Thursday, 18 October 2012

Awo Not Guilty As Charged By Chinua Achebe: Here Is Why!-Part 1

Posted: October 18, 2012 - 14:50 By Dr. Wumi Akintide I have vowed never to comment on Chinua Achebe’s controversial best seller titled “There was a Country” until I have had a chance to read it from cover to cover. Having read the book, I now feel at liberty to do a 3 part series on it starting with this one. I do not believe anyone can do justice to all of the issues raised in that book in one or two articles. I have read some of the comments by prominent Igbo leaders supporting the central thesis of Chinua Achebe’s indictment of Obafemi Awolowo as the man who arguably crafted, engineered and implemented the genocidal policies that led to the Biafran War. Chinua Achebe has argued that Awolowo and by implication the Yoruba people as a whole should be held responsible for the more than 2 million deaths from Biafra and half that number or more from the Federal side because nobody was able to keep an accurate record of how many people died in that war on both sides. I was an Assistant Secretary (Army) in Defense Headquarters in Lagos and I know that to be the truth. All I can tell you is that there was needless loss of lives on both sides. The Abagana disaster which was the most successful ambush of the Nigerian troops by the Biafran troops who effectively deployed the “Ugbunigwe” land mines against Federal troops in that war was a case in point. The inference can be drawn from Chinua Achebe’s analysis and conclusions and those who support him that Obafemi Awolowo and the Yorubas were the “fons et origo” of the Biafran apocalyptic misadventure. I would beg to disagree with that observation on hindsight. If Chinua Achebe in this book has added that here was plenty of blame to go around on both sides, and if he has gone ahead to correctly analyze and itemize those blames and those responsible for them, I would have been less critical of the learned Professor in this write-up. Why? Because the learned Professor to me remains one of the greatest literary giants Nigeria has ever produced. He has been a hero of mine from my Secondary School days when I first read his “Things Fall Apart”. If I was one of the judges in the Board of Assessors for the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature, I would have picked the man before I pick my former Lecturer and fellow Yoruba juggernaut, Professor Emeritus of English Language, Wole Soyinka. I honestly consider “Things Fall Apart” as Chinua Achebe’s greatest literary gift to the Universe. The book has now been translated into more than 192 foreign languages the last time I checked. That to me is an eloquent testimony to the distinction of Chinua Achebe’s as Nigeria’s closest runners-up to William Shakespeare. I will therefore be the last person to cast aspersion on anything Chinua Achebe has ever written. It is in fact beyond my pay grade to want to do that. But that said, I am a bit disillusioned that Chinua Achebe who is not saying anything new about what many among his tribe have said about Obafemi Awolowo and the Yorubas would choose this particular time of all times to start lending his powerful voice to uninformed speculations about any role Awolowo and the Yorubas must have played in cajoling Biafrans to fight a war in which they lost so much. The Achebe book could not have come at a worse moment for the South at a time the Jonathan Government has now finally agreed to allow the Sovereign National Conference to go forward. The three dominant tribes in Nigeria i.e. the Hausa/Fulani Oligarchy in the North, the Igbos in the South East and the Yorubas in the Southwest and now the Ijaws in the South/South should not have to face this kind of wedge issue that could predictably weaken the solidarity of the South as we prepare for that conference to drastically restructure Nigeria for the good of the country. The Igbos and the Yorubas - two of the most progressive, educated, civilized and economically vibrant tribes in Nigeria would be doing ourselves a huge disfavor to go into that national conference with a mind set that emphasizes what divides us rather than what unites us. Chinua Achebe who I consider as one of the powerful voices to decide where Nigeria goes from here in that conference should not have allowed himself to be used as enabler to further divide the South at this time. I personally regret that the Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu, the undisputed leader of the Igbos and the Commander-in-Chief of the Biafran forces in that war did not live long enough to complete his memoirs on that war like he had promised to do. That memoir would have cleared the air once and for all. The central thesis of Chinua Achebe in that book would have been more credible to me if that conclusion had come from the Ikemba himself. I could care less about what the so-called Commander of Biafran Army, “General” Alex Madiebo had said that Chinua Achebe had understated the hostility of Obafemi Awolowo to Igbo nation. I am fully aware of how Okwealieze Nwodo and Dr. Mbadinuju have already endorsed the Chinua Achebe’s view point in the book. I am also aware that former Governor Ezeife has issued a statement which I totally agree with that we must all remember that “Awolowo did not join the war against Nigeria and neither did he start the war against Eastern Region but he eventually joined Gowon” What Governor Ezeife did not add and should have added was that Ogbuefi Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Igbos foremost leader who reportedly composed the Biafran National Anthem has also had cause to desert Biafra and to side with Gowon at the most critical phase of the war. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that the Azikiwe’s retreat or betrayal had dealt a far more fatal blow to the Biafran struggle than anything that Awolowo ever did. Ogbuefi Nnamdi Azikiwe far more than Odumegwu Ojukwu at the time was like the Ayatollah, the spiritual and ultimate leader of Iran while Ojukwu could be compared to Ahmadinejad the transient political leader of Iran. “Ayatollah” Azikiwe taking a U turn and siding with General Gowon at the time was a major blow to Biafra“ far more damaging than anything Awolowo ever did. It was only a question of time before the Ikemba clearly saw the hand writing on the wall by quickly flying to exile in the Ivory Coast thereby leaving “General” Philip Effiong to handle the surrender formalities that ended the War. Chinua Achebe did not dwell so much on that development in his book but he found it convenient to put all the blame on Obafemi Awolowo and the Yorubas and their ambition to subjugate and forever humiliate the Igbos using genocide as a convenient weapon. Socrates was right when he said that “what any man is saying or seeing is often a factor of where that man is sitting or standing at any given point” I will concede to Professor Chinua Achebe that he probably drew his conclusion based on where he was sitting or standing when he made his observation, But there is more to what really happened in that war than the totality of what Chinua Achebe has stated in that book. It was as if Chinua Achebe was less concerned about the sequence of events leading to the Biafran War in 1967 which included the murder of Ahmadu Bello in January 15, 1966, the assassination Aguiyi Ironsi at Ibadan 6 months later and the heroic role played by Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, a Yoruba man who laid down his own life rather than betray his Igbo Commander-in-Chief. Chinua Achebe seemed to forget that the Igbos and the Hausas dominated the Nigerian Military pre and post- Independence era because the Hausas dominated the rank and file of the Military in Nigeria while the Igbos clearly dominated the officer rank. The Yorubas at that particular time in our history did not particularly value the Military and the Nigerian Police and the Para-military establishments in Nigeria as career points for our people. Yorubas preferred joining the Civil Service or going to teach than seeking a career in the Military. When I graduated from the University of Ife in June 1966 as the first child of all Nigerian veterans of the Second World War to win the British/Canadian Legion Scholarship to do my first degree, the Military should have been the first choice for me. I could easily have been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Defense Academy in Kaduna. I was actually made an offer and encouraged to join the Army by then Major and late General Agbazika Innih as I recall. I rejected the offer because my mother would not let me take it because I was my mother’s only child. I did not think I lost anything at the time because smart and educated Yorubas would rather take a teaching job or join the Civil Service than join the Military. I predictably ended up taking up a teaching job first at Aquinas College, Akure from June 1966 before crossing over to Igbobi College, Lagos from where I joined the Federal Public Service as an Administrative Officer in the Federal Ministry of Defense on January 3rd 1968 with late Yusuf Gobir from Kwara as my Permanent Secretary and late B. G. Popo as my Deputy Permanent Secretary. It would have been na├»ve and foolish of the Yorubas under Awolowo to simply join forces with the Igbos to fight or confront the Hausa/Fulani dominance of Nigeria with only a few Yorubas in the Military at the time. That was one of Awolowo’s calculations. Awolowo was among the few prominent Yoruba men bold enough to visit the East to try to persuade Ojukwu to reconsider his declaration of war against Nigeria because he clearly told Ojukwu that the West was not militarily and mentally ready to join in, if the East decided to go forward with her plan to break away. The same Awo who did not suffer fools gladly did not hesitate to convey to General Yakubu Gowon in an unmistakable language that if the East is allowed to break away then the West would have no other choice than to separate from the North. It was an honest position to take because Awolowo had always demonstrated his preference to form a coalition with the East than with the North because he was convinced it would make more sense to team up with the East and the Yorubas supported him in that decision. If Awolowo was the kind of leader Chinua Achebe was painting him to be in that book he would have preferred going with the North which was more educationally backward and disadvantaged at the time. Awolowo was by far the strongest Nigerian leader of that era who knew what he wanted and the courage to state his case very clearly. Another Yoruba leader who made it clear he totally supported the Igbos for wanting to break away because of the genocide unleashed on them in the North by the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy was Professor Wole Soyinka. The third Yoruba man who was a self-confessed confidant of Odumegwu Ojukwu and a great friend of the Igbos in general was the late Professor Samuel Adepoju Aluko who lectured for many years at the great University of Nsukka. There was also late Tai Solarin who wrote several articles opposing the killing of the Igbos in the North. These distinguished Yoruba men plus Colonel Banjo who actually gave up his life fighting under the Biafran flag and Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi who gave up his life like I said earlier, were all out rooting for the Igbos during the war. Let anyone with facts dispute the facts I am making here if they have them. How for goodness sake can Professor Achebe not remember some of the peaceful and friendly overtures the Yorubas have made to the Igbos on so many occasions in the history of Nigeria. It baffles me that the Professor would not mention anything about these larger than life overtures the Yorubas have always made to the Igbos because we view the Igbos as being more compatible with us than the Hausa/Fulani Oligarchy and majority of us still feel the same way till now. The Yorubas have demonstrated that goodwill every now and then. When Nigeria became independent in 1960, Awolowo had proposed to Azikiwe for the NCNC and the Action Group to form a coalition to run the central Government with Awolowo agreeing to let Azikiwe become Prime Minister while he himself would be happy to settle for Finance Minister. The man did the right thing but Azikiwe turned him down. Look where the NCNC/NPC coalition has led Nigeria today 52 years later. Need I say more? Azikiwe and the Igbos instead chose to go with the Northerners because they have made the calculation that the Igbos were going to be able to dominate the Hausas more than they could ever hope to dominate the Yorubas who were equally as educated as the Igbos. Come on folks. There is plenty of blame to go around, if we want to be realistic. The Igbos have made a few mistakes like the Yorubas. What the hell is Chinua Achebe talking about? Wasn’t Azikiwe going to become the first Premier of Western Nigeria while Imoke was going to be the first Premier of Eastern Nigeria? Who voted for the NCNC and Azikiwe to initially win the majority at Ibadan in 1952? Was it not the Yorubas? Can the Igbos ever point to any similar concessions for the Yorubas in their own enclave? If it exists let them say it if there is any. I am more than willing to learn. The Yorubas have been great supporters of the Igbos for as long as any of us can remember. The NCNC led by Azikiwe have always won in Ibadan, Ilesha and Akure Metropolis even in Awolowo days? Akure as I recall was among the Yoruba towns begging the Igbos to not return to the East because they were guaranteed their safety in Akure and not one of their abandoned properties in Akure were taken over after they left Akure during the war. The properties were all kept safe for them till after the war, Compare that with what happened to the Igbo’s abandoned properties in Port Harcourt and much of River’s State after the war was over! I am offended that Chinua Achebe has applied such a wide brush to use his book to chastise Awolowo and all the Yorubas as pursuing an agenda to suppress and humiliate the Igbos. That indictment is not supported by any reality check. It is sad that very few things are documented in Nigeria. There is no substitute for documented history. Those who know Awolowo very well would realize that he had political ambition to rule Nigeria but certainly not at the expense of the Igbos or any other tribe in Nigeria. Awolowo predicted long time ago that the minority Ijaws are going to rule Nigeria. The prediction has come to pass with the coronation of Jonathan. Awolowo was fighting for Democracy and development and purposeful leadership to take root in Nigeria and not a one party dictatorship where the blind will be leading the blind. If Chinua Achebe reads Awolowo’s “Path to Nigerian Freedom” the “Voice of Reason” and The Peoples’ Republic he would appreciate that Awolowo was totally above those petty ethnic jealousies and squabbles. He wanted a Nigeria we all can be proud of, with Freedom for all and Life more abundant just like he did for the old Western Region. I wish Awolowo were still alive to defend himself. I knew Obafemi Awolowo. Obafemi Awolowo was in many ways my mentor. I worked under him very closely for a year in the Federal Ministry of Finance. I was born into the Action Group, my father was one of the foundation pillars of the Action Group in the defunct Western Nigeria and in Akure the Ondo State Capital. Nigeria would never know a fighter and a braver Nigerian leader who fears nobody and will tell you his mind, come rain or shine. Awolowo was never a leader to be taken for granted or taken lightly. He drove himself far much harder than he drove others. Awolowo would look you straight in the face and tell you not what he thought you wanted to hear but what you needed to hear loud and clear. I witnessed a little bit of that when in 1974 or 1975 he addressed a Convocation at the University that now bears his name. I personally prepared the first draft of the speech he was supposed to read as Chancellor of the University. I passed on the draft of that speech for clearance thru my then Deputy Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Aminu Saleh who passed on the draft to late Abdul Azeez Attah the Permanent Secretary who made a few cosmetic changes before passing the draft to Obafemi Awolowo as Federal Commissioner for Finance and Deputy Chairman of the Federal Executive Council at the time. We were all expecting Awolowo to read our draft on the Convocation Day. Awo did not use a single word from the draft. He read the speech he himself had prepared without clearing it with Dodan Barracks or General Yakubu Gowon, his boss at the time. Awolowo was the only Federal Commissioner who could have done that without being queried by anybody. It took a lot of courage and hard work for him to do that because the speech he read was totally devoted to the 1973 or 1974 Census conducted by the Yakubu Gowon Government. Awolowo demolished the Census as dead on arrival because “it has defied all the known rules and norms of Demography in the whole world “ to use Awolowo’s exact words at the Convocation. I have never in my life seen anything like that. The late President Leopold Senghor of Senegal and Prime Minister late Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago were in the audience to be honored by the University and so was Yakubu Gowon himself. By that single stroke Obafemi Awolowo killed the Census that day. When Murtala Mohammed took over from Gowon in 1975, one of his first actions as the new Head of State was to annul the Census altogether and to order a recount. He, Murtala Mohammed, had lifted verbatim part of Awolowo’s speech in so doing. It is not for fun that the Ikemba himself, Odumegwu Ojukwu who had shown so much respect for Awolowo by describing “Awo as the best President Nigeria never had” I don’t know what Chinua Achebe is talking about. If the Ikemba has shared the views canvassed by Professor Achebe in this controversial book, he most certainly would have said so without mincing words. I have personally read a narrative of Rudolf Okonkwo’s interview with the Ikemba carried verbatim by the Sahara Reporters before the Ikemba’s death. If the Ikemba truly believed that Awolowo was to blame for all the genocidal policies against Biafra, he would have said so without any doubt. Awolowo was neither the head of the Federal Government nor the head of the Military when the genocide occurred. He was the Federal Commissioner and the Deputy Chairman to Gowon in the Federal Executive Council at the time. The policy was a joint decision of the Federal Executive Council at the time. It is totally disingenuous of Professor Achebe to now put the blame on Awolowo as if Awo was Head of Government. I totally reject that attempt. . Awolowo as Federal Commissioner for Finance had managed the finances of Nigeria at the time with distinction making sure that Nigeria did not borrow a penny to prosecute that war. He did so by persuading the Federal Executive Council to stop wasting money by creating white elephant missions abroad while the nation was engaged in a very expensive and destructive civil war. His colleague Okoi Arikpo could easily have condemned Awolowo for dabbling into the affairs of his Ministry at the time. He did not do so like because he knew Awolowo was right to champion such a cause and to master-mind and influence the implementation of that policy with clock-like precision. That was Awo for all of us during his entire public life. Nigeria was blessed to have a man of his caliber managing the nation’s finances during the civil war. By the same token Awolowo personally confided in me when I worked under him about his rational for telling General Yakubu Gowon it made no sense for his Government to continue to prolong the war and to continue to enrich the pockets of all the war commanders who did not want the war to end at all because they were substantially benefiting from it. If the war had continued beyond 3 to 5 or more years, the Biafra and Nigeria side would have lost a lot more than the 2 million Chinua Achebe wants Awolowo to be crucified for. Chinua Achebe has completely forgotten that Awolowo was an economist and a lawyer by training and profession. He realized that the Law of diminishing returns had already set in and it was his duty and responsibility as Finance Minister to stop the hemorrhage and he did by asking why it made sense to continue to actively feed the Biafran troops while they continue to have access to fresh supplies of arms and food supplies from Ivory Coast, Gabon, and one or two countries openly supporting Biafra at the time. America, right now, has unleashed very tough and harsh economic sanctions on Iran today because they don’t want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Only God can tell how many Iranians are dying today from those sanctions or how many Libyans died when NATO forces led by America cut off supplies to Libyan troops and when America started giving drones to the Libyan opposition to topple Moammar Ghadafi. When there is a war, compassion has to take a back seat. That is the plain truth that Awolowo as a leader clearly understood. Very few rational people would fault Awolowo for raising the points he has raised as the effective manager of the Nigerian finances at the time. Awolowo’s decision to persuade the Federal Government to all of a sudden change the Nigerian Currency half way thru the war so as not to allow Biafra to continue to spend the money they have looted from the Enugu branch of the Central Bank was exactly the right thing to do. The decision had forced the Biafra to go print her own money which was not internationally recognized at the time. Once Nigeria took away their financial capacity to continue the war, their Commander-in-Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu had to know it was time to end the war and he did as a rational leader. That was exactly what happened. I can understand Chinua Achebe complaining out of sympathy for his own people but for him to then take the quantum leap and start putting all the blame on Obafemi Awolowo and the Yorubas leaving out General Gowon and the Northerners who started the war as less blameless is a total outrage as far as I am concerned. It is even a worse outrage that General Yakubu Gowon and many of his commanders who are still alive and many of the northerners who started and justified the pogrom against the Igbos in the North would not stand up to put defend Obafemi Awolowo who is no longer in a position to defend himself. One would expect the Yoruba war commanders like Benjamin Adekunle, General Adeyinka Adebayo, General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Alani Akinrinade who are still alive to come out in defense of Obafemi Awolowo and the Yorubas if the northern war commanders and Yakubu Gowon are too timid to do so . I would be the first to admit that Awolowo, like every human being, is not perfect. But if you put all Nigerian leaders on a ranking scale, Awolowo without any question has proved himself to be a leader of consequence in Nigeria and a democrat without blemish. His track record in the old West has proved just that. That is why the man would continue to loom larger than life even in death. When he started the free education and free health program in the old West in 1955 many nihilists said the program would not work. When it started working, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe tried the same concept in the former Eastern region. The whole thing collapsed in less than 3 years. Many Igbo and Hausa parents relocated to the old West to take full advantage of free education for their children. Awolowo did not stop them. All he did was to find a way to sustain and consolidate the program by creating what he called Modern Schools to absorb the excess from Awolowo schools. Sad to say, Boko Haram is thriving today in much of the North and spreading like bush fire in the Harmattan because the northern leaders had failed to do for their own people what Obafemi Awolowo was able to do for the Yorubas. Awolowo had done what he had to do as a leader and I take off my hat for him. Let the chips fall where they may, Awolowo is not the villain that the learned Professor wants to make him with his new book written in flawless language as usual. I rest my case.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Transcript: President Barack Obama’s Convention speech

