an­yone who lied about his or her assets would go to prison for 21 years and if such assets are more than the person’s earnings, the punishment is life imprisonment.

The prosecutor said that his office was ready to col­laborate with civil society groups to fight corruption and urged them to submit the names of people who own properties illegally, es­pecially public servants.

“This is because I have been asked to focus on pub­lic sector corruption,’’ he added.

Obono-Obla said that public sector corruption was the endemic worm, adding that bankers could also be investigated including any­body who could not explain the sources of his wealth.

He said that the law had been in existence since Sep­tember 30, 1979, so anybody who had been in the local, state and federal govern­ments from that period till date could be investigated.

Earlier, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, one of the con­veners of the group, said the campaign was conceived to fight corruption, impunity, rape and election rigging.

Nwagwu said that the group sought partnership with the Prosecution Of­fice because of its passion to fight corruption, adding that Obono Obla’s appointment as chair would aid prosecu­tion in Nigeria.

He said that the group was worried about prosecu­tions in Nigeria especially that of anti-corruption agen­cies because sometimes there were compromising issues.

“So we want to be able to screen out particular areas where we will be coming in to assist you and if there are collaborative areas you think we can also collaborate, the CSOs will be able to do,’’ he stated.

Mr. Jaiye Gaskiya, co-convener of the group stressed the need for prop­erty identification scheme in Nigeria so that property owners could have special numbers just like the BVN.

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