Anger and condemnation have trailed the demolition of the structures on Plots 1, 3 and 5, otherwise known as Ile Arugbo (Old People’s Home) owned by the late Abubakar Olusola Saraki on the order of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
The demolition was reportedly supervised by one of his aides in the early hours of the morning after heavy firing of gunshots and tear gas canisters to scare away women and youths who had been keeping vigil on the land since New Year eve.
The house, popularly called Ile Arugo is located along the Ilofa Road in the Government Reserved Area, Ilorin.
Commissioner of Communications, Murtala Olanrewaju, in a statement, yesterday, defended the demolition and reclamation, saying the government acted within the limits of the law. He also urged the public to remain calm and law-abiding.
“Contrary to the claim that the state government was served court papers on the matter, we state that no court paper had been served as at the time the government took steps to preserve what lawfully belongs to the people. We urge people of the state to remain calm, peaceful, and be guided only by facts of the matter and not drawn into emotional outburst targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake. While the administration is focused on restoring sanity to the state after years of barefaced impunity, we will do so within the limit of the law.”
Olanrewaju said security officials thwarted “attempts by some persons to provoke government’s agents on lawful duty” during the demolition.
A resident, who preferred anonymity, said he woke up to meet bulldozers carrying out the demolition.
The land on which the house was built became a subject of controversy in the last few days. The building was used by the late Saraki to distribute foods, money and clothes to old women.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on December 27 announced the revocation of the tittle to land over alleged illegal acquisition by Saraki.
The governor, in a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaiye, said the property was not the ancestral home of the Saraki’s as portrayed to the public.
“Saraki’s ancestral home is in Agbaji, Ilorin. The property at issue,used for political meetings, is in the heart of the GRA, Ilorin. The government’s position is that the land was (and still is) a public property originally meant for the construction of government secretariat, a civil service clinic, and a parking lot for the two. However, ownership of the property was spuriously transferred to a private firm, and for commercial purpose, without the firm paying a kobo to the government or obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy. What the government has done is to reclaim the land in the spirit of what it was originally meant for,” Abdulrazaq said.
Scion of the late Kwara political leader, Bukola Saraki, a former senate president and governor of the state, has accused the Governor Abdulrazaq of waging a war against him and his father.
According to Bukola, the property was rightfully allocated to his late father in the name of one of his companies, Asa Investment Limited, since the 1980s. He also said that contrary to the claim of the governor, the land was properly allocated with a right of occupancy title issued on it.
Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has commended supporters of his family for showing support and displayed affection during the demolition of his family home popularly called ‘Ile Arugbo’ by the Kwara State government.
The building was demolished in the early hours of Thursday morning after police dispersed protesters, including old women.
Dr Saraki, while reacting said the actions of the protesters showed that they were not intimidated by the presence of security and government officials who perfected the orders of the state government.
“Following development this morning in Ile Arugbo, I want to commend the women, men, old and young, who displayed their affection, love and staunch support for my late father and the family.
“I appreciate the genuine support of the women and youths who stood firmly in the face of aggression and naked show of force.”
Kwara Govt Explains Why Saraki’s Property Was Demolished
The former senate president said that the actions by the protesters have shown a gesture of goodwill and passionate love, hoping that justice shall prevail soon.
“Your action throughout the night gave full expression to my belief that what Ile Arugbo represents to all of us is etched in our hearts. It goes beyond the physical structure. I am happy that you were not intimidated as you stood your ground.
“This day will go down as the day you reciprocated the love and affection my father and family have for you. You have displayed a gesture of goodwill and passionate love. We assure you that justice shall prevail in a not too distant future. May God bless us all.”
The Kwara State Government has revealed why it demolished Saraki’s political home popularly known as “Ile Arúgbó” in Ilorin in the early hours of Thursday January 2, 2020.
Kwara state’s commissioner of communications, Murtala Olanrewaju said the demolition began quite early to avoid ‘needless’ protests. He also debunked claims of the state government receiving a court order stopping the demolition as he appealed to residents of the state to remain calm.
The statement read in parts;
“The Kwara State Government early today began the physical reclamation of the plot of land bordering the civil service clinic in Ilorin.
“The reclamation exercise began in the early hours of Thursday to avoid any needless confrontation. Attempts by some persons to provoke government’s agents