Posted by: Taiwo Posted date: September 07, 2012 In: Online Special | comment : 7 Michelle, I love you. The other night, I think the entire country saw just how lucky I am. Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud . . . but don’t get any ideas, you’re still going to class tomorrow. And Joe Biden, thank you for being the best vice-president I could ever hope for. Madam chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for president of the United States. The first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man; a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope – not blind optimism or wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long. Eight years later, that hope has been tested – by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still possible to tackle the challenges of our time. I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me – so am I. But when all is said and done – when you pick up that ballot to vote – you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come. On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known; the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s Army; the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone. They knew they were part of something larger – a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world’s best products, and everyone shared in the pride and success – from the corner office to the factory floor. My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their first home, and fulfil the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story: the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules – from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, DC. I ran for president because I saw that basic bargain slipping away. I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill, at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn’t; racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition; to put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings – a tragedy from which we are still fighting to recover. Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right. They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years: “Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.” “Deficit too high? Try another.” “Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!” Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it – middle-class families and small businesses. But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China. After all that we’ve been through, I don’t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. We’ve been there, we’ve tried that, and we’re not going back. We’re moving forward. I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. And by the way – those of us who carry on his party’s legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government programme or dictate from Washington. But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I’m asking you to choose that future. I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country – goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That’s what we can do in the next four years, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as president of the United States. We can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. After a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we’re getting back to basics, and doing what America has always done best: We’re making things again. I’ve met workers in Detroit and Toledo who feared they’d never build another American car. Today, they can’t build them fast enough, because we reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world. I’ve worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to America – not because our workers make less pay, but because we make better products. Because we work harder and smarter than anyone else. I’ve signed trade agreements that are helping our companies sell more goods to millions of new customers – goods that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America. After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. And now you have a choice: we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America. We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. You can make that happen. You can choose that future. You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by 1m barrels a day – more than any administration in recent history. And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly two decades. Now you have a choice – between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it. We’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we’ll open more. But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4bn in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. We’re offering a better path – a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And in this election, you can do something about it. You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life. For the first time in a generation, nearly every state has answered our call to raise their standards for teaching and learning. Some of the worst schools in the country have made real gains in math and reading. Millions of students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on banks and lenders. And now you have a choice – we can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money. No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home. Government has a role in this. But teachers must inspire; principals must lead; parents must instil a thirst for learning, and students, you’ve got to do the work. And together, I promise you – we can out-educate and outcompete any country on Earth. Help me recruit 100,000 math and science teachers in the next ten years, and improve early childhood education. Help give 2m workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years. We can meet that goal together. You can choose that future for America. In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead. Tonight, we pay tribute to the Americans who still serve in harm’s way. We are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. We will never forget you. And so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us – because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home. Around the world, we’ve strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We’ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers. From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings – men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews. But for all the progress we’ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted. Europe’s crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace. The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. The historic change sweeping across the Arab World must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate today. So now we face a choice. My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy – and not al-Qaeda – unless you’re still stuck in a cold war time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally. My opponent said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq, and he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will. And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work – rebuilding roads and bridges; schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home. You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without wrecking our middle class. Independent analysis shows that my plan would cut our deficits by $4tn. Last summer, I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut $1tn in spending – because those of us who believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anyone to reform it, so that it’s leaner, more efficient, and more responsive to the American people. I want to reform the tax code so that it’s simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay higher taxes on incomes over $250,000 – the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president; the same rate we had when our economy created nearly 23m new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a lot of millionaires to boot. Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. But when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy – well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I’m president, I never will. I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, elderly, or disabled – all so those with the most can pay less. And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned. Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of healthcare – not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it – not by turning it over to Wall Street. This is the choice we now face. This is what the election comes down to. Over and over, we have been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way; that since government can’t do everything, it should do almost nothing. If you can’t afford health insurance, hope that you don’t get sick. If a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, well, that’s just the price of progress. If you can’t afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent’s advice and “borrow money from your parents.” You know what? That’s not who we are. That’s not what this country’s about. As Americans, we believe we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights – rights that no man or government can take away. We insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. We’re not entitled to success. We have to earn it. We honour the strivers, the dreamers, the risk-takers who have always been the driving force behind our free enterprise system – the greatest engine of growth and prosperity the world has ever known. But we also believe in something called citizenship – a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations. We believe that when a CEO pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better. We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes, and so is the entire economy. We believe that a little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the founder of the next Google, or the scientist who cures cancer, or the president of the United States – and it’s in our power to give her that chance. We know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. We don’t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves, and we don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules. We don’t think government can solve all our problems. But we don’t think that government is the source of all our problems – any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. We, the people, recognise that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defence. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens – you were the change. You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who’ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage. You did that. You’re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he’d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. You made that possible. You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home; why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: “Welcome home.” If you turn away now – if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible . . . well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10m checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control healthcare choices that women should make for themselves. Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward. I recognise that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. The times have changed – and so have I. I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president. I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return. I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I’m naive about the magnitude of our challenges. I’m hopeful because of you. The young woman I met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter – she gives me hope. The auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming to work every day, and bought flags for his whole town and one of the cars that he built to surprise his wife – he gives me hope. The family business in Warroad, Minnesota that didn’t lay off a single one of their four thousand employees during this recession, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owners gave up some perks and pay – because they understood their biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build that business – they give me hope. And I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed hospital, still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee. Six months ago, I would watch him walk into a White House dinner honouring those who served in Iraq, tall and twenty pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform, with a big grin on his face; sturdy on his new leg. And I remember how a few months after that I would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had travelled. He gives me hope. I don’t know what party these men and women belong to. I don’t know if they’ll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a “future filled with hope.” And if you share that faith with me – if you share that hope with me – I ask you tonight for your vote. If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election. If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape; that new energy can power our future; that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers; if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November. America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder – but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer – but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, God bless you

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Intimate reminiscences on Awo and his politics.

For eight years, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo presided over an administration that has remained a model and benchmark in Africa as the Premier of the defunct Western Region. Although his dream of becoming federal Chief Executive was abortive, he has remained a legend of ideas, vision, courage and integrity. Ayo Opadokun, who worked closely with him as the Deputy Director of Organisation of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), revisits the political philosophy and thoughts of the consumate politician and leader.
Nigeria’s political landscape shook to its roots on May 9, 1987, when the most unexpected happened. The earth-shaking occurrence was the transition to glory of Chief Jeremiah Oyeniyi Obafemi Awolowo (OA). With such a massive blow, Nigeria’s Progressives on the political divide lost Obafemi Awolowo, the most priced and valued possession, and the man for whom Chief Emeka Ojukwu spun the most enduring epithet, “The Best President Nigeria Never Had”. Indeed, OA was the best President Nigeria never had, thanks to the deliberate and conscious conspiracy of ultra-reactionary elements and agents of Right-Wing foreign socio-economic and political leeches.
With the benefit of hindsight, we cannot but marvel at the last 100 days of OA. He displayed some signs, which we took no notice of at the Time-T. Lets us commence the journey from his last birthday on March 6, 1987. While OA’s guests were just having the usual breakfast at Efunyela Hall, OA enjoyed social interaction with those present. Mama, HID was also seated.
At about 10 a.m, I, as a personal Aide after Rotimi Abe got incarcerated for appending his name to OA’s convincing response which proved that contrary to General Idi Agbon’s assertion that UPN’s Governors have confessed to embezzling state funds to service the UPN party, none of them had been interrogated by the SIP as at that time I was called out to meet with a delegation from Oye Community now in Ekiti State. They brought a gift, a carved statue of OA. It was a spectacular work of art. It was very heavy, to the extent that it took the collaborative efforts of about five healthy men to bring it down from the Peugeot pick-up van, with registration No. OD613AA, used to transport it to Ikenne. Just as the effigy was successfully placed on the rostrum, OA indicated that he would like to go and have his own breakfast.
One amazing thing happened on that day. As I was seeing off OA to the house, some of the people he had sponsored to Jerusalem on Christian pilgrimage lobbied me to allow them have personal and group photographs with him. For several of them, it was a lifelong dream being fulfilled. And people took that opportunity to be seen together with the legendary Nigerian leader. Some of those pictures made it into the newspapers. To enable them enjoy their moment exclusively, I distanced myself from them and watched the photo session. After members of the last group had their turn, OA turned to me. He requested me to also pose beside him for photo session with him. And I jumped at the unique opportunity. Deacon Ayo Oloruntoyin from the Nigerian Tribune, who was one of the photo journalists on ground that day, snapped way, and he later obliged me with a unique copy. In my houses in both Lagos and Offa, that copy adorns my walls. The photograph remains a cherished possession, a record of that memborable day in my life. I was thrilled with the array of colleagues present at the occasion. While I was busy with the OA birthday, I never knew that my mother, Mrs. Sarah Wuraola Opadokun, had passed on to glory on the same day, March 6, 1987. It was Dr. Olu Onagoruwa, his wife and Retired Commissioner of Police Onagoruwa who came to my house to break the sad news to me at about eight, in the morning of the following day, March 7, 1987.
When OA returned to Efunyela Hall, he directed that I should organize a formal reception for the carving from Oye Ekiti. I did, and the guests were happy. OA in response remarked that if it was the little contributions that he has made to the society was the reason for the spectacular love and affection he enjoys from many people and communities, and particularly from members of Oye Community who had come to present him with such a unique art work, he would wish that he performed excellently far much more in life after death. OA informed the guests that he had lost a book titled “Life after Life” and that he craved for another copy from anyone who has a copy to oblige him for his quick reading again. There and then, OA rendered a few extracts from that book. Blind admirers that we were, all of us failed to realize he was giving us advance notice of his transition. But we never took notice.
It was after OA transited to the great beyond that we knew that he had again prophesied his own death and other events. But we had taken no notice. Sunday Times, however, provided Nigerians an historical excursion on OA in order to remind us of some quotable quotes out of much of what Chief OA said on his last birthday.
Another of those events was OA’s last visit to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1987. OA’s visit was to honour the doyen of Nigeria theatre, Chief Hubert Ogunde, who was to be given an Honoris Causa by the University. Along with Mama HID, We arrived at Ife a day ahead of the event. OA and HID were guests at the palace of His Royal Majesty Oba Sijuade Okunade, Olubuse II, while he booked me into a suite at his Sijuade Motel in Ife.
I was the Public Relations Consultant to Chief Ogunde in the last five years of his highly productive life. And he had broached to me the need for a stage presentation and film on the life and times of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. After consulting with OA, I had very refreshing discussions with Chief Ogunde, who asked me to formally apply for OA’s permission and approval. Ogunde and I jointly took a breakfast with OA to further explain why we thought the film was germane towards filling a void in our situation in Nigeria. Eventually, OA officially approved our request to do a full- course film on him. Just about the same time, Dr. Ola Balogun pleaded with me to put in a word for him on the same project. I pointedly reminded him about the contributions Chief Ogunde had made to Awolowo’s political life and therefore Ogunde must remain first choice for executing the project.
Three months after OA gave his endorsement, there was a command performance on the grand stage of the National Theatre, Iganmu Lagos to test-run what to expect in the movie. Actors that played the characters of Alhaji Jakande, Chief Enahoro and Pa Alfred Rewane were adjudged look-alike carbon copies of the characters they were representing. However, the actors who played the characters of Alhaji L.K. Jakande and Chief Bola Ige were the most appreciated by the audience. Unfortunately, the sudden death of Chief Ogunde himself on April 4, 1990 frustrated work on the production of the full-fledged stage presentation and film on the life and times of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Meanwhile, the award of Honoris Causa conferred on Chief Hubert Ogunde commanded an immense live audience, a huge crowd of respected Nigerians, including staff and students of Ife University. Again, we never noticed OA’s departing conduct after the events. Large team of the Staff and Students’ Unions and over twenty five thousand crowd again exhibited their love, affection and loyalty to OA. And for the last time, OA had to climb the tail-board of his utility six-door Mercedes Benz to address the huge crowd with his two-finger victory sign. It only dawned on us after OA’s transition that even though we never realized it, the sage had given the university community a glorious GOODBYE.
OA’s trip to Warri, which was his last public outing was to honour the new Olu of Warri, billed to be given the staff of office by the then Military Governor of Bendel State. It was another momentous event. OA and HID had enjoyed great relations with OA’s admirers, particularly the Itsekiri people, who are cousins to the Yoruba. The visit also was equally to honour a dependable ally of OA, Papa Alfred Rewane who was the godfather of the Olu of Warri. Papa Rewane and HRM were of the same lineage and in fact Papa Rewane sponsored HRM to local schools and University in Europe. In fact, in 1999 and 2000, as the General Secretary of Afenifere, I had to put the Ijaw people on notice that the Pan Yoruba political platform had taken note of the outrageous violence being unleashed on the Itsekiri by Ijaw people. And we notified them that any further attack on the Itsekiri was an attack on the Yoruba nation. Such attackers, we said, must be ready for appropriate responses from the Yoruba nation. Instantly, the combatants shelved their sword and sanity had prevailed ever since.
On another occasion, OA was present at the University of Lagos Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos for the first memorial lecture to honour the Late Chief J.F. Odunjo (the writer of the Alawiye book series). The occasion turned out to be the last time that OA and the late doyen of public service Chief S.O. Adebo would meet. Professor Akin Adesola, who was then the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, was in attendance. I invited Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu, Mr.Ojekunle Ferreira, Professor Afolabi Olabimtan, then Director of COSIT, UNILAG, Chief Taiwo Alimi, Chief Dipo Jimilehin, to accompany OA. The children of Chief Odunjo were also present at the lecture.
At the event, Chief S.O. Adebo privately expressed regrets to OA that the Nigerian Public Service had of late turned a disappointment; more so as the reported official misconducts were much more for personal gains rather than for public interest.
There was also the most significant opportunity for OA to meet face to face with Yoruba leaders of the Conservative political divide. On February 18, 1987, Awo had his last encounter with Retired Justice Adetokunbo Ademola, Chief H.O. Davies and Dr. Koye Majekodunmi, the Administrator of Western Region during the state of emergency imposed on the region by the NPC/NCNC led Federal Government. This meeting came as part of the implementation of the resolution of a peace and reconciliation meeting of Yoruba leaders of various shades of opinion. From October 1985, Yoruba leaders and captains of industries and professionals, particularly many in the Metropolitan Club, had persistently sent emissaries to Chief Awolowo, pleading with him to intervene over the raw deal they were suffering in their various business activities. Such emissaries were initially facilitated by Prince Babs Oyekanmi. For example, they lamented that they were having difficulty securing government approval for some of their business requirements, except when they enlisted one or two far Northerners into their board membership. They sought a meeting with Papa in the greatest interest of the Yoruba nation.

But first, there came an

After General Ibrahim Babangida overthrew his boss, he quickly returned Chief Awolowo’s International Passport within one week. Col. John Shagaya, the then Minister of International Affairs, ensured the delivery of the instrument to OA. General Buhari and General Idiagbon had unreasonably and disrespectfully seized OA’s passport without any known reason. To add insult to injury, security operatives of the government had embarked on a brazen search of Awo’s home. Even though the Buhari government claimed that the disrespectful searching OA’s house was not authorized and that it was the work of filth Columnist, their explanation remained feeble and condemnable.
Returning the passport enabled Awo to finally travel as he wished. On the eve of Papa’s annual leave and medical check-up abroad (which the Buhari-Idiagbon regime blocked for one and half years), Papa instructed that on his return, he would be willing to consider another meeting with his rivals, Yoruba leaders on the other side of political philosophy. OA asked me to compile a list of two leaders of our own per each Yoruba state. Based on my list, he would hold a preliminary meeting with these dignitaries. They were Senator Abraham Adesanya and Chief J.A.O. Odebiyi from Ogun State, Chief Adebayo Adefarati and Dr. Nathaniel Aina from the old Ondo State, Alhaji Busari Raji and Canon Emmanuel Alayande represented the old Oyo State, Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu and Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo represented Lagos State. Chief C.O Adebayo joined me from Kwara State. On Papa’s return, Prince Oyekanmi and I exchanged notes, and we fixed the meeting for January 21, 1987. The Metropolitan Club big shots choose Chief Molade Okoya Tennis Club House at Onikan for the meeting.

A very significant resolution of that meeting was that the two broad political divides in Yoruba nation should collaborate on any major matter, which affects the Yoruba nation. The meeting therefore decided that a meeting between leaders of the two groups was imperative and a necessity in order to unite the Yoruba folds. A unique reconciliation of the followership was intended. An interesting part of the proceedings of the meeting was the contribution of Chief Ayorinde, the Ekerin of Olubadan Ibadan land. He proverbially stated that OA should know that it was time that he stopped being in opposition. He said in Yoruba: “Ma ja, ma sa laa makikanju l’ogun; Akikanju to moo ja ti ko moo sa, iru won maa mbogun ibomiran lo ni”. Literally, he meant that he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. And that a great warrior who does not know when to retreat is most likely to be part of the spoils of war.

Befittingly, Senator Adesanya retorted “Mi o le w’aku, k’oni je oye ile baba e”. in English, that translates into: Anyone who fears death when a throne is at stake can never lay claim to a hereditary throne. At a breakfast talk with Papa the next morning I informed him (OA) of the eagerness of one of his former close lieutenants from Ogun State, who began to pile pressure on me to be allowed the hosting of the meeting. Information reached us has confirmed to me that this man was a mole, an undercover police informant secretly reporting Papa to his paymasters. I was sensitive to the fact that it was possible for this double agent to install electronic gadgets at his proposed venue to make a full recording of the meeting for instant transmission to Dodan Barracks. Determined to frustrate the mole’s evil plan, I sought the permission of His Royal Majesty, Oba Sijuade Okunade, Olubuse II, to allow us utilize one of his Ikeja houses to hold a series of possible meetings. He obliged. The said mole was a former parliamentary secretary that was close to (OA) as the Premier of the Western Region. OA as a Finance Federal Commissioner under Gowon became curious when he suspected a voucher he was to sign for payment. On investigation, it was established that the mole had always been a police informant.

Tactically, His Royal Majesty Oba Sijuade privately wrote to inform Gen. Babangida that the Yoruba people were preparing for reconciliatory parley; that peaceful co-existence among Yoruba people would generate greater peace and reconciliation in the country altogether; and one of his Ikeja’s houses was going to be the venue for all such meetings.

Thus on the 8th of February 1987 Rtd Sir Justice Adetokunbo Ademola, Chief H.O. Davies, Dr. koye Majekodunmi and Prince Babs Oyekanmi, on one side, and had Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Senator Abraham Adesanya, Chief C.O. Adebayo and I, on the other side. Senator Abraham was asked to moderate the dialogue.

Two Metropolitan Club leaders spoke at the occasion. First, Sir Ademola spoke, followed by Chief Davies simply said they were totally committed and willing to work for the unity of the Yoruba nation and that they will be willing to make reasonable sacrifices for the achievement of peace, mutual trust and unity among the Yoruba people.

Chief H.O. Davies said they had always known and accepted that OA was in control of over 90 per cent of the Yoruba nation, but that they were in control of the traditional rulers, along with the remaining 10 per cent of the people. He therefore recommended that it will be in the greatest interest of the Yoruba nation for the two groups to unite and begin to build enduring good legacies for posterity. The moderator of the dialogue, Senator Adesanya, then requested Chief Awolowo to respond. The Sage initially hesitated to speak. Eventually, however, Chief Awolowo, in his usually gifted oratory, took on each of the trio. First, OA addressed Justice Ademola. Let me paraphrase.

“Justice Ademola, you will remember that you made frantic efforts to literarily eliminate me physically and politically. You will also recall that you came to talk to me in Calabar Prison where you suggested to me to renounce Egbe Omo Oduduwa and the Action Group, promising that you will thereafter ensure my immediate release from prison? Of course, you will remember that I totally rejected your offer. And I said that Egbe Omo Oduduwa, unlike your Egbe Omo Olofin, was not a private club owned by Awolowo. You will recall also that after I was released by the government of General Yakubu Gowon, Yoruba elders organized a reconciliation meeting to reunite us. I accepted that the political difference between us was over. Furthermore, I would also like to remind you that on your retirement from office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I organized a reception to celebrate you. In spite of my practical demonstration of love to you since then, I will like you to tell this gathering what further offence I have committed to warrant your renewed and total opposition to me in the 1979 general election. In the polling booth very close to your house, it was proved again by eye witnesses that you voted for the NPN? Also, if its true that you want the progress of the Yoruba people, why should you again spearhead deep enmity between your very small group and me?

Chief Awolowo again went on to remind his Yoruba kinsmen at the meeting that other nationalities never tired of blackmailing him with suppositions that if Awo were to be elected President or Prime Minister, he would concentrate more developmental programmes on Yorubaland. When such suspicions continued to remain a stumbling block to his life-long aspiration for national leadership, why should he again suffer “multiple jeopardy” with the high level opposition marshaled against him within the Yoruba nation leadership?

Mesmerised by eloquence of Awo’s address, Justice Adetokunbo only suffered to make one interjection, asking: “Was the lady (Adetokunbo’s wife) present at the party you organized for me”?

Chief Awolowo replied in the affirmative and, to prove it, he directed me to hand over to Justice Adetokunbo a copy of the photo album produced of the reception. Justice Ademola was visibly dumfounded as he browsed through the collection. In preparation for the meeting, Chief Awolowo had asked me to visit his Library (now donated and managed by the Obafemi Awolowo University) and requested the Senior Librarian to assist me in locating the particular photo album and other related photograph of that reception. I got the Album of that reception and it was handy. It was a coup de grace. It effectively deflated Justice Adetokunbo’s ego. There and then, he apologized for the unnecessarily stress that their relationship had suffered.

OA then took on Chief Davies. OA reminded the Chief that after the reconciliation meeting, which he also attended, there have not been any issue between them that could have warranted the renewed bitter enemity that Chief Davies harboured against him. OA now threw a bombshell. “You, Chief Davies, were the Originator and Author of 122/3 to be interpreted as 12 states and 2/3 of a state. Chief Richard Akinjinde was just the mouthpiece as the official advocate of the NPN and later became the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the NPN Government.

Chief Davies neither admitted nor denied OA’s accusation. Instead, he reiterated his position that the meeting was conveyed to settle out dispute and wrongs causing disharmony between the elder statement. He promised that in the twilight of his life, he would be committed to giving everything within his power for total realignment of forces among Yoruba leaders.

Finally, OA turned to Dr. Koye Majekodunmi. Awo wanted Dr. Koye Majekodunmi to reveal if he had again offended the Medical Doctor after the major Pan-Yoruba reconciliation meeting. Reminiscing, OA asked the Former Administrator of Western Region to remember that as a political detainee, Awo had requested that the Administrator should not yield to the propostion of the NPC top hierarchy to detain him at Lekki, Epe area, reputed to be teeming with various killer insects and dangerous reptiles. In spite of the Administrator’s promise never to send Awo to such a place, a few days later, OA was restricted to the most dangerous quarters of the Lekki Island waterside. OA also revealed that in spite of his underserved travails, as orchestrated by the conspiracy of the NPC and NCNC, he readily forgave the apologetic Yoruba leaders at the major reconciliation meeting.

Recalling that he and his entourage, including Alhaji Ganiyu Dawode and Chief Ojekunle Ferrewa arrived very early for the opening ceremony of St. Nicholas Hospital, established by Dr. Majekodunmi, OA reminded the Doctor that people who sighted him at the venue took offence and questioned why he had honoured the invitation of a “traitor” who had collaborated with the evil agent of the NPC to humiliate and oppress him. This angry horde mobilized to burn down St. Nicholas, but for OA’s strong and laborious appeal that Yoruba Leaders had reached a resolution for forgiveness and unity among the leadership and the followership. OA also wanted Dr. Majekodunmi to tell the meeting why the Physician should be part of another gang-up against him. Dr. Majekodunmi also simply responded that bygones be bygone, as the current meeting had been called to broach a reconciliation among them as identified Yoruba greats.

With all the dirty linens put away, the atmosphere took a friendly and lively turn, with free-dealing of jokes and banters amongst these doyens of the Yoruba race. The leadership of the two sides decided that the meeting should adjourn and they should leave there to brief their different camps. They reached a resolution to regroup for a follow-up meeting on April 18, 1987. Subsequently, OA and I guided Chief Davies to his car, as he had already lost his sight by then.

Unfortunately, the follow-up meeting for April 18, 1987 never happened. Just two weeks after the primary meeting, Chief Davies lost his first child, the Chief Executive of Rod Publicity, an advertising agency. To stabilize him from the devastation that his son’s death inflicted upon him, Davies himself was rushed abroad. To make matters worse, there came the paralysing death of OA himself. The efforts geared towards re-uniting the Yoruba nation thereafter hung in limbo until Papa Micheal Adekunle Ajasin naturally took over as the Leader.

Awolowo’s excellence in planning and executing policy decisions remain unequalled. That was why he blazed the trail or scored first in the formulation and execution of spectacular matters; first to introduce free universal primary education in Nigeria; first Television in sub-sahara Africa; first standard stadium (now Obafemi Awolowo), first tallest storey building in Nigeria (Cocoa House, Ibadan), biggest firm settlements in Nigeria etc.

Awolowo’s leadership qualities include unequalled industry and intellect, courage, value for time and choice of excellent thinkers. Always, he surrounded himself with experts in various disciplines. That way, he never lacked resources for the purposes of getting an all-inclusive position on any particular subject matter. The positive and negative sides of every viewpoint were keenly debated and finally resolved before he or his organization took a position. OA remained current on contemporary matters till the end. I was always amazed at OA’s consciousness of modern trends. In fact, before anyone else, OA in 1986 one early morning, as soon as he cited me, from his normally closed window informed me of the newly-released Christian lyrics of the Ilesha-born Evangelist Niyi Adedokun titled “Amona Tete Wa”. OA’s notable thinkers which included the University of Ife collectives among others were: Prof. Hezekiah Oluwasanmi, Prof. Sam Aluko, Prof. David Oke, Prof. S. Banji Akintoye, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Prof. Ambrose Alli, Chief Wumi Adegbonmire and others to mention a few which my memory can instantly recollect.

The reality was that once Awolowo spoke on a subject matter on Nigeria, public opinion writers and leaders, as well as University academics, would usually break into two broad divisions – for and against Awolowo’s particular viewpoints. But he never did deliberately stir up the hornets’ nest of controversy. Awolowo utilized the value of silence to the maximum effect. Except his commentary would improve or advance positively the topical issue of the day, Awolowo would not speak. That was why whenever he chose to address the media, they would severally declare that “Awolowo has finally broken his silence” upon such-and-such a matter. After any speech, the development has always been that his contribution quickly turned into the subject of analysis, debate, criticism or commendation for long. For example, when in his Chancellor’s convocation address at Ife in 1973, he scientifically discredited the population census count of that year and proved that the result was fraudulent and unacceptable, the caption of that speech by the most widely read Sunday Times then was “CENSUS, A BARREN EXERCISE” BY OBAFEMI AWOLOWO. Positive reaction to his speech was wide and instantaneous. The Sunday Times in those days when Chief Gbolabo Ogunsanwo was the Editor was selling over 250,000 copies daily.

There is no doubt that Awolowo, for all he was, generated passionate love and hatred in equal measures. For example, a significant segment of the Igbo community will, till tomorrow, continue to accuse him of instigating cross-carpeting just so that he could prevent Dr. Azikwe from leading an NCNC Government in the Western Region in 1951. Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu’s book has reasonably provided evidence to discredit their ridiculous claim. The Ibadan Peoples Party and or the Mabolaje Grand Alliance were never in any written and or official alliance with NCNC. When the then Electoral umpire officially asked all political parties contesting in Ibadan election to submit the names of their candidates, the NCNC never submitted the names of the IPP or the Mabolaje Grand Alliance as contesting on their platform.

One wonders, where is the sense of fairness, justice and equity of the anti-Awolowo rabble, when Dr. Azikiwe’s party had already formed an NCNC Government in Eastern Region. What the NCNC party attempted to do was to rubbish the Yoruba Nation by trying to make it looks as if the Yoruba nation could not find one of her own best materials to lead a government for the Western Region. You can appreciate what would have been the implications of such reality on the psyche of the Yoruba folks.

During the 1979 campaigns, the windscreen of OA’s helicopter was stoned, forcing him to hurriedly leave Igboland because of the hostility. Part of this hostility sprouts from some elements from the Igbo platform, who apart from other private reasons, have claimed that Awolowo pauperized their people during the Civil War by directing the Central Bank of Nigeria to give natives of defeated Biafra enclave, just one or two pounds in compensation for all their deposits in banks. Serious-minded people know that if there was government policy to that effect, OA was just implementing such policy and should not be held guilty for such because he was then Deputy Leader of the Federal Executive Council and the Federal Commissioner of Finance. Finally on these allegations, they claimed that OA said that starvation was a weapon of war. They equally took that out of context.

The Yoruba people have proven time and again that they can be accommodating to other Nigerian nationalities that have come to ply their trades and businesses in Yorubaland. It is only in the Yorubaland that some State Governments appoint Igbo and Hausa people into their prominent cabinets positions or make them heads of various departments. What Yoruba rejects are the instances of where people they have graciously accommodated subsequently trying to lord it over our people. It is equally typical of an average Yoruba offspring that one of the greatest Yoruba Military Leaders Col. Adekunle Fajuyi offered to be assassinated along with his Commander-in-Chief, General Aguiyi Ironsi when the mutineer came to Ibadan Government House to take away Ironsi. Is there anything more than the supreme sacrifice a Yoruba leader can pay in defence of his Igbo boss?

Many of the established far Northerners have, individually and in groups, in private discussion and at important meetings involving me, admitted that they never doubted that Awolowo was the best presidential materials; but they did not work for his victory because Chief Awolowo had always formed his political parties (the Action Group and Unity Party of Nigeria), before inviting them to come and join, with the sole purpose of getting him elected as Prime Minister and or President.

Awolowo is the only former Nigeria leader whose name has repeatedly opens and closes doors in the Nigerian political firmament, even after a quarter of century of his transition to the great beyond. And for all intent and purposes, the Awolowo’s phenomenon will continue to shape the political divisions among the Yoruba people and their cousins in Delta and Edo States as well as among the Yoruba people of Kwara and Kogi States because of the unprecedented life of discipline, courage, enterprise and development that were vintage Awolowo.

The absence of Awolowo has led to the emergence of political parties without ideological leanings and preferences. It is difficult to differentiate between the political parties philosophy and actions, except with the star like excellent performances of Raji Fashola, Adams Oshiomhole, Rauf Aregbesola, Kayode Fayemi, Abiola Ajimobi, Ibikunle Amosu of the current ACN Governors and two or three PDP Governors like Rotimi Amaechi, Sule Lamido and the likes. Nowadays, contestants merely talk about their 12 or 10 or 9 or 7 or 6 or 5-point programmes. There is virtually no prescribed benchmark against which elected people are to be assessed by the voters as either having performed or not. In fact, within the same political party, each candidate will usually present individualized promises, leaving the voters confused. For example, it is difficult for any positively disposed person to reproach or contradict the Four-Cardinal Programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria, (UPN) namely:-

Free Education Programme;
Free Medical Services;
Gainful Employment; And
Integrated Rural Development;
All that any UPN Candidate needed to do was just to subscribe to the above and work towards executing them while in office.

There is no diligent general discussion, debates and conclusions on party policy options. Party supporters ordinarily should be well equipped with the party’s policy on the economy, power, education, welfare programme, agriculture so that they will be foot soldiers to propagate and popularise the party’s positions etc. In the UPN days, we spent two to three days discussing and concluding on the party’s policies. We equally used to have goodwill messages and contributions from social democrats political parties globally.

Since 1999, party conventions have become nauseating scenarios, where government and party bigwigs exhibit personal wealth. Elective Conventions are much more bizarre because there is usually the presence of out-spent and out-bribed delegates who usually become praise singers at these events. For example, there were revelations of how delegates to the last PDP convention to choose presidential delegates were bought. The story, as revealed by some delegates, was that one of the aspirants bribed each delegate with 10,000USD while his less-endowed rival could only afford 2,500USD.

When Awolowo was here, the choice of candidates for political offices were democratic and at very little cost. Till 1982/83 for example, none of the UPN governorship candidates could claim that he spent N20,000 of his own money to become a Candidate and a Governor-Elect. The party searched among its ranks and adopted the relatively best candidates to run. Interested party men only needed to formally notify the party of their interests. In fact, Chief Bisi Akande in 1998, (now National Chairman of ACN became the Alliance for Democracy (AD) Candidate for Osun in that same manner. He was not interested to run, but Chief Bola Ige literally forced him to run because he (Akande) remained such a decent, principled personality. His legacies in Osun remain yet to be beaten. The utility and befitting Secretariat he built remains an enviable contribution of unimpeachable leadership in public service and without borrowing a dime. Until the arrival of Oranmiyan and the symbol (Aregbesola) into the coveted office of governor, those who rigged him (Akande) out have no significant land mark as their legacy except ruins and hopelessness. But with the emergence of Aregbesola, an unusual governor, governing in an unusual style, the fortune of Osun people had started to change for the better. The symbol (Aregbesola) and his other collegues, Fashola, Oshiomhole, Fayemi, Ajimobi and Amosu have turned their states into construction sites on roads and schools. Each one is positively taking concrete steps to uplift agriculture to a promising level so that each state can become self sufficient in food production and generate employment for the young people. I have it on good authority that they are all embarking on scientific and technologically driven agriculture works so that our country will on its own produce the raw materials and process them into semi and or finished products that can also be exported.

But today, anyone with cheap money just needs to establish his own structure within a party on which he wishes to run. Sometimes you may have up to 30 aspirants for one particular post- particularly the executive ones. Thus, there is the usual factionalisation within the party along the aspirants’ various structures. Reconciliations sometimes are difficult to achieve.

Elected government officials who ran under the UPN, acted in fact as party representatives in government offices. It may be unbelievable, but it was true, that Alhaji L.K. Jakande, as Governor of Lagos State, fortnightly, always showed up at the UPN State Secretariat in Mushin to interact with Lagosians of all political leaning. Anyone in Lagos, who had any matter to relate with the Governor, had the right to personally talk to the Governor about it at that forum. The policy was first-come-first served. The interaction usually lasted till late in the night sometimes, Chief Bisi Akande, as Osun State Governor between 1999-2003, devised his own IDI ODAN, a sort of PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT, to interact with the voters and the electorate. His other collegues, Tinubu, Adesina, Osoba, Adebayo and Adefarati, devised other methods to regularly interact with their constituents who genuinely put them in office.

It was a fact that in 1978/1979, there were incidences of bitter rivalries and unending confrontations in the UPN party primaries. With particular reference to the case in Oyo State; delegates’ primary was repeated thrice before Chief Bola Ige emerged as the party Candidate. Arch- Deacon Emmanuel Alayande, who among others contested and lost against Bola Ige, later became the Special Adviser on Education to the Governor.

In Lagos, Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu who had become the political talisman of Lagos politics (the G-O-D of Lagos), simply read the mood of OA, realizing quickly that perhaps the sage would prefer to compensate any of those who had suffered with him in the unjust prison incarceration of the First republic. G-O-D, therefore, tactically withheld his hat from the ring; even though he was the next senior active politician after Chief Akanbi Onitiri, who by then had lost steam. Thereafter, Alhaji Jakande, a distinguished journalist and renowned editorial writer, was nominated and won election as the Governor of Lagos State. OA gave him an appellation; he usually called him “Habour Master”.

Also as early as 1981, there had been whispering campaign by deputy governors who wanted to succeed their governors in the UPN in Ondo, Oyo and Bendel states. Because of such ambitions, those states literally became war zones within the UPN states.

In Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo wanted to replace Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin; in Oyo State, Chief Sunday Afolabi was rooting to replace Chief Bola Ige; and in Bendel State, Chief Damas Akpofure wanted to replace Professor Ambrose Alli. There was also the political war-like scenario in Kwara State playing out between Chief J.S. Olawoyin and Chief C.O. Adebayo, the latter wanting to replace the former. The conflicting interests of the gladiators led to some spectacular negative consequences. The events of the 1982 UPN National Executive which witnessed the “NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES” in Yola remain a painful recollection. The fact that both Chief S.M. Afolabi and Alhaji Busari Adelakun (“Eruobodo”), had alleged that Chief Ige enlisted General Obasanjo to help settle their intra-UPN dispute generated emotion and bad blood over whose turn it was to run for governorship, remains one event that one will not want to remember a fresh.

Chief Omoboriowo, from October, 1, 1979, was reportedly hoping that Chief Ajasin would not last more than two years before passing on. In fact, it was believed that when Chief Ajasin had to travel to England for medical treatment, Chief Omoboriowo had so positioned himself to be sworn in as the Governor just in case of any eventuality.

In fact, Chief Omoboriowo had successfully cultivated most members of the Ondo State House of Assembly through falsehood and various dubious claims. It became known that Omoboriowo had told the legislators that as Governor, he would turn around their fortunes positively by granting them various kinds of allowances which Ajasin had denied them. Also, the legislators attempted to impeach Chief Ajasin as a result of Chief Omoboriowo’s prompting.

OA political declarations were usually taken seriously because they were not made whimsically. Except this one. There was an emergency National Executive meeting of UPN in December 1982 at the National Theatre, Iganmu and I was the Recording Secretary. OA in his address said that of all the Deputy Governors except Akin Omoboriowo who were insisting on party primaries for the sole purposes of unseating their governor bosses were so vehement because they wanted to replace their bosses so that they would be able to steal public funds. Unfortunately, Omoboriowo disappointed OA and decamped into the NPN along side of Chief S.M. Afolabi from Oyo state. Omoboriowo recently died unsong and unheralded. He turned out to be an unfaithful Awo’s adherent who even wrote a book titled “AWOISM”. It was a painful realization that he was never genuine even as many of his likes have been even today.

The fact remains that OA’s August 1983 statement is gradually proving prophetic, to the effect that if the general election of that year was rigged, it would be unlikely that our generation will ever see democracy again. The total corruption and perversion of politics generally, and the political institutions established by President Babangida with their ultimate objective to help him succeed himself, have done extreme damage to our corporate body polity. This has been followed by President Obasanjo’s “politricks” that saw him single handedly dismissing and appointing four PDP party chairmen, namely Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, Chief Audu Ogbe, Engineer Banabas Gamade and Dr. Ahmadu Ali, within his eight-year tenure illustrates the tempestuous state of the party under Obasanjo’s watch. The brigandage with which he engineered removal and replacement of the chairmen of other political parties were sufficient evidence to reasonably state that for Obasanjo, party cohesion, resilience and popularity were strange commodities that the PDP President did not give any significant regard.

One can state, without any reservation, that, what Nigerians have today (in terms of political parties) are no more than party platforms for electoral contests. And that is why, since Babangida commercialized and monetized politics, aspirants have been compelled to source and steal (where possible) to win their elections, because they will have the key to the public purse once they get into office.

The fact of the matter is that Nigeria’s academic, analysis and writers have failed to do enough to unravel and dissect Awolowo as a mystical phenomena, deserving of painstaking study and analysis by all manners of scholars without forgetting the good works of Rev. Father Francis Ogunmodede and a few others. Nigeria unfairly deprived him (OA) to utilize his divine and personal gifts, talents and endowments to help Nigeria establish an egalitarian and developed society. I cannot but salute the governors of the South-West, Edo State and a few other states, who are doing a yeoman’s job to improve the quality of lives in their states. However, reeling from the hangover of IBB’s 1990s monetization of politics, the current Fourth Republic finds itself incapable of delivering genuine democratic credentials because the process of contesting election is predicated on the depth of contestant’s pockets. Once such Candidate wins, he becomes uncontrollable and unaccountable. Such elected public servants usually disregard the electorate they believe has received its dues, pre-election; and they free themselves of their worries until another election is close by. It is for that purpose that the more petro-dollars our government receives, the worse the living conditions of Nigerians become.

To redeem the country of our birth from imminent revolt by the marginalized, the cheated and the disadvantaged, Nigerians should stop their opportunistic collaboration will evil regimes and their evil pastimes. Chief Awolowo had always reminded us that when the people are ready to take their destinies in their hands, leadership will emerge. No society can achieve development or progress when the preponderance of its elite and its people are pleasure-lovers and fun-seekers.

The emerging Young Turks in Yorubaland, who are currently adding some values to what Awolowo did and left, should not relent. They should radically turn their given spaces and spheres of authority into genuine democratic governance. The fact that they are already establishing Nigeria’s First Welfare Programme e.g– N5, 000 each for people over 65years old and other variants of elders who are not on any pension scheme, “Itoju Agba” and the likes – represent a quantum leap from the recent morass of unproductive governance. The spirit of Awolowo lives on. The fact that my brother and friend, Ogbeni Aregbesola, has, from Day One of its administration, mobilised the people of the State of Osun with the Anthem of the Unity Party of Nigeria (whose words were written by Chief Awolowo himself, with lyrics supplied by Chief Hubert Ogunde) rekindle our hopes and aspiration. Our people at the present are being galvanized for popular participation in governance and execution of lofty programmes to improve on their well being.

With such promising glimpses, Awolowo will smile from beyond on performing governors and those who, despite the whimsical phase of corrupted Nigerian political contests, help to assist quality people get into offices.

Friday, 20 July 2012

White Paper on land allocation by the administration of former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State

Details Published on Friday, 20 July 2012 06:21 Written by Dotun Oladipo Here is the report of the White Paper committee on land administration during the regime of former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State: VIEWS AND DECISIONS OF THE OGUN STATE GOVERNMENT (WHITE PAPER) ON THE SECOND AND FINAL REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO ALL LAND ALLOCATIONS, ACQUISITIONS, SALES AND CONCESSIONS OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES AND ADMINISTRATION OF LAND POLICIES, RULES AND REGULATIONS BETWEEN JANUARY 2004 AND MAY 29, 2011 AND OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH: Excerpts SPECIFIC FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. RELEASE OF 351 HECTARES OF LAND TO ILUPEJU-ALAGBEDE COMMUNITY FROM AJEGUNLE FARM SETTLEMENT, ELEWERAN ABEOKUTA FACTS: a. Ilupeju-Alagbede Community Development Association filed a memorandum praying the Commission that the Release of 10 hectares of land from the Ajegunle Farm Settlement, Eleweran, Abeokuta to each of the 31 villages under the Association's auspices (making a total of 310 hectares), by the immediate past administration be upheld and recommended for implementation by the present government. b. The Ministry of Agriculture vehemently opposed the release of the land to the Association on the grounds, amongst others, that the release will seriously hamper the activities of the Farm settlement and defeat the purpose for which it was established. It also added that most of the purported beneficiary villages are extinct and non-existent. c. Farm Settlers on the Ajegunle Farm Settlement complained seriously about the Release protesting that it encroaches on the farmlands allocated to them by the government on which many of them had spent their lifetimes working and fending for their families. FINDINGS/OBSERVATIONS: 1. The Commission found that the subject land forms part of the over 800 Hectares acquired by the government of the old Western Region in the 1960s for the establishment of the Ajegunle Farm Settlement situate along Abeokuta-Ibadan Road, Eleweran, in Odeda Local Government Area, Abeokuta and for which compensation was duly paid to the original (previous) owners by government. 2. The Commission found that the Ajegunle Farm Settlement is, and was at all material times, under the management and superintendence of the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, but that the Ministry was totally excluded from the process of release of the land to the petitioners. It appeared that the decision to release the land to the petitioners was taken by the then Director-General of the Bureau of Lands, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki, who acted with the approval of the then governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. 3. On the spot physical inspection by the Commission to the said land confirmed the claim of the Ministry of Agriculture that most of the so-called village-beneficiaries are either never existed on the Farm land or extinct, thus debunking the claim of the petitioners and raising a serious question about the diligence or integrity of those who took the decision to release the land in the first instance. 4. Only in 3 places did the Commission find the semblance of a village, with very few persons and just a handful of old derelict structures. In these places, the Commission spoke with the traditional heads (Baales), and in each case, they denied knowledge of any request by them for land release from the government. These denials were made right in the presence of the petitioners and their counsel. 5. Faced with this scenario, the Petitioners admitted right there, in the presence of their Counsel, Barrister Benjamin Oludare Ogunmodede, that many of the said villages do not exist again. They were only able to point to about 3 very scanty 'villages' out of the 33 that they claimed to be representing. The explanation of their obviously embarrassed lawyer was that though the villages no longer exist, the inhabitants are somewhere else, waiting for the land to be released to them before returning. 6. The former Director General, Bureau of Land, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki in his testimony before the commission after feigning initial ignorance and attempting to pass the buck to his subordinates eventually admitted that the Release was faulty. 7. The Commission found and is of the opinion, that the erstwhile Director-General of the Bureau of lands, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki, who was responsible for granting the release, with the approval of the then Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, either did not exercise due diligence in the matter, or was motivated by other reasons best known to him, otherwise he would have, with minimal diligence, discovered that this was a spurious claim which should not have been granted at all by government. 8. The Commission believes the evidence of the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture that the petitioners are mere land speculators whose only interest is to obtain the land and sell same for their own pecuniary gains, contrary to the impression created by them, that they were genuinely pursuing the interests of some villagers. They either succeeded in fooling the said government officials especially Surveyor Ogunnoiki, or they all (i.e, the petitioners and government officials) acted in concert to perpetrate this deception on the State. 9. More alarming is the fact that whereas the letter of approval for the release dated 24th January 2011 written by Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki to the claimants stated that 31 villages were being granted 10 hectares of land each,( amounting to a total of 310 hectares in all), yet, and very strangely, both the Survey Plan for the excision (dated 24-2-11, signed by Surveyor C.O. OYEBADE), and the government gazette No 18 Vol 36 dated 5th May 2011, in which the decision of government to release the land was officially published, signed by Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki, referred to the quantum of land being released to the petitioners as 351.531 hectares 41 hectares above what the governor approved for the villagers. Going by the fact that the letter written by Surveyor Ogunnoiki to the petitioners dated 24th January 2011 had specifically told them that what was released to each of the 31 villages was 10 hectares each, it is clear that the extra 41 hectares of land contained in the Survey plan and gazette were not meant for the petitioners but for some other interests. 10. When confronted with this fact during his testimony, Surveyor Ogunnoiki could give no explanation. 11. It is noteworthy that Surveyor C. O. Oyebade who prepared the survey of the excision attempted to mislead the Commission during its inspection by claiming to have physically identified over 23 villages within the Farm Settlement only for his claim to be debunked by the insistence of the Commission to visit all the villages. 12. The Commission disbelieves the testimony of Surveyor Ogunnoiki and believes instead that he, deliberately, in concert with other persons inflated the quantum of land from 310 hectares to 351 for their own selfish gains. The commission also believes that the entire Release is a ruse as most of the so called village-beneficiaries do not exist at all. 13. The commission finds as genuine and well-founded, the concern of the Ministry of Agriculture that the release of the land to the petitioners will defeat the objective of the establishment of the Farm Settlement, going by the fact that already, many of the genuine farm settlers are being driven or intimidated out of the Farm by the petitioners who cannot wait to get their hands on the land to sell to prospective purchasers for building purposes. 14. For the above reasons, the Commission is of the firm view that the decision of the previous Administration to release the subject land to the petitioners did not satisfy the basic requirements of due diligence, careful scrutiny and transparency. It was, in our humble view, an action that was ill-advised, ill-motivated, not above board, and done contrary to the public interest. It was meant to satisfy the greed and selfish pecuniary interests of a few persons as against the overall good of the people of the State and will sound the death kneell to the Ajegunle Farm Settlement with its attendant negative effects on the agricultural fortunes of the State. It is therefore an act which, in our humble view, ought not to be allowed to stand, in the public interest. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. The Commission recommends that the said release of either 310 or 351 hectares of land to the petitioners at or from the Ajegunle Farm Settlement be withdrawn and cancelled FORTHWITH. 2. The Commission recommends that Government should take FIRM and DECISIVE action to dislodge all trespassers, land speculators and all persons harassing and intimidating genuine farm settlers on Ajegunle Farm Settlement and also effectively secure and maximally utilize the land rather than leave it bushy and unutilized. All encroachments should be immediately removed and persons found to be selling any part of the Farm Settlement land or disturbing or harassing the farmers should be immediately arrested and prosecuted. 3. Members of the said communities/villages who are genuinely interested in farming and require land for that purpose, should be encouraged to apply to the Ministry of Agriculture for allocation of land and their applications should be given due consideration like others. 4. Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki's role in this release particularly on the issue of the additional 41 hectares above the 310 hectares meant and approved for the communities by the Governor is dubious, to say the least. As this singular act also gives a criminal taint to the matter, the Commission recommends that this matter be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for proper investigation and possible prosecution of Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki and any other persons found to be culpable. 5. Surveyor C. O. Oyebade should be appropriately reprimanded for attempting to obstruct the Commission in its assignment and his role in misleading the Government. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS: 1. Government accepts recommendations 1-3 above and mandates the Ministry of Agriculture to treat any application(s) for allocation of land for agricultural purposes with dispatch. 2. With respect to recommendation 4, the Attorney-General is hereby directed to study the findings of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and generate a formal complaint to the law enforcement agencies and the Institute of Surveyors for necessary investigation and action against Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki and other individuals found to be culpable; 3. With respect to recommendation 5, the Civil Service Commission should examine the evidence and take appropriate actions against Surveyor C.O. Oyebade in accordance with the Civil Service Rules 2. RELEASE OF LAND OUT OF REMO RUBBER PLANTATION TO EPE COMMUNITY, ARIGBABOWO FAMILY, IKENNE COMMUNITY AND FAKOYA DESCENDANTS FAMILY FACTS: 1. By Government gazette No 21 Vol. 36 of 26th May 2011, signed by the then Director-General of Bureau of Lands and Survey, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki, over 300 Hectares of land were excised and released from the REMO RUBBER PLANTATION to the above mentioned communities and families in various sizes. 2. Some concerned members of the Communities approached the Commission complaining that the released land has been hijacked by or released to prominent members of their community for their personal benefit and that of some prominent members of the last administration without regard for the benefit of the ordinary members of the community. Specifically, some citizens of Epe under the auspices of “The Concerned Citizens of Epe Community” complained that their traditional ruler, Oba Adewale Osiberu and some of his chiefs hijacked the land released to their community in connivance with the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel to the exclusion of 16 families who were the original owners of the land before government acquisition. 3. The Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) under whose portfolio the management of the Remo Rubber Plantation falls, vehemently opposed the excision of land from the Plantation on the ground that the action was inimical to the growth and wellbeing of the plantation and will encourage further encroachment of the farm by the communities. OBSERVATIONS & FINDINGS 1. The Commission found that all the lands released to the various communities amounting to over 300 Hectares in all, was from WITHIN the REMO RUBBER PLANTATION , one of the revered agricultural legacies of Ogun State inherited from the old Western Regional government of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. 2. The Commission found that the government had paid compensation to these communities for the land acquired from them thus effectively extinguishing any right they may have in the said land. Consequently the request for release was not founded upon any legal right but based purely on government discretion. 3. The Commission found that some of the communities are even still in court against the government claiming interest on the compensation paid to them by government. 4. The commission found that the land released to these communities was not for agricultural use but for building construction, quite contrary to the purpose of the original acquisition. 5. Surveyor Ogunnoiki, former DG, Lands gave no plausible reasons for the release during his testimony before the Commission other than that Ikenne is land locked and that he observed felling of Rubber trees during his visit to the plantation. 6. The Commission found upon its physical inspection of the Remo Rubber Plantation, that the activities of encroachers and illegal rubber tappers is rampant and is of the view that the release of land which will bring human habitation much closer to the Plantation will further increase the incidents of illegal tappers and encroachers and may soon lead to the demise of the plantation. We find it very apposite and instructive to quote the view of the Ogun State Agricultural Development Corporation in its letter dated 5th April 2006 to the DG Lands, on the issue: “It will no doubt sound its death knell and consequent collapse as what would be left of it will be most uneconomical to run as a viable agro-business entity…” This wise counsel was ignored by the government. 7. Although the Commission did not prove the allegation that the land released to Epe was to be shared beneficially by the Oba, his chiefs, ex-Governor Gbenga Daniel and Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki, as alleged by the complainants, the Commission is however of the view that the decision to release the land to all these communities from the rubber plantation was ill-advised, misguided and very short-sighted, given both the importance of the plantation to the economy of the State, if properly administered, especially now that other states are looking beyond oil for revenue generation, and agriculture is beginning to return to its old days of glory. The decision appeared to have been based simply on political expediency and primordial sentiments rather than on objective considerations. 8. The commission found that those to whom part of the land was released were not members of the family from whom the land was originally acquired. 9. The Commission also found that 50 hectares out of the Remo Rubber Plantation was earmarked for a proposed Epe GRA Scheme - which exists only on paper. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Based strictly on considerations of OVERALL PUBLIC INTEREST, the Commission recommends that ALL the releases of land made to various communities from within the land of the Remo Rubber plantation be withdrawn and cancelled FORTHWITH. 2. The Commission recommends that the decision to establish Epe GRA Scheme on the land of the Remo Rubber Plantation be rescinded and the 50 Hectares earmarked for that purpose should revert to the plantation. 3. The Commission further recommends that the government takes urgent steps to revitalize the plantation so as to derive maximum benefit from it for the people of the state and thus fulfill the dreams and aspirations of its founding fathers. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendations 1-3 above and directs the Agricultural Development Cooperation to take necessary steps to revitalize the plantation. 3. ODUBULE CHIEFTAINCY FAMILY OF IPERIN-ODUBULE, IGBESA FACTS: The family complained that its land at Iperin-Odubule, via Igbesa was acquired without compensation, and also that land excised to their community by OPIC was monopolized by a few persons to the exclusion of their family. They also alleged acts of impropriety on the part of OPIC staff including sale of their land by such staff. They are asking for investigation of the release and compensation for their family by specific land release to them. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that government paid compensation for the land acquired from the Iperin community of which the petitioners are part. 2. The Commission found that land was also released to Iperin community by government through one Chief T.A, Itabiyi and one Saheed Badmus and that, members of the Odubule family benefitted from the released land. 3. The Commission did not find proved, the allegations of impropriety made against the officials of OPIC by the petitioners. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission finds no basis to recommend any form of compensation or release of land to the petitioners as prayed. GOVERNMENT'S VIEW Government accepts the recommendation of the Commission. 4. INPUT SYSTEMS LIMITED. FACTS: This is a case of double allocation. The Petitioner had purchased 5 acres of land by private treaty at Asese Village along the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road and approached the Task force on Title Ratification for ratification as the land fell within the 2 kilometer radius acquisition. Their application was granted sometimes in March 2009 after paying all necessary fees. They also obtained fence construction approval and proceeded to construct a fence and some structures on the land. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Lands had also in 2009 issued a Certificate of Occupancy covering 37 hectares to one Zubair Ventures Ltd. Included in this allocation was the 5 acres in respect of which the title of the petitioner had been ratified. The Petitioner alleges that its fence and structures on the land were demolished by Zubair Ventures Ltd. In the course of the hearing it was revealed that there are two suits in court between the vendors of the petitioner and the vendors of Zubair Ventures on the title to the land. However, in the course of proceedings, the Petitioner alleged that it gave a bribe of about N4.5M to the former DG Lands, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki in order to facilitate the grant of its application. Surveyor Ogunnoiki was summoned to respond to this issue and he vigorously denied the allegation. FINDINGS/OBSERVATIONS: 1. The Commission is unable to determine the issue of title between the petitioner and Zubair Ventures Ltd in view of the pending court cases. 2. The Commission finds that the activities of the Task Force on Title Ratification especially its penchant to operate independently of and without recourse to the Bureau of Lands, was responsible for the anomaly in this and other similar cases. The absence of synergy and unseemly 'rivalry' between the bodies created an unhealthy competition which did more harm than good to Land management and administration in Ogun State during the period under reference. 3. The Commission found Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki unconvincing in his denial of the allegation of receipt of bribe from the Petitioner, but as there was no positive proof and it being an allegation of commission of crime, the Commission is unable to make any specific finding or determination of the issue. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. The Commission recommends that government awaits the outcome of the pending suits between the predecessors in title of both the Petitioner and Zubair Ventures Ltd, before deciding which of the two contending parties is the one rightfully entitled to the grant of a right of occupancy on the subject land and which of the two titles that should be cancelled. 2. The Commission recommends that government refers the allegation of the giving and receipt of bribe in this case made against Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for proper investigation and possible prosecution in a court of law. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendation 1 above. Government notes recommendation 2. 5. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS AREPO HOUSING ESTATE ALLOTTEES ASSOCIATION FACTS: 1. OPIC had allocated about 5.138 Hectares to one Chief Surakatu Biobaku Sobande at Arepo, by virtue of deed of Sub-Lease dated 5th July, 1999 and registered as No. 13 at page 13 in Volume 576 of the Lands Registry at Abeokuta. 2. The said Chief Surakatu Biobaku Sobande by Deed of assignment dated 12th December, 2000, and duly consented to by the Governor of Ogun state, on 7th February, 2003, and registered as No 52 at page 52 in Volume 600 at the Lands Registry Abeokuta, assigned 4.006 Hectares to the University of Lagos, which subsequently allotted the land in plots to 45 staff members, (the Petitioners). 3. While some of the petitioners have taken possession and reached various stages of development on their plots, many of them have not been able to do so due to the activities of persons who have encroached on the land, some of whom claimed to have also obtained grants from the government. 4. The encroachers have destroyed some of the developments of the petitioners on the land and made it impossible for them to take possession of their land, while all efforts by the petitioners to get the government, to intervene have not yielded positive results, hence their petition to this Commission. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS 1. The Commission found as a fact that the petitioners have a valid and subsisting title to the subject land founded upon a grant by OPIC, an agency of Ogun State government, and subsequent consent granted by the Governor of Ogun State. 2. The Commission found as a fact that SUBSEQUENT to vesting a valid title in the petitioners, the Task force on title Ratification, a body set up by the last administration, between 2008 and 2011, granted title ratifications to eight (8) individuals and proceeded to issue them with certificates of occupancies. (Some certificates of occupancies are still pending). 3. The Commission found that the Task Force on title ratification acted without due diligence and without any regard for the existing title of the petitioners whose root of title was traceable to the government, thus actively encouraging the acts of encroachment on the petitioners land by the persons newly granted titles and other land grabbers. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. The Commission recommends that Government immediately cancels all ratifications and grants of title made by any of its agencies, including the Task force on Title Ratification, subsequent to the prior, valid and subsisting title of the University of Lagos (the Petitioners) on the subject land at Arepo, as all of those subsequent titles are invalid, null and void. 2. The Commission recommends that the Government should as a matter of urgency; take immediate steps to remove all encroachments and encroachers from the land vested in the petitioners and assist the Petitioners to take effective physical possession of their land. The Commission believes that government owes this duty and responsibility to all its allottees or persons who occupy or have a right to occupy government land and hold valid titles from appropriate government agencies, as in this instance, instead of leaving them to the mercy of land grabbers and miscreants masquerading as “Omo Oniles” on government lands and estate. 3. Officials of the task force on title ratification, who were responsible for the granting of ratifications in this matter, are hereby recommended for serious reprimand. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS 1. Government accepts recommendation 1 above; 2. Government accepts recommendation 2 and directs the relevant government agencies to give effect to the recommendation without delay; 3. Government notes recommendation 3 6. 180 HECTARES OF LAND GRANTED TO DIVINE GRACE UNIVERSITY/MOST REVEREND DR RUFUS OKIKIOLU OSITELU AT OGERE. FACTS: Divine Grace University whose Proprietor is The Most Reverend Rufus Okikiolu Ositelu, Primate of The Church of the Lord (Aladura), was granted a land of 180 Hectares at Ogere by the Ogun State Housing Corporation with the approval of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, without any payment, except N3.5M for survey fees. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that the subject land which was acquired by the government with compensation duly paid was vested by the government in the OGUN STATE HOUSING CORPORATION, which had in turn earmarked it for the establishment of a commercial estate. 2. The Commission found that by his application dated dated the 29th January 2010, His Eminence Dr Rufus Okikiolu Ositelu as proprietor and on behalf of Divine Grace University, applied for the allocation of a land of 180 Hectares for educational purposes, though this formal application had been preceeded by an earlier letter dated the 19th January 2010. 3. On 30th January 2010, the applicant paid two sums of N20, 000 and N500, 000 to the Corporation being application and survey deposit fees respectively. 4. The Commission found that the Housing Corporation valued the total cost of allocating the land to the applicant at N661,635,093.00 (SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE MILLION, SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND AND NINETY-THREE NAIRA) and conveyed this information to the Governor via its Memorandum dated 23rd February 2010. 5. The Commission found from the evidence of the officers of the Housing Corporation that the then Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel directed, not only that the applicant should not pay for the land, but that even the request of the Corporation that the applicant at least pay to government the sum of N36, 179,800.00 (THIRTY SIX MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY NINE THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED NAIRA), being the cost of acquisition of the land to the government, was disapproved by the then Governor. 6. The Commission found further that even though the then Governor approved that the applicant should pay only the survey fee for the land in the sum of N7,000,000.00 (SEVEN MILLION NAIRA), which the Corporation duly communicated to the applicant by its letter of 18th November, 2010, the governor subsequently further granted a rebate of 50% on even this sum of N7m, with the result that the corporation by its letter dated 26th November 2010, had to again ask the applicant to pay only the sum of N3.5Million as survey fee. 7. The applicant on 29th of November, 2010 paid the sum of N3Million to the Corporation as the balance of the survey fee, having earlier paid a deposit of N500,0000.00 8. The Commission found therefore that for a land that cost the Government of Ogun State a sum of N36,179,800.00 to acquire, and which, according to the valuation of the Housing Corporation, the applicant should have paid N661,635,093.00, the applicant only paid the sum of N3.5Million, upon the instruction and approval of the former Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. 9. The officers of the Housing Corporation confessed before the Commission that the allocation of the land to the applicant in this manner was wrong but that they were helpless in the circumstance in view of the interest and directives of the ex-governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. 10. The Commission summoned the allottee, represented by its alter ego, His Eminence The Most Reverend Dr. Ositelu to hear his side of the matter and while answering questions put to him, he admitted that the former Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel was like a son to him, having been born and brought up in his church and that he (the ex-governor) would not hesitate to do anything for him. His Eminence further informed the Commission that although the University he was establishing would be fee-paying even for indigenes of Ogun State, he saw nothing wrong in the free government land given to him by the former governor for its establishment. 11. The Commission is of the opinion that the then governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel wrongfully used state property (the land in issue) as a gift to his spiritual father. 12. The Commission considers it most inappropriate, a breach of public trust, an abuse of office and a reckless loss of revenue to the State for the former Governor to have given away the property of the State, of such value and magnitude, FREE OF CHARGE, to a private organization to use for a profit-making venture (private fee-paying University). RECOMMENDATION: Consequently, it is recommended IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: That the grant of the said land of 180 Hectares to the Divine Grace University/The Most Reverend Dr Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, of the Church of the Lord (Aladura), be cancelled FORTHWITH and the land utilized for the original purpose for which it was acquired. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. However in consideration of the educational and religious objectives touted for the intended development, Government will in this specific instance avail the allottee an opportunity to apply afresh and pay for the land in line with the Government's current Land Allocation Policy. The current market value of the land is N5.4billion (at the rate of N30 million per hectare) for 180 hectares. An educational project would normally attract a 75% discount and therefore the allottee would have paid N1.35billion. However, as a concession, the government will allow the allottee to purchase the parcel of land at the previously assessed value of N661, 635,093.00, provided full payment is made within 90 days. The land must be used for the stipulated educational purpose and development must commence within six (6) months, otherwise the concession and allocation will be forfeited 8. SALE/LEASE OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES AT IBARA G.R.A. TO PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS AND OTHERS. FACTS: Sale of government landed properties at Ibara GRA under questionable circumstances. OBSERVATIONS\FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that the Ogun State Housing Corporation with the approval of the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel sold/leased government landed properties in the highbrow IBARA GRA of Abeokuta to several political and public office holders in the last few months of the administration's tenure without due process, transparency and at ridiculous prices. 2. From the evidence given by the officers of the Housing Corporation, they had little or no say whatsoever in the matter as they merely acted on the directive and instruction of the former governor. Many of the applicants simply applied directly to the former governor and he in turn, simply approved and instructed the General Manager of the Housing Corporation to allocate the properties. There was no proper valuation done, the applications did not go through the Board of the Corporation and were not vetted in any way by the corporation once the governor directed. Letters of allocation did not disclose the fact that there were houses on the plots, making it look as if what was being sold were vacant and undeveloped plots whereas there were houses on the plots, being inhabited by civil servants. Apart from the low prices deliberately fixed for the properties, the former Governor still proceeded to approve rebates of 50% to the allottees and in one particular instance, 90% rebate was granted to a federal official. 3. The Commission found that some of the allottees were not even public officers, but privately engaged, yet the former governor granted them 50% rebate in addition to the already very low prices fixed by the Housing Corporation. 4. No reason was given for why the government decided to sell off these houses which had served as official quarters for government staff for several years, and particularly why they were being sold mostly to political appointees on their way out of office in the dying days of the administration. 5. Notable beneficiaries of this largesse, the prices paid by them and the rebates granted them by the former governor are as follows: RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. In the opinion of the Commission, these transactions were not done with transparency and certainly did not conform with due process. In the public interest therefore, it is recommended that the sales/leases be cancelled and possession of the properties recovered from the allottees forthwith. 2. The Commission however further recommends that should the government in its wisdom decide to still alienate the said properties, proper values be put on them and the above-named individuals be given an opportunity to participate with other members of the public in an open and transparent process. In this event, monies already paid by them under the former process should be treated as deposits; otherwise, such monies should be refunded to them upon re-possession. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS 1. Government accepts recommendation 1 2. Government notes recommendation 2 9. ALLOCATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND FACTS: Several allocations of State agricultural land were made by the Ministry of Agriculture in the period under review. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: In the period under reference, the Commission found that the Land Allocation Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture existed only in name, as it abandoned its responsibilities to the Director of Research and Planning who allocated land indiscriminately on the instructions of the erstwhile governor without regard to any guidelines. Several allocations were made at ridiculously low rates to several companies and individuals whose qualifications were their closeness to the seat of power rather than genuine interest in agriculture. It should be noted that he is only required to obtain the Governor's approval for land in excess of 10 hectares. The Commission conducted on-the-spot inspection of several of the locations and found agricultural activities to be nil in almost all of them. Many allottees were unable to take physical possession due to hostility from the host communities, while in many cases lack of infrastructure particularly motor-able access roads was a discouraging factor to the allottees. The Commission found that although the allottees merely paid as little as N1000.00 annually per hectare of land as rental fees, and many of them were doing absolutely nothing on the land, they were being issued with Certificates of Occupancy which entitled them to alienate and use the land as collateral to obtain bank loans with the obvious risk that the land could be lost to the Banks in case of default by the borrowers. In such a case, the State would be the loser while the allottee simply walks away. 1. A random sample of some of the allocations made are as follows: (1) MAGNUM VENTURES LTD (promoter/director: Chief Yomi Majekodunmi, ex-Chief of Staff to the former governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel at the material time.) This company was allocated approximately 20,000 Hectares of land, spread across the State within a period of two weeks of March 2011. Dr. Majekodunmi testified before the Commission and confirmed the allocation. (2) K & F DANIEL FARMS LTD- 100 hectares at Oke-Odan (3) ROYAL VANGUARDS OF OGUN STATE- a. 50 hectares at Atoba. b. 50 hectares at Owowo c. 50 hectares at Abia. The Commission found that the group comprises of traditional rulers from the four zones of the State who came together to embark on an agricultural programme aimed at ensuring food security for their subjects. (4) MRS FOLAKE MARCUS-BELLO (former Commissioner in the last administration). a. 10 hectares at Kajola/Asu b. 10 hectares at Soseri (5). DIPUPO READY FOODS FARM LTD 50 Hectares at Atoba (6) OBASANJO FARMS (belonging to former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo). 2,250 Hectares at Soseri (7) LION OF JUDAH INV 100 Hectares at Soseri (8) LEKAN BELLO (former commissioner in the last administration) 20 hectares at Soseri (9) EGJA MECENG NIG LTD (His highness oba Ajede is also the chief promoter of this company) 200 hectares at Isomu (10) FARMGOLD INTERNATIONAL LTD 500 Hectares at Imala (11) SULTAN-OTHMAN VENTURES LTD 30 hectares at Ago-iwoye (12) INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST 50 hectares at Imeko (13) SOJI AKIN-BANKOLE (former aide to the former Governor) 10 hectares at Imeko (14) SEVEN-EIGHT OJODU-IJOKO 50 hectares at Imeko 20 hectares at Imeko (15) AGRIC GLORY FARMS 100 hectares at Imeko (16) DR TUNJI OTEGBEYE 100 hectares at Imeko (17) CRISSAM NIGRIA LTD 60 hectares at imeko (18) B.A.T. FARMS 60 hectares at imeko (19) LADMOK CO LTD 15 hectares at imeko (20) REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD 100 hectares at Imeko (22) CROWN AGRIC & FOREST PRODUCTS LTD. 120 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (23) B.T.M.G. 75 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (24) OKANLAWON &CO 50 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (25) FREE RANGE FARMS 250 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (26) GREENTECH IND LTD 300 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (27) ERELU ABIOLA FOUNDATION 50 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (28) FOOD COMMODITIES AND INGREDIENTS LTD 80 hectares at Joga/isaga/Ilewo (29) INTERCOPE NIG IND LTD 50 hectares at Joga/Isaga/Ilewo (30) MORAFEL COMMODITIES INV LTD 100 hectares at Imeko (31) GREENLAND RANCH NIG LTD 80 hectares at imeko (32) BANIDOL GLOBAL SERVICES LTD 150 hectares at Imeko. (33) KEHINDE SOGUNLE (former commissioner in the last administration) 15 hectares at Imeko (34) DR. TAIWO SOGUNLE 10 hectares at Imeko 3. The Commission found that most of these allottees have neither taken possession nor done anything with the lands allotted to them. 4. The Commission found that virtually all of these allocations were not done transparently, with diligence, and did not follow due process. The sums charged were ridiculously and scandalously low and the entire process was nothing but a big scam on the state. . RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. In the interest of the State, the Commission recommends that all agricultural land allocations made between the period falling within the terms of reference of the Commission, namely January 2004-May 29, 2011, including but not limited to those specifically listed above be cancelled. 2. The Commission however observed from the documents and oral testimonies of THE ROYAL VANGUARDS, which it appears that they have a laudable program for agriculture, and that there may also be others like that. In the light of this, the Commission further recommends that a special verification committee be set up to examine all the allocations strictly on individual merit, and those found to be genuine be allowed to subsist. 3. Government is urged to provide the enabling environment such as reasonable access roads, and also take pragmatic steps to put community restiveness in check, so as to ensure that genuine agricultural investors who have not been able to take physical possession of their allocated plots can do so. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendations 1-3 above and in addition directs the Bureau of Lands & Survey and the Ministry of Agriculture to make available, details of all acquisitions done during the period under review. Such details should include exact amounts paid to government and any compensation paid to the original land owners etc. 9. FIRST OPTIONS MOTORS LTD. FACTS: This company was allocated land of 14.690 Hectares at the Flower Gate Scheme by the Bureau of Land for only N3million whereas it ought to have paid N293, 800,000.00 going by the official/prevailing rate at the time. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. As at the time the land was allocated to this Company the applicable official rate at the FLOWER GATE COMMERCIAL SCHEME was N20,000,000.00 (TWENTY MILLION NAIRA) per hectare. 2. By the going official rate therefore, this Company ought to have paid to the government the sum of N293, 800,000.00 (Two Hundred and Ninety-Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira only). 3. To evade the payment of the appropriate sum to government, the application of the company for a direct allocation was treated by the then DG Lands, Surveyor Ogunnoiki, as one for “accommodation”, and so it was merely asked to pay a sum of N3,000,000.00, thus depriving government of over N290,000,000.00. 4. The Commission found that there was in fact NO application from the company for any 'accommodation' or 'ratification', and there is no evidence in the official file to indicate that the applicant had any previous 'title' to the land, which it was applying to ratify or be 'accommodated'. To the contrary, it was in the letter of the then DG Lands dated 22nd October 2010, that the word 'accommodation' first surfaced. 5. The Commission found as a matter of record and fact that the Company actually first officially filled a form to apply for the land on the 22nd of June 2011, (when both Governor Daniel and Surveyor Ogunnoiki had left office), whereas it had 'paid' for the land on the 27th of May 2011 (BEFORE APPLYING FOR IT), and HAD in fact been GRANTED THE ALLOCATION SINCE THE 22nd OF OCTOBER 2010 by Surveyor Ogunnoiki (almost a year before the application was made). More intriguing, the Commission found that the then Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel SIGNED the Certificate of Occupancy on the 14th day of May, 2011, BEFORE THE COMPANY EVEN APPLIED FOR THE LAND AND BEFORE ANY PAYMENT WAS MADE. In other words, the ex-governor granted title to a land which was only applied for after he had ceased to be Governor, and he granted it, when no money had been paid for it. This is aside from the huge loss to the state occasioned by the irregular manner in which Surveyor Ogunnoiki treated the application. RECOMMENDATION There is definitely more than meets the eye in this transaction, considering the serious irregularities noted above. For this reason, the Commission recommends that the allocation made to FIRST OPTIONS MOTORS CO. LIMITED and the certificate of occupancy issued thereto be cancelled forthwith and physical possession of the land be recovered by government from the Company. GOVERNMENT'S VIEW Government accepts this recommendation. In addition, it directs the Bureau of Urban & Physical Planning to evict any trespassers found on the land forthwith. 10. SAGAMU TRANSNATIONAL TRADE COMPLEX FACTS: The company was allocated land even before it was incorporated thus raising serious doubt about the genuineness of the allocation. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Company applied for land allocation on the 18th day of March, 2009, and was allocated 33.66 Hectares on the Sagamu/Benin Expressway on the 20th March 2008. IN OTHER WORDS, THE ALLOCATION WAS MADE EVEN BEFORE THE COMPANY APPLIED FOR IT. 2. The Company was only incorporated on the 22nd day of June 2009, more than one year AFTER it had been allocated the land. 3. The applicable official rate chargeable at the time was N20million per hectare. Thus, the company was supposed to have been charged a total sum of N673, 200,000.00. for the 33.66 hectares. But Surveyor Ogunnoiki who made the allocation asked the company to pay N53.785Million only. 4. The former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel still proceeded to give the company a rebate of 25% 5. The company has only made payment of N6, 620,000.00 going by available record, yet it has been issued a certificate of occupancy No 43/43/703. 6. In the opinion of this Commission this allocation is severely tainted by irregularities. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that for the glaring irregularities stated above, the allocation be withdrawn, and Certificate of Occupancy No. 43/43/703 cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation 11. DUKE REALTORS LIMITED FACTS: This Company in which the family of the former DG Lands, Surveyor GBENGA OGUNNOIKI has interest, was allocated 25 hectares of land under a purported Memorandum of Understanding with government which was never executed, yet the company is still vested with the certificate of occupancy. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found as a fact that there was a Memorandum of Understanding reached between the company and Gateway Holdings Limited (acting for the government) in April 2005 by which government was to provide land for a joint venture project and hold 20% equity while Duke Realtors Ltd would provide funding for the project and hold 80% equity. 2. Duke Realtors Ltd was incorporated on the 14th March 2005 with some of its subscribers and directors being Chief Bode Mustapha and Revd (Mrs) Tope Ogunnoiki (wife of Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki- DG Lands). It applied for the land in October 2005. 3. There is no evidence that the joint venture project ever took off. 4. Certificate of Occupancy to the land was issued to Duke Realtors Ltd on 17th July, 2005, following an allocation letter dated 4th March 2005 (before the company was registered) issued by Surveyor Ogunnoiki and charging a fee of N154,835,000.00. 5. There is no evidence that Duke Realtors ever paid any money whatsoever for the land or that government of Ogun state ever got any benefit from the transaction as the intended joint venture project never materialized. 6. The Commission found that Duke Realtors Ltd has indeed concluded plans to assign 8000 sq metres out of the land in question to one CIL RISK MANAGEMENT LTD for which it has submitted an application for governor's consent to the Bureau of Lands. Even though there is no copy of the Deed of Assignment to be seen in the file, a letter awaiting the signature of the governor for consent to the transfer is presently lying in the official file of the company with the Bureau of Lands. 7. Although it is Ogunnoiki wife's name that appears on the incorporation documents as a subscriber and director, the Commission believes that Surveyor Ogunnoiki the former DG lands was at all material times, the controlling mind of the company. 8. Surveyor Ogunnoiki in his testimony after initial denial admitted that his wife is a shareholder and director of the company. 9. The Commission found it shocking and unbecoming that this company is attempting to transfer to a 3rd party land for which it did not pay any money. RECOMMENDATION: This is a clear case of abuse of office by Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki. It is recommended that the allocation be withdrawn and the Certificate of Occupancy issued to Duke Realtors Ltd be cancelled immediately. As there appears to also be an element of criminality involved in this matter, it is further recommended that the law enforcement agencies be invited to investigate and possibly prosecute Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki and the Directors of the said company for any criminal offence that may be established from their conduct. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts the recommendation. The Certificate of Occupancy issued to Duke Realtors Ltd is hereby cancelled. The Attorney-General is directed to compile and forward a report on Surveyor Ogunnoiki's conduct to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and necessary action 12. CHIEF FADI YISSA (1 & 2) FACTS: Allocation of TWO (2) parcels of land under questionable circumstances. First Allocation (1) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. Again, there is no evidence available on record that this individual ever applied to be granted land on the basis of “accommodation'' along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, because he did not submit any evidence of any prior ownership or title to any such land to government. By his application form dated 19th May 2011, he merely applied for a straight land allocation from the government within the Flowergate Scheme. 2. The commission found that by letter dated 18th January 2011 (before the allottee's application was even submitted,), Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki purporting to act on a then non-existent application for “accommodation” from the allottee, conveyed approval for 2 hectares of land within the Flowergate Scheme at a consideration of N4.5M, whereas the official chargeable rate operative at the time was N20M per hectare. Instead of N40M therefore (for 2 hectares), the allottee was asked to pay, and only paid N4.5M to government. 3. Certificate of Occupancy dated 7th May 2011 and registered as No 13/13/761 was subsequently signed by the governor and issued to the allottee. To be noted again, is that even the certificate of occupancy was signed by the governor ever before the applicant submitted a formal application form on 19th May, 2011 asking for land allocation. 4. The Commission is convinced that the application of this company was treated as an 'accommodation' rather than a normal application for land allocation, with a deliberate intention to wrongfully deprive the State of a rightful income. 5. Although the allottee was summoned, he did not appear but sent his lawyer to testify on his behalf. He could not tender any document relating to this allocation and even when granted the latitude to forward the documents later he did not do until the commission wind up. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. In view of the fact that this allocation is marred not just by a mere irregularity, but by the LIKELIHOOD of fraud or some form of criminality, the Commission recommends that the allocation and certificate of occupancy No 13/13/761 be cancelled, in the public interest 2. The Commission recommends further that this transaction be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for thorough investigation of the criminal aspect and prosecution of all those who may be found culpable. Second Allocation (2) Observations & Findings: 1. The file of this allocation could not be produced by the bureau of lands. It is noteworthy to mention that staff of the bureau informed the commission that the former DG, Surveyor Ogunnoiki took away several files during his last days in the office which are yet to be returned. 2. From the documents tendered by the allottee's representative however, the commission found allocation letter dated 9th March 2010 by which three hectares of land at the Flowergate scheme was allocated to the allottee for the sum of N2,150,000.00 instead of N60 million at the prevailing rate resulting in a loss of N57,850,000.00. 3. The allottee paid the sum of N2, 150,000.00 in August 2011. 4. Although there is no evidence before the commission that a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for this allocation, this cannot be ruled out, given the disclosures before this commission in similar circumstances. RECOMMENDATION: The commission hereby recommends that the allocation and the Certificate of Occupancy if already issued, be cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government's views are as follows: a) First Allocation (1) Government accepts recommendation 1 and directs the Attorney-General to effect recommendation 2; b) Second Allocation (2) Government accepts this recommendation. 13. ADVANCED STEEL STRUCTURE COMPANY LTD. FACTS: Allocations of land at gross undervalue. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Company was allocated land of 100 hectares at the Flowergate scheme on 24th June 2009 although there was no formal application for land from the company at the time. 2. The Commission found that although the official rate for land allocation in the Scheme at the time was N20 Million per hectare, the Company was requested to pay a sum of N220 Million for the 100 hectares, instead of N2billion thus resulting in a loss of N1.780b to the state. 3. The Company was issued with a Certificate of Occupancy dated 3rd February 2011, though its formal application for land allocation was then only filed on the 12th of July 2011. RECOMMENDATION: This allocation and certificate of occupancy should not be allowed to stand in the public interest. It is recommended for cancellation. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 14. NEVERENDING TECHNOLOGY PARK LIMITED (1) FACTS: Irregular Allocation of 50 hectares at gross undervalue. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. This company was allocated 50 hectares of land at the Flowergate Scheme for a total sum of N10Million, whereas the official going rate was N20 Million per Hectare resulting in a huge loss of N990,000,000.00 (Nine hundred and ninety million naira) to the State. 2. There is no evidence of grant of any rebate to this company by the governor and compared to what other allottees in the vicinity or directly next door to the company paid, the sum of N10m for 50 hectares (i.e. N200, 000.00 per hectare!) is, in the opinion of the Commission scandalous and absolutely indefensible thus putting a big question mark on the allocation. 3. The commission found that while the company only paid for the land on the 2nd of June 2011, when the last administration had left office, the certificate of occupancy had been signed in advance by the former governor on the 3rd of March 2011 WHEN THE COMPANY HAD MADE NO PAYMENT. 4. The certificate of occupancy dated 3rd March 2011 and registered as No: 76/76/766 was collected on behalf of the company by one ENGR AREGBE HABEEB. 5. In the Commission's opinion this allocation is nothing but a disservice to the State. It is not far from outright stealing of the people's prized asset. 6. It is to be noted that this company was invited by the commission to testify before it but the invitation was not honored. RECOMMENDATION: The allocation and certificate of occupancy No 76/76/766 dated 30th March 2011 should be cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 15. WESTERN PUBLISHING COMPANY LIMITED FACTS: Allocation of Two Parcels of land without payment at FLOWERGATE SCHEME (A) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS ON THE FIRST ALLOCATION 1. This Company was allocated land of 50 hectares within the Flowergate scheme at a total consideration of N15 million, by virtue of allocation letter dated 17th November, 2009, issued by Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki, ex-DG LANDS, even though the prevailing official rate at the time for the land was N20 Million per hectare. It is worthy of note that the application form in which the request for this land was first made was filled 0n 11th February 2011 and sworn to at the High court Registry Abeokuta on 14th February 2011, yet the allocation letter was dated 17th November, 2009 and signed by Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki. 2. The Commission did not find evidence in the records of the Bureau of Lands to show that the company made any payments whatsoever as consideration for this allocation. 3. Despite the lack of proof of any payment, the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, signed a certificate of occupancy in favor of this company for 41.581 Hectares, even when there was no evidence of payment by the company on the 30th March 2011. 4. Available record confirms that the original copy of the said certificate of occupancy was collected on behalf of the company on the 3rd of May 2011 by one ENGR AREGBE HABEEB. 5. The Commission found that the certificate of occupancy was presented for stamp duty on the 6th of May, 2011 and a fee of N1,000.00 (one thousand naira only) was paid. 6. The Commission wishes to observe that witness summons served on the company to appear before the commission with proof of payment for the land was not honored. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that the allocation and the certificate of occupancy No: 0032310 dated the 30th March 2011, be cancelled for total lack of consideration. Furthermore, as the Commission believes that there is some element of criminality involved in this transaction, it further recommends that the matter be formally reported to the law enforcement agencies for proper investigation and prosecution of all those who may be found to be culpable in this attempt to deprive the State of its property unlawfully. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation (B) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS ON THE SECOND ALLOCATION Company applied for an unspecified size of land at a Flower Gate Scheme Extension by a letter dated February 13, 2010. 1. By a letter of allocation dated 6th January 2011, 50 hectares of land within Flower gate Scheme Extension was allocated to the company for the sum of 18M Naira as against 1billion Naira at the official rate of 20M Naira per hectare resulting in a shortfall of 982 million Naira. 2. Governor Gbenga Daniel further gave a rebate of 50 per cent of the invoice amount on 17/01/2011 to further increase the shortfall to the state to 991 Million Naira. 3. The allottee vide an undated letter addressed to the governor claimed that the Bureau of Land and Survey owed it the sum of N10,342,962 being cost of advert placed with it but not paid for. The letter further requested the governor to approve that the sum of 9 Million naira out of the alleged indebtedness of the Bureau be applied as payment for the land being allocated to it by the Bureau. 4. The governor in a handwritten memo approved the request on his personal letter headed paper dated 17/05/2011. The memo was jointly addressed to the former Finance Commissioner and the former DG, Bureau of Lands. There is no evidence that the approval was effected by the finance ministry. 5. The only payments attached to this transaction are 5,000 Naira and 2,000 Naira being administrative and application fee charges respectively. 6. It is important to note that no evidence of any indebtedness by the Bureau of Lands to the allottee was shown to the Commission by the Bureau and the company did not honor the invitation to testify. 7. The Certificate of Occupancy for this allocation was signed by the former Governor Gbenga Daniel on 23rd of March, 2011, months before he approved that the money allegedly being owed the allottee be used in paying for the allocation. 8. The commission is of the view that this allocation ran afoul of all land allocation rules and guidelines. RECOMMENDATION: This allocation is be-deviled by incurably fatal legal irregularities. It is recommended for cancellation. The certificate of occupancy already issued to the company should also be cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and in addition, directs the Attorney-General to institute an action for fraud against the allottee for conspiracy to deny the State of revenue that should have accrued to it. 16. WESTERN PUBLISHING COMPANY LIMITED (3) FACTS: Irregular Land allocation at RIVERVIEW ESTATE OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. This company applied to the Bureau of lands on the 4th of September, 2006, for land allocation within the Riverview Estate, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, for the establishment of a print media headquarters. 2. On 4th January, 2007, an offer of allocation of 2 Hectares at a total cost of N2, 500,000.00 was made to the company by the Bureau of Lands. 3 By another letter simply dated 'February, 2007, another offer of allocation of 4 hectares of land within the same scheme was allocated to the company at a total cost of N4, 000,000.00. 4 It is worthy of note that at the material time, the prevailing price for an hectare of land in the scheme was N6 Million, thus the company ought to have paid N24 Million for the 4 hectares instead of N4 Million. 5 The commission found that a certificate of occupancy was issued to the company on the 10th of March, 2008, WHEN IT HAD NOT PAID FOR THE LAND. The certificate of occupancy is numbered: 025305 and registered as no: 12/12/676. 6 The Company only paid the said sum of N4 Million on the 14th of March 2008, AFTER the Certificate of occupancy had already been signed and issued to it by the governor. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission is of the opinion that the allocation made to this Company at such gross under-value and the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy to it BEFORE it had paid any money for the land, were wrongful acts done contrary to established procedure and not in the public interest, and should therefore not be allowed to stand. Accordingly, both the allocation and said Certificate of Occupancy are recommended for cancellation. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation 17. WESTERN PUBLISHING COMPANY LIMITED (4) FACTS: Irregular Sale of landed property to the company at under-value. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1 The Commission found that the company bought parcel of land with an area of 8 Hectares (8000sq metres) on which there were 8 almost fully completed houses, at Mowe, off the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, from OPIC for the sum of N6.8Million. 2 OPIC confirmed to the commission that at the material time, the prevailing price for each of the said uncompleted houses was N1, 496,112.00. Indeed, sale of a similar house to one Mrs. O.T. Okunuga in 2007, (two years before the sale to the above company), was for N2, 498,000.00. RECOMMENDATION: Although the property was sold at undervalue, since the company paid the consideration demanded of it, the Commission hereby recommends that the sale should be allowed to stay. However, the Managing Director of OPIC, Surveyor Kola Omobo should be held responsible for the payment of the shortfall to government. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts the recommendation requesting the sale to stay. However, government directs that the buyer should pay the shortfall of the correct price it should have paid within 90 days. Regarding the culpability of the Managing Director of OPIC in the transaction, a State's disciplinary panel will conduct its independent investigations and make appropriate recommendations. 18. WHITE HORSE COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED FACTS: Irregular allocation of 50 hectares of land at Flowergate Scheme. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that land of 50 hectares was allocated to this company by Surveyor Ogunnoiki as D-G Lands on 12th February 2008, at a total consideration of N10Million (N200,000 per hectare !) as against the then prevailing official rate of N20Million per hectare. 2. The Commission found that the former governor signed the certificate of occupancy in favor of this company on the 3rd March 2011 AT WHICH DATE THE COMPANY HAD NOT PAID ANY MONEY WHATSOEVER. 3. The Commission found that the Company only made payment of the N10M for this land between the 24th day of June 2011 and 30th June 2011, and the certificate of occupancy was registered on the 29th of June 2011. 4. The certificate of occupancy was collected on behalf of the company by one ENGR AREGBE HABEEB (who coincidentally also collected the certificates of occupancy of WESTERN PUBLISHING CO LTD and NEVER-ENDING TECH PARK LTD). 5. The Commission found that the state suffered a loss of income of N990, 000,000.00. from this allocation alone as a result of undervalue. RECOMMENDATION: The commission recommends that this allocation and the Certificate of Occupancy registered as number 61/61/761 dated 30th March 2011 be cancelled as a result of the irregularities mentioned above. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 19. MILLENNIUM PARK LIMITED FACTS: Irregular allocation of 50 Hectares of land at Flowergate Scheme to the former governor's company. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Directors/subscribers of this company are: (1). OLUGBENGA DANIEL- Former Governor (2). OLALEKAN BELLO- Former Commissioner; and (3), one DEBO AINA. It is noteworthy that the former Governor did not resign and remained a Director and shareholder of the Company at the material time in question. 2. The Commission found that on the 19th April 2009, the former DG Lands, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki allocated land of 50 hectares at the Flowergate Scheme to this Company at a consideration of N10Million (N200,000.00 per hectare!); as against the prevailing official rate of N20Million per hectare. 3. On 2nd April, 2011, WHEN THE COMPANY HAD NOT MADE ANY PAYMENT WHATSOEVER, the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel signed the Certificate of Occupancy in favor of the company. It is worthy of note that the former governor was, at the time he signed the certificate of occupancy for the company, still a shareholder and director of the company. 4. The Company only made payment of the said N10M between the 2nd and the 10th of June 2011 and the Certificate of occupancy was registered on the 7th of June 2011 as No 77/77/767. 5. Again, the Certificate of Occupancy for this company was collected on its behalf by ENGR AREGBE HABEEB, who also collected on behalf of WESTERN PUBLISHING CO LTD, WHITEHORSE CO LTD and NEVERENDING TECHNOLOGY LTD. 6. The Commission found that the State suffered a loss of income of N990,000,000.00 on account of this allocation alone 7. Again, the striking similarities between this allocation and those of NEVER ENDING TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED, WHITE HORSE COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED, and even WESTERN PUBLISHING LTD are too irresistible to be ignored. RECOMMENDATION: This allocation is not in the Public interest and is therefore recommended for cancellation. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation 20. HONEYWELL FLOUR MILLS PLC FACTS: Irregular Allocation of land at Flowergate Scheme Extension OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that by letter dated 22nd October, 2010, the former DG Lands, Surveyor Ogunnoiki allocated 30 Hectares of land within the Flowergate Scheme Extension, Sagamu to this company for a total consideration of N25Million, as against N600M at the prevailing official rate of N20Million per hectare. The allocation was treated as “accommodation”, even though there was no evidence that the company had any prior interest in the land requiring an accommodation. 2. Although the company also made payment totaling N35Million to the customary land owners after it got the allocation from government, this was payment for crops compensation, and not for any prior purchase of the land. 3. Treating the allocation as an “accommodation” was therefore a ploy to shortchange the government, and indeed this was the case because rather than the allottee paying to government the sum of N700,000,000.00 (35 hectares (as stated on certificate of occupancy x N20M), it only paid the sum of N25Million to government. 4. The Property Manager of the Company Mr Kunle Fashogbon, in his testimony before the Commission on Wednesday 11th April 2012 admitted that the Company had no prior title to the land before applying to government for the allocation. He said they had only just started discussing with a family when they discovered the land was Government land and they then discontinued the discussion and approached government instead for allocation 5. The certificate of occupancy was signed by the former governor in favor of the allottee on the 10th of April 2011, whereas the allottee only paid for the land in May 2011. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that the allocation and the Certificate of Occupancy registered as No: 65/65/751 be cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 21. ILALE CHIEFTAINCY FAMILY FACTS: The family prays for a de-acquisition of their land acquired by government as part of the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone, Igbesa. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: The Commission found that the government has paid crop compensation, as required by law, to the family in respect of the acquisition and there is no indication that the government is no longer keen on the project. RECOMMENDATION: The commission is of the view that having been paid crop compensation as required by law, the family has no basis for this request for de-acquisition. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation 22. OLUDOTUN ODUBONA FACTS: Petitioner alleged illegal transfer of his land to another allottee. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that this petitioner obtained a valid land allocation which was fully paid for from OPIC in June 2005. He was allocated Plot 40 Block AL Scheme 1 Residential Area 1 Opic Estate, Isheri. 2. The plot allocated to the petitioner is within the area now known as the Riverview mixed development scheme Isheri under the management of the Bureau of Lands. 3. The petitioner started construction work on his plot in 2006 and had done extensive work on it before he was stopped from further building by the Bureau of Lands in 2008. 4. The Bureau of Lands later included the petitioner's plot in a larger parcel it allocated to one PLAINFIELD ESTATES LTD to which a certificate of occupancy was issued on 4th July 2009. 5. The Commission found that the names of the subscribers of the said Plainfield Estates Ltd namely ISAAC ABAYOMI and ISAAC TOLU feature prominently in some other companies which have been found to be closely linked to the former DG Lands, Surv Gbenga Ogunnoiki, thus raising very heavy suspicion that the said former DG Lands has close interests in the said Plainfied Estates Ltd. 6. The Commission questioned the former DG Lands on the double allocation and he admitted under oath that he allocated the petitioner's land to the Company in error. The Commission however believes that it was a deliberate act like many others by the ex-DG rather than an error. 7. The Commission found that the allocation and physical possession of the land by the petitioner was first in time and still subsisting and that the subsequent allocation of the plot to Plainfield Estate Ltd was wrongful. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that the allocation and possession of the petitioner to the said plot be restored and the allocation to Plainfield Estates Ltd be voided and Certificate of Occupancy No 45/45/736 dated 4th July 2009 be cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 23. T.S. DIPEOLU FACTS: The petitioner's land falls within the acquisition for the construction of the Police Computer College along the Abeokuta-Sagamu expressway. He refused to collect his assessed crop compensation and insists on having his farmland back. OBSERVATION/FINDING: The Commission found that the reason the petitioner refused the crop compensation was because he felt it was too small and not commensurate to the value of his farmland. RECOMMENDATION: All that the law requires the government to do under the Land Use Act is to pay for the crops of the petitioner and no more. Consequently the Petitioner is advised to collect his compensation for crops. Considering the serious interest he appears to have in farming however, the commission recommends that upon his application, he should be favourably considered for allocation of agricultural land by the Ministry of Agriculture. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and directs the Ministry of Agriculture to find an alternative parcel of land for the petitioner. 24. ABEOKUTA CO-OPERATIVE PRODUCE MARKETING UNION LTD FACTS: Alleged unlawful acquisition of land at Kobape road Abeokuta by government. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found that the petitioners held a Certificate of Occupancy to the subject land measuring 5.360 hectares at Kobape Village, since 1981. 2. The Commission found that the land was acquired by the State Government in 2004 and vested in the Housing corporation for the establishment of a housing estate. 3. The Commission found that the petitioners were using the land for farming before the acquisition. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that the government takes steps to pay compensation to the petitioners as required by law, and if the petitioners so desire, government should consider allocating alternative land to them for agricultural purposes under its agricultural land scheme/policy. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation 25. LEE GROUP The Commission heard this matter but before it could give its report the parties (the Company and the government) had resorted to litigation. Accordingly, the Commission has abstained from making any findings or recommendations in deference to the court. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government notes the Commission's position. 26. WESTERN TECHNOLOGY & ENERGY SERVICES LTD FACTS: Certificate of occupancy issued to Company without full payment of consideration. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1) The Commission found that this Company applied for and was allocated land of 1253.91 Hectares at Abule Otun off the Lagos Ibadan expressway on 31st October 2007, for the establishment of a cement plant. 2) The entire land was offered to the company at a price of N401,251,200.00, whereas the then prevailing official rate for land in the axis was N6Million per Hectare, in which case the price of the land should have been N7.523billion. 3) The Commission found that the company has only paid a total sum of N220, 000,000.00 to the State since December 2007, yet the Bureau of Lands confirmed that a certificate of occupancy has already been issued to the company, although no copy of this could be found. RECOMMENDATION: The certificate of occupancy already issued to the company (as claimed by the Bureau of Lands, but not sighted by the Commission) is recommended for immediate cancellation, having been irregularly issued before full payment of consideration. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and directs the Bureau of Lands & Survey to immediately repossess and secure the land. 27. JUSTUS OLUGBENGA DANIEL & YEYE OLUFUNKE DANIEL (SAGAMU GRA PROPERTY) FACTS: Allocation of land in irregular circumstances. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1 The file for this allocation has disappeared from the offices of the Bureau of Lands and Survey. The Commission was informed by the officials that it was one of several files whose last movements were traced to the office of the former DG Lands, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki and could not be found after he left office. They informed the Commission that the former DG took away with him several files which he never returned, and that this was one of them. 2 The Commission however summoned the allottees Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Yeye Olufunke Daniel to appear and explain the circumstances of the allocation. Although they did not appear in person, they sent a representative in the person of BARRISTER GBENGA OJEKUNLE who told the commission that he had their authority to testify for, and on their behalf, and the commission allowed him to do so. 3 Barrister Gbenga Ojekunle not only testified orally on behalf of the Daniels, he also tendered as exhibits, documents evidencing the allocation. 4 Officials of the Bureau of Lands and Survey, also testified. So did the petitioners, DIPO DINA MOVEMENT. 5 The Commission found that an allocation letter dated 6th August 2004 was issued to the allottees for ''portion of Block 1 plots 7 and 8, and Block XXXVIII plots 1 and 2 within the amended part of the GRA Sagamu” measuring 8752.243 sq. mtrs for the sum of N1,227,810.00, for which copies of receipts of payment was tendered. 6 The Commission found also that there had been an earlier letter of allocation simply 'dated April 2004', issued to the allottees for the same land, measuring the same size, for a consideration of N3, 367,805.00, for which there were cheques dated 8th April 2004 issued and purportedly paid but for which they could not produce official receipt, and of which there is no trace whatsoever in the records of the Bureau of Lands 7 The Commission found that the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, signed the Certificate of Occupancy on the 21st April, 2005 and the same is registered at the lands registry Abeokuta as No: 15/15/628. 8 The commission found that whereas the allottees were granted and paid for only 8752.243 sq mtrs, the survey plan attached to the certificate of occupancy issued to them indicates a larger area, specifically, 1.659 HECTARES. 9 The Bureau of Lands submitted a report to the Commission and also confirmed in their oral testimony as follows: a. that the only evidence of payment for this allocation in their records is for the sum of TWO THOUSAND NAIRA ONLY (2,000.00 naira only) b. that part of the land allocated to the Daniels, specifically, plot 12, had on it a GOVERNMENT VIP GUEST HOUSE and a PHCN QUARTERS at the time of the allocation . c. that part of the land, specifically, plot 1A, had already been allocated to and belonged to one MR ADENIYI LATEEF ADENUGA (with certificate of occupancy) d. that part of the said land, specifically, plot 1B, was already allocated to and belonged to one Oluwatoyin O. Amuzat (with certificate of occupancy) e. that part of the land, specifically, plot 1C, was already allocated to and belonged to one TEMITOPE BUKUNOLA SODE (with certificate of occupancy) f. that both the government VIP GUEST HOUSE and the PHCN QUARTERS were immediately before the allocation to the Daniels being occupied by officials of the government and the said agency. 10. Alhaji Busura who testified on behalf of the Bureau of Lands on this allocation, and who personally did the allocation, admitted before the Commission that it was wrong to have merged all the land which had these prior commitments and allocation and grant same to the Daniels, but that he had no choice in the matter as he acted strictly upon the instruction and directive of his boss, the them DG, surveyor. Gbenga Ogunnoiki. 11. The commission was further informed by the Bureau of Lands that only one of the allottees who were displaced and dispossessed as a result of the allocation made to the Daniels, Mr Adeniyi Lateef Adenuga was relocated to another plot. 12. It is worthy of note that the titles of these previous owners remain unrevoked, valid and still subsisting on the Register of Titles till date. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Certificate of occupancy registered as No 15/15/628 of 21/4/05 (and the recertified one number 0000003 dated June 2010) issued by ex-Governer Gbenga Daniel to himself and his wife while other prior registered interests/rights in the land subsisted, and for a size of land larger than what they were allocated and paid is VOID in law having NO LEGAL EFFECT WHATSOEVER. Two or more registered titles cannot exist on the same land at the same time. By law, the first in time must prevail. Accordingly, the Commission recommends that Certificate of Occupancy no 15/15/628 of 21/4/05 and the recertified Certificate of Occupancy thereto be cancelled. 2. Also, the Commission will be failing in its duty if it does not comment further on the conduct of Otunba Gbenga Daniel in this matter. While acknowledging the fact that a sitting public officer such as a governor has a right, like other citizens to buy and own property in the state where he is governor, the Commission considers it a blatant abuse of office, power and breach of the trust reposed in him by the people, for the ex-governor, OTUNBA JUSTUS OLUGBENGA DANIEL, to APPROPRIATE to his family, land belonging to other citizens, the State and even a Federal Government Agency and to have allowed his personal interest to override public interest in this manner. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government notes the recommendations of the Commission. 28. MASTERLINE INVESTMENT PROPERTY COMPANY LIMITED. FACTS: Land earmarked for Judges Quarters allocated to private company belonging to former governor for hotel business. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1 The Commission found from evidence given by officials of the Bureau of Lands and Surveys that a parcel of land set aside by the government for several years now, for the building of official Quarters for High Court Judges in Ijebu Ode, was allocated, at the instance of the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel to this private Company for commercial purposes. 2 The said land measures 1.167 Hectares and was allocated to the company in October 2003 for the sum of N3,535,185.00 with Certificate of Occupancy No50/50/612 dated 23/04/2004, issued in evidence of the allocation. 3 The Commission found that the company has now fully developed the land into a hotel. 4 Barrister Gbenga Ojekunle testified before the commission pursuant to the summons served on the Company for its Directors to testify before the Commission. 5 The Commission found to be true the allegation of the petitioners, DIPO DINA MOVEMENT that the former governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel is the owner of this company as the incorporation documents of the company obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission has the former governor and his wife as SHAREHOLDERS and DIRECTORS of the company. 6 The Commission considers the decision to convert the land reserved for an important public purpose such as the building of judiciary quarters, into a private commercial use for the building of a hotel, owned by the former governor one not made in the public interest. 7 For the governor to have allocated such land to a company in which he has interest is nothing but a flagrant abuse of power. RECOMMENDATION Consequently, the Commission hereby recommends that the allocation and the Certificate of Occupancy registered as 50/50/612 be cancelled. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 29. FIRST ELEVATORS COMPANY LIMITED FACTS: Land allocation to former Governor's private company in grossly irregular circumstances. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The Commission found as a fact evidenced by incorporation documents obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission, that the former Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and his wife, Chief Mrs Olufunke Olubunmi Daniel, are subscribers and directors of this company, with the former governor being the MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER. It is noteworthy that Otunba Daniel did not resign his Directorship of this Company and remained in that capacity when he issued the Certificate of Occupancy to the Company. 2. The Commission found that an application for Land at the Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop Estate, Oke-Mosan Abeokuta, was submitted by the Company on the 10th of June 2011. (After the ex-governor had left office) 3 The Commission however found that on the 25th of March 2007, (4 years before the application was made ) the former DG Lands, Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki had already allocated land of 8060.051 sq metres ( a block of 8 plots) to the said company within the said estate, pursuant to a purported application which in fact, was non-existent, and which was never in fact filled and submitted until the 10th of June 2011, after Surv. Ogunnoiki who granted the allocation, HAD ALSO LEFT OFFICE. 4 The Commission found further that on the 23rd of September, 2009, Surv. Ogunnoiki again issued a Confirmation Letter to the said company confirming that it had fully paid the consideration in the sum of N2,161,000.00 for the land WHEN IN FACT THE COMPANY HAD NOT, PAID ANY MONEY TO THE GOVERNMENT. Surveyor Ogunnoiki therefore told a blatant lie in that letter of 23rd September 2009. 5 The Commission found that on the 21st day of February, 2010 (before the Company applied for the Land) the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, SIGNED A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY IN FAVOR OF THE COMPANY, IN WHICH HE WAS AND STILL IS A DIRECTOR AND MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER WHEN THE COMPANY HAD NOT YET PAID ANY MONEY TO GOVERNMENT FOR THE LAND, CONTRARY TO NORMAL PRACTICE. 6 The Commission found that as at the time that the said certificate of Occupancy no 0030553 was registered on the 1st of JUNE 2011, as No:71/71/766, ONLY THE SUM OF N5000.00 (FIVE THOUSAND NAIRA ONLY) for document registration had been paid. ALL OTHER PAYMENTS FOR THE LAND SUCH AS APPLICATION FORM FEE, LAND SALE PREMIUM FEE, CAPITAL CONTRIBUTION FEE, GROUND RENT, AND ALL OTHER CONSIDERATION FOR THE LAND, WERE PAID ON THE 7TH OF JUNE 2011, CONTRARY TO ALL KNOWN PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE. Normal practice, as told to the Commission by officials of the Bureau of Lands is that ALL payments must PRECEED the signing and registration of the certificate of occupancy, contrary to the case with this allocation. 7) The commission found as a fact that the original copy of the registered Certificate of Occupancy was collected on behalf of the company by a staff of the Bureau of Lands and Survey, E.O EWULO, upon the instruction of the ex-DG Lands, Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki, on the 20th day of October, 2011. 8 The Commission found that unlike other plots, the land allocated to this company was not numbered, in order to disguise the identity of the allottee. The Commission found further that several allottees who had fully paid for single plots within the same estate were denied allocations on the ground that there were no vacant plots, while this company owned by the ex-governor was allocated a whole block, the size of 8 plots and issued a Certificate of Occupancy even before any payment. 9 The Commission is of the firm view that this allocation was done contrary to all laid down procedures for land allocation. It is tainted with incurably fatal irregularities and cannot be saved. In addition, question must again be raised about the morality of the action of the former governor and whether he did not abuse his office or the trust of the people in allocating to his company such vast amount of land (a whole block of 8 plots) in an estate where several other private citizens who applied for and paid for single plots could not get allocations. 10) It is worthy of mention that the company failed to respond to the witness summons served on it to testify before the commission. 11) This is a clear case of abuse of office by former governor Gbenga Daniel. It is an example of how not to exercise power held in public trust. Former Governor Gbenga Daniel unfortunately allowed his personal interest to over-ride public interest, an attitude that should be condemned in the harshest terms possible. RECOMMENDATION The Certificate of Occupancy registered as No 71/71/766, being so fatally tainted is recommended for cancellation. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and directs the Bureau of Lands to immediately repossess the land. 30. DR ABAYOMI MAJEKODUNMI AND MRS ENITAN MAJEKODUNMI FACTS: Wrongful multiple land allocation in OLUSEGUN OBASANJO HILLTOP ESTATE GRA OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1) Dr Abayomi Majekodunmi was the immediate past Chief of Staff to the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and he and his wife are the allotees in question. They were both summoned to testify before the Commission and they not only did so, but were also represented by counsel. They also submitted copious documentary evidence, all of which were carefully considered. 2) The Commission found that the Bureau of Lands allocated 5 plots to Dr. Yomi Majekodunmi and 3 plots to his wife Enitan, making a total of 8 plots between them all within the same block in the Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop GRA, Abeokuta. 3) The Commission found that the couple got 30% percent rebate on EACH of the 8 plots. Mrs Enitan was not a public servant and therefore not entitled to such rebate. Also, when Dr. Majekodunmi bought some of his plots he had not yet become a public servant and therefore not entitled to the rebate. Indeed, even as a public servant, Dr Majekodunmi was not entitled to rebate on more than one plot, yet he (and his wife) were given rebates on 8 plots. 4 The Commission found also as a fact that Dr Majekodunmi used two persons as FRONTS to obtain and disguise his interest in two of the plots. The two names are: THOMAS EKARA and OLAOLU SUNDAY OGUNDEYI, his nephew. Although in his testimony Dr Majekodunmi claimed to have introduced the two people to buy the land and that because they could not pay, he had to pay to take over the land, the Commission found his explanation unconvincing and therefore did not believe it. 5 The Commission notes with grave concern and finds it absolutely indefensible and against the public interest, that while several other citizens who applied and fully paid for one single plot within this same scheme, were not allocated plots, Dr. and Mrs. Majekodunmi, by their obvious closeness to government, were able to obtain 8 plots effortlessly and even got illegal and undeserved rebates on all 8 plots. 6 It is most regrettable that even while testifying before the Commission, Dr Majekodunmi seemed to find nothing wrong with this allocation. RECOMMENDATIONS: The Commission considers this allocation irregular, wrongful and against the public interest. It cannot be public good for several citizens to be denied plots within an Estate, when one person conveniently takes 8 simply because he can afford it or is close to government. It is therefore recommended as follows: a) The allocations and certificates of occupancy of 2 plots out of the 3 presently held by Mrs Enitan Majekodunmi should be cancelled while she should be left with one; b) The allocations and Certificates of Occupancy to four (4) out of the five(5) plots held by Dr Abayomi Majekodunmi should be cancelled while he should be left with just one plot; c) While Dr Majekodunmi should still enjoy rebate of 30% on the one plot, his wife Mrs. Enitan Majekodunmi should not enjoy any rebate, and should be made to pay up the outstanding balance on the one plot, at the official rate at the material time. d) Should implementation of the above recommendations prove logistically difficult, cumbersome or complicated as a result of the nature of on-going developments on the land, it is recommended as an alternative, that e) The entire allocation of 8 plots and the certificates of occupancy issued thereto be cancelled outright and alternative single plot allocations within the same estate be made to Dr and Mrs. Majekodunmi-one each. f) These recommendations are predicated on public good, justice and equity. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendations a-c and directs the Bureau of Lands & Survey to immediately give effect to them. Government also notes recommendations d-f. 31. SIXTEEN ZERO FOUR REALTIES LTD FACTS: Land allocation in irregular circumstances. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1) The commission found that this company applied for allocation of land for the first time on 23rd August 2011, by filling an application form to that effect. 2) There is no evidence that the Company had prior title or interest to any land which fell within government acquisition which it was seeking to ratify, rather, it was merely applying for the allocation of state land. 3) Strangely however, by a letter dated the 22nd October, 2009, Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki purported to be granting approval to the company for 'accommodation' for its land within government acquisition in Banku., measuring 3.006 Hectares for a sum of N.5Million. 4). On 14th April 2011, the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel signed a Certificate of occupancy registered as No: 73/73/763 in favor of the company whereas, the company as at then HAD NOT PAID ANY MONEY WHATSOEVER TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE LAND. 5) The commission found that the company only paid the 2.5M Naira only for the land on the 12th of August 2011, after the certificate of occupancy had been issued to it, contrary to standard procedure. 6) The commission found that Surv. Ogunnoiki deliberately treated the allocation as an 'accommodation' to assist the company to evade paying the true official price for the land, which at the material time was N20m per hectare. Thus, by this dishonest act, the company merely paid a sum of N2.5m to government coffers instead of the N60m it ought to have paid leading to a loss of 57.5M naira to the state. RECOMMENDATION: 1). The allocation and issuance of certificate of occupancy to this company is flawed by severe irregularities bothering also on elements of possible criminality. Accordingly, it is recommended that both the allocation and certificate of occupancy registered as no:73/73/763 dated 14th April 2011 be cancelled. 2). Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki and the owners/promoters of this company should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for thorough investigation and possible prosecution for any criminal offence found to have been committed in this transaction. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendations 1 and 2 32. DEGEES SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS LTD FACTS: Land allocation in irregular circumstances (Certificate of Occupancy issued to non-existent company) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1) The Commission found that this company NEVER applied for allocation of the subject land at the OLUSEGUN OBASANJO HILLTOP ESTATE at any time. 2) The Commission found that on 29th January 2009, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki allocated land of 3000 square meters in an UNSPECIFIED location in Abeokuta to one 'SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS”, and not DEGEES SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS LIMITED. 3) The Commission found from the record of this allocation that Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki was the INITIATOR and ORIGINATOR of the allocation, and he actually made the allocation 'open-ended' or 'at large', for reasons best known to him, as no specific scheme or location was stated in the letter of allocation. 4) The Commission found that the usual letter of confirmation of allocation and payment was never issued to the company, going by the records of the Bureau of Lands. Usually, the letter of confirmation contains the block and plot identification. 5) The Commission found that the said 'SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS', from the record, paid the land charges of N3,050,000.00 on 2nd February 2009, even when the land being paid for, had no 'identity', at least officially. 6) The Commission found that on 22nd May, 2009, the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, issued a certificate of Occupancy no:32/32/741 for land at the Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop Estate Abeokuta, NOT to 'SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS', (to which the blank allocation had been made), but to DEGEES SITE AND SITE SERVICE CONCEPTS LIMITED, which also, had not applied for land, and had in fact, NOT become registered or known to law as at that date, being only registered as a company on the 10th March, 2011. No explanation exists in the file of how 'SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS' suddenly transformed into DEGEES SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS LIMITED. 7) Indeed the commission found on the face of the certificate of occupancy that the word 'DE GEES' seemed to have been a latter day addition or alteration to the certificate. It is instructive to note that DEGEES SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS LIMITED completed and submitted an application form for land allocation on the 20th January, 2009, at which date, it had not been in existence. 8) The Commission is convinced that 'SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS' was nothing but an engine of fraud used to 'warehouse' the land until a later date when it would be 'properly' allocated. There was a certain 'moving spirit' behind this transaction and the facts and circumstances compellingly and irresistibly point to Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki , former DG Lands, as the 'moving spirit'. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends the allocation and certificate of occupancy aforesaid no 32/32/741 of 22/5/09 for immediate cancellation. Furthermore, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki should be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for detailed investigation and possible prosecution in respect of this transaction. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts these recommendations. 33. MCGEES VENTURES LIMITED FACTS: Land allocation in irregular circumstances OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1) The Commission found that 4000 square metres of land was allocated to the company within the Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop GRA Abeokuta in January 2009 for consideration of N3.5m 2) The Commission found that at the prevailing rate at the said date, the allotee ought to have paid N21.5Million but was offered the land at a much lower rate by DG, Surv Ogunnoiki. 3) The Commission found therefore that the State suffered a loss of income of N18Million on this allocation due to undercharge. 4) Again, the Commission found that contrary to normal practice, the certificate of occupancy issued to this company was registered BEFORE it was even signed by the Governor. It was only signed by the governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel on the 22nd of May, 2009 5) The Commission found the following striking connection between this allocation and that of DEEGEES SITE AND SERVICE CONCEPTS LTD that : a. Their allocations were just days, (20th and 29th January 2009) apart; b. they paid for their respective plots on the same date - 24th February, 2009, and c. the bank drafts issued by the two companies follow each other, viz nos: 01772982 and 01772983 respectively. d. the withholding tax receipts submitted by both companies as part of their documentation bear the same date, same amount. e. the two Certificates of occupancy were signed by the governor on the same date-22nd May 2009; and f. the two certificates were collected on the same day-28/5/09 on behalf of the two companies by the same person-GBOYE AYOADE of the same address-10 Oke-Ayo street, Onikolobo, Abeokuta g. Physical inspection revealed that they were allotted two adjourning plots and both were fenced together as one. 6 The commission is of the view that the very close connection between these two companies is a sufficient reason to raise serious suspicion about the genuineness of the two allocations and the possibility that both companies may have been used by some unscrupulous individuals to 'corner' for themselves the only two commercial plots within the highbrow estate. . OLUSEGUN OBASENJO HILLTOP GRA Estate Abeokuta RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that this allocation and the Certificate of Occupancy be cancelled GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 34. OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL (OPIC LAND) FACTS: Land allocation to former governor as 'parting gift'. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1) The Commission found that on the 29th of April, 2011 the Executive management of OPIC met and resolved as follows: “(i) 2nos (30x60m) plots of land be allocated to his Excellency under the 20th Anniversary land bonanza and that this is to be paid for in line with the policy. (ii) 2nos (30x60m) plots of land be allocated to him as parting gift”. 2) Consequently, two letters of offer dated 10/05/11 were issued, one for the payment of N666, 000.00 and the other gratis. 3) Payment of N666.000.00 was made on 20th May, 2011, and 2 survey plans were issued, one for 4346.173 square meters and the other for 4404.950 square meters. 4) Deeds of sublease were prepared and executed by the former governor, but not by the Corporation. The Deeds were stamped on the 13th July 2011 but there is no evidence that they have been registered. 5) The Commission found that although OPIC had a Board at the material time and that only the Board possessed the power to approve this allocation, the Board approval was not obtained. The Executive Management therefore acted beyond its powers. RECOMMENDATION: As the allocation did not follow due process, the executive management having acted ultra vires, the decision should be reversed. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government notes this recommendation and directs the appropriate authority to regularize the allocations 35. OLABOSCO AGRO PRODUCTS CO LTD. FACTS: Irregular land allocation by OPIC: OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1). Four hectares of commercial land at Agbara was allocated to this company for N50m whereas at the prevailing price at the material time (N35m per hectare), the company should have paid N140m. 2). The circumstances of the allocation give room for serious curiosity. Without waiting for an allocation letter, the allottee simply forwarded his application form together with its cheques for N50m .This was between the 22nd and 25th February 2011. The MD of OPIC then sought and obtained the approval of the governor to sell the land for N50m to the allottee. This took place on the 2nd of March 2011. An allocation letter of same date was then issued to the allottee for the sum of N50m. In the letter seeking the governor's approval, OPIC did not mention that the prevailing price for the land was N35m per hectare. 3). The State therefore lost the sum of N90m in this singular allocation. 4). It is noteworthy that the allocation did not also pass through the allocation committee neither was the approval of the Board of OPIC obtained. 5) It is noteworthy that the file was opened for this allocation on the 3rd of February 2011, 11 days before the application form from the company was received. 6) It would appear to the Commission that the MD of OPIC, Surveyor KOLA OMOBO had an unusual interest in the allocation hence his decision to bypass the Board and also not reveal the prevailing price of the land to the ex-governor while obtaining his approval to sell at a lower price. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1) In view of the irregularities that characterized the allocation and the resultant loss of revenue of N90m to the State, the allocation is recommended for cancellation. 2) The MD of OPIC, Surveyor Kola Omobo is also recommended for reprimand for his role in this transaction. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts these recommendations. 36. NIGERIAN GIRLS GUIDE ASSOCIATION, OGUN STATE BRANCH FACTS: Revocation of allocated land for non-development. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1). The Commission found that this Association was allocated one (1) hectare of land along Kobape Road, Abeokuta in 1984 for the building of their headquarters. A certificate of occupancy No:79/79/295 dated 23/4/86 was issued to them. 2) Sometime in 2006, government withdrew the allocation as a result of non-use and non-payment of annual ground rent, with a proviso that they would be granted another land subsequently, which land has not been granted to them till date. RECOMMENDATION: In view of the important role of the organization in the society and in line with government promise to allocate another plot to them when the former one was withdrawn, the Commission recommends that an alternative plot be allotted to the Association with necessary documents at no cost to them. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and directs the Bureau of Lands to immediately find an alternative parcel of land for the association and issue the title documents to same 37. KFF LTD FACTS: Application for ratification and allegation of demand for bribe by officials of GATEWAY CITY DEV CO. LTD (GCDCL) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1 The petitioner/company KFF LTD applied to GCDCL for ratification of a large expanse of land procured by it from private vendors but found to fall within land acquired by government since 1986 and vested in GCDCL. The land is at Magboro, on the Lagos-Ibadan Express road. 2 On assessment of the application, GCDCL demanded for the sum of N400m as ratification fees, and N100, 000.00 application fees. 3 KFF LTD paid the N100, 000.00 as application fees but has not paid any part of the ratification fee. 4 KFF LTD alleges that it received text messages from the then MD of GCDCL, Mr. KAYODE ANIBABA asking it to pay N250m out of the N400m consideration into certain private accounts and only N150m officially to the company's account. It claims further that its refusal to agree to this illegal demand led to acts of harassment and intimidation against it and its directors by the staff of GCDCL and the non-processing of its application. 5 The officials of GCDCL including the former MD, Arc Kayode Anibaba were summoned and they testified before the Commission. 6 One of the staff members of GCDCL MR OLABINJO confirmed to the Commission that indeed Arc Anibaba used his phone to send the text message demanding the illegal payment from KFF LTD as alleged, though without his knowledge. 7 The Commission also found as a fact that the account numbers mentioned in the said text message belonged to staff members of GCDCL, namely FEMI SANYAOLU and OLABINJO, both of whom testified before the commission and so admitted. 8 The Commission further found as a fact that the former MD, Arc Kayode Anibaba had engaged in series of acts of financial improprieties involving misuse, illegal diversion and siphoning of the monies of the company, using a staff member who acted as his personal assistant, Mr. FEMI SANYAOLU as his conduit pipe. For example, two sums of N55m and N8m were found in the accounts of Mr Sanyaolu's private company which Mr Sanyaolu admitted to be GCDCL monies which Mr Anibaba asked him to pay into his accounts. According to him, the N55m was meant to sand fill land sold to a customer, while he merely paid in the cheque of N8m, cleared it and handed over the cash to Mr Anibaba. 9) In view of the apparent criminal features disclosed, the Commission promptly ordered the police to arrest both Mr KAYODE ANIBABA and Mr FEMI SANYAOLU and hand them over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and possible prosecution. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1). The Commission recommends that the application for ratification of KFF LTD be properly appraised on its merit according to laid down guidelines and rates charged for similar applications and granted if it satisfies all the requirements for grant of ratification. 2). The Commission recommends that all the allegations of financial crimes made in this matter and which have been highlighted above be properly investigated by law enforcement agencies and those found culpable be prosecuted. 3). Without prejudice to the outcome of the criminal investigation, the Commission found that Arc Kayode Anibaba ran GCDC LTD like a one-man army on financial rampage. All the staff, including very senior staff were so palpably scared of him and one senior staff described anyone who dared to oppose him as akin to a man standing 'before a moving train'. In the opinion of this Commission, Arc Kayode Anibaba is not a fit and proper person to be trusted with the weighty responsibilities of public office in the future. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendations 1 & 2 above and notes the Commission's comments in recommendation 3. The Attorney General is directed to compile a report and forward same to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and necessary action against any individual(s) found to be culpable. 37. ALHAJI OLUFEMI JIMOH ADISA FACTS: Complaint is about non-allocation of land fully paid for. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: The petitioner applied for and fully paid for a plot of land at the Hillcrest/Golf Resort Estate Abeokuta since 2010, but no specific plot has been allocated to him till date. However, the Bureau of Lands confirmed to the Commission that a plot has now been allocated to the petitioner. RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the Bureau of lands should put the petitioner in possession of the plot allocated to him without any further delay. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. 39. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) FACTS: The petitioners claim that their party is the owner of the landed property on the Presidential Boulevard Road Abeokuta, where the Party Secretariat/Headquarters is located, and that the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has refused to release the title document to the party. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: (1) The petitioners were unable to establish their title to the land as they showed no proof of application, allocation or even payment for the said land. (2) The Commission found that the title to the said property was issued to a company called RRX LTD, owned by close associates of the former governor, namely OTUNBA ALEX O. ONABANJO and DR BAYO BANJO. (3) The Commission found as a fact that the petitioners signed a lease agreement with the said RRX LTD by virtue of which PDP became a tenant of RRX LTD , even though the petitioners claim that the lease agreement was a mere ruse designed by the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. (4) The Commission found that the land in question actually forms part of the Secretariat land acquisition which was acquired for public purpose. Instead of use for public purpose however, the land was granted to a private company owned by the friends of the former governor for a private business purpose. (5) The Commission found further that by letter dated 1st of December 2004, the Bureau of lands demanded payment of additional sum of N2,022,540.00 from RRX LTD, being shortfall of the consideration for the land but till date, the company has not paid the said sum, yet the certificate of occupancy was issued to the company since the 30th October, 2004. (6) Both the representative of the petitioner, Alhaji Bode Mustapha and the representative of RRX, Dr Bayo Banjo, testified before the Commission. RECOMMENDATIONS: (1) There is no merit in the petition of the petitioners, PDP. (2) The land was acquired for public purpose, but was allocated to RRX Ltd for a private purpose. The Certificate of Occupancy No29/29/626 dated 30/10/04 is bedeviled by serious irregularities and is therefore recommended for cancellation. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts these recommendations. The Certificate of Occupancy dated 30/10/04 is cancelled forthwith. However, Government takes cognizance of the fact that PDP is a registered political party and a stakeholder in Ogun State. Accordingly, PDP will be at liberty to apply for the same land afresh. Once due process is followed and the usual fees are paid, government directs that the land will be allocated to the Peoples Democratic Party 40. STRONG PACK LTD FACTS: Sale of land at undervalue OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: 1. The company was allocated 8.243 Hectares of land on 5th of March 2008 for N41, 250,000.00. By the prevailing rate the company should have paid the sum of N82, 500,000.00. 2. Although the MD of OPIC obtained the approval of the governor to the rebate, he did not disclose the prevailing rate in his memo, thereby inducing the governor to grant a rebate which led to a loss of N41, 250,000.00 to OPIC. 3. The Commission finds the conduct of Mr. Omobo in failing to disclose the prevailing rate for the land in his memo to the governor to be dishonest and an act intended to mislead the governor to exercise his power wrongly and in a manner contrary to the public interest. RECOMMENDATION: The MD of OPIC, Surveyor Kola Omobo be reprimanded and held responsible for the shortfall for his handling of this transaction. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. The allottee shall pay the shortfall within 90 days or forfeit the allocation 41. SHEPHERD HOMES AND ESTATES LTD FACTS: Irregular ratification of title. FINDINGS/OBSERVATIONS: 1. By letter dated 10th January 2007, Bureau of Lands approved ratification of land at Asese to Royal Star Nigeria Ltd referring to an application from the company dated 9th January 2007, whereas there is no such letter in the file of the company at the Bureau of Lands. 2. There is also no evidence of any prior ownership of any land at Asese by Royal Star Nigeria Ltd, warranting any request or decision to treat the matter as one of ratification rather than a fresh and straight forward case of land allocation. 3. The size of the land involved (not stated in the allocation/ratification letter, but contained in the survey plan) was 6.5 Hectares for which the company was asked to pay a sum of N1.8m only, whereas had it been treated as a normal land allocation, it would have paid much more. 4. By letter dated 19th March Surv. Akinlude referred to the request of Royal Star Farms Ltd to have the title of the survey plan changed or issued in the name of Shepherd Homes Ltd. But no such request from Royal star is to be found in the file. 5. On 15th September 2009, Shepherd Homes Ltd filed a form applying for land allocation at Asese village. 6. There is no letter of allocation from the Bureau of Lands to Shepherd Homes, neither is there any evidence of any transfer of title from Royal Star to Shepherd Homes, aside from the allusion in surv Akinlude's letter to a request for change of survey title. 7. On 23rd March 2010, the former governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel signed a certificate of occupancy in favour of Shepherd Homes Ltd. Whereas, as at that date, the entire consideration charged on the land had not been fully paid. Infact, the balance of the fees was not paid until August 2011. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1. Given the noted irregularities, the Commission recommends that the certificate of occupancy no 77/77/759 dated 23rd March 2010, be cancelled. 2. All staff of the Bureau of Lands found to have been involved in the irregularities observed above are recommended for reprimand. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS: Government accepts these recommendations. 42. OLUSEGUN OBASANJO HILLTOP RESIDENTIAL ESTATE FINDINGS/OBSERVATIONS: The estate was established by the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniels during the period under review as a middle-income residential estate with provision of a few plots for commercial purposes to serve the estate. The detailed analysis and specific findings of the commission are presented hereunder. 1. Plots reportedly sold and allocated to allottees by the Bureau of Lands but which the allottees could not have physical possession of because they were included in the portion excised by government to the neighbouring villages are: Block 2, plots 1-19 Block 3, plots 1-8 Block 17, plots 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 (take note that other plots in this block numbering 11 may also have been affected) Total under this category are 37 Plots. 2. Plots reportedly sold and allocated but not available to the allottees because the parcel of land from which the plots were mapped out were part of the fully developed Federal Government Low Cost housing scheme. It is pertinent to emphasise that the land was largely developed before the state government started selling the land to unsuspecting members of the public. The affected plots are: Blocks 13, 13A, 14, 14A, 15, and 16. 3. Allottees with valid allocation but without plots: The commission found that several allottees who applied and fully paid for plots within this estate were not allocated plots, whereas some top functionaries in the last administration had multiple plots allocated to them. 4. Plots with no evidence of allocation. The Commission found that there are several vacant plots within this Estate which have no record of official allocation with the Bureau of Lands, yet the impression is given that there are no more vacant plots in the Estate. The Commission is of the view that the said plots may have been allocated in suspicious and dubious circumstances, hence the absence of any official records on them. There are about 222 plots in this category and are to be found in the document attached to this Report as ANNEXTURE BLS 13. 5. Abuse of rebate/discount policy. The Commission found that the rebate/discount policy for public servants was abused in this Estate in that a number of top government officials and their family members in the last administration were not only given multiple plots, but were also given rebates on all the plots. This, in our view goes against the spirit of the rebate policy which was mainly aimed at assisting public servants to obtain single plots at a discount. In some instances, the former governor granted rebates of between 20 and 100 percent to some privileged public office holders while the then Director General, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki over reached himself with unauthorized granting of rebates to all and sundry. 6. Allocated plots with outstanding payments. The Commission found that a sizeable number of allottees with confirmed allocations and even Certificates of Occupancy are yet to fully pay up their considerations. Typical examples are members of the former House of Assembly during the period under review and few other privileged ones. 7. JUDGES QUARTERS The Commission found that there is a portion of the Estate on which the Judges quarters is built. However the Commission found no record from the Bureau of Lands or any government agency of alienation of any of the quarters to judges. But the Commission however learnt that a decision was reached between the last administration and the Judiciary on the quarters, in an attempt to enhance Judges' welfare. As the Chairman of this Commission is a serving member of the Judiciary, to avoid a conflict of interest and ensure fairness and transparency, the Commission has refrained from deliberating on this matter. It is therefore recommended that government should on its own resolve this issue with the Judiciary or set up another independent body to advice it on it. 8. Compliance with the terms of allocation. 9. The Commission found that a number of allottees have violated vital clauses in their Certificates of Occupancy that require urgent attention of the government. 10. Lack of Infrastructure The Commission found that in spite of collection of charges for infrastructure from allottees, infrastructural delivery in the Estate is very poor. RECOMMENDATIONS: In the light of the above observations and findings, the Commission recommends to the government in respect of this estate as follows: 1. To restore the integrity of government and restore the peoples' confidence in its housing scheme government should immediately allocate the recovered plots (Annexure BLS12) to the allottees under items 1, 2 & 3 above. 2. Government should carry out a more detailed audit of the estate to more accurately ascertain all the plots that fall under category 3 above for proper allocation to deserving members of the public. 3. Government should compel all public servants, past and present that enjoyed more than 30 percent rebate on a plot of land to refund the excess to government within a reasonable period of time failing which their allocations should be cancelled. 4. All allottees with outstanding payments should be given 30 days of grace to pay up their outstandings failing which their allocations should be cancelled. 5. Though the commission notes that some of the allottees covered by Observations 1&2 above have been re allocated plots of land at the Golf Hillcrest Estate; the commission hereby recommends that such allottees should be given priority in redistributing the recovered plots at the Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop Estate being what they paid for ab initio. 6. The Commission recommends that Surveyor Ogunnoiki be made to refund all monies lost in this estate as a result of his granting of unauthorised discount to applicants/allottees in violation of the approved payable fees. 7. Government should provide basic infrastructure for the estate, and; if need be, engage the allottees in a meaningful dialogue to obtain their co-operation in this regard financially. GOVERNMENT'S VIEWS Government accepts recommendation 1 & 2. With regard to 3, the rebate for all categories of Civil/Public Servants shall be a maximum of 40%. With respect to recommendation 4, government directs that the timeline for payment of all outstanding balances on allocations made be fixed at 90 days. Government notes recommendation 5 & 6. With respect to recommendation 7, government directs the Ministry of Works & Infrastructure to schedule a tour of the estate and make recommendations regarding the state of infrastructure. CONCLUSION Once again, we wish to emphasize that though the work done has been extensive, it is not exhaustive. A lot still has to be done to clean up the augean stable of the immediate past. We urge the government not to stop here but to make this exercise a continuous one. It has been a great honour to be of service to the good people of Ogun State in this capacity. We appreciate the privilege and we are deeply humbled by the experience. LONG LIVE OGUN STATE LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. DATED MONDAY 23rd DAY OF APRIL, 2012 AT ABEOKUTA. SIGNED: HON. JUSTICE ABIODUN A. AKINYEMI (CHAIRMAN) MR DIPO ONABANJO (MEMBER) MR AYOBAMI GANIYU BIOBAKU (MEMBER) MR NIYI OGUNTULA (MEMBER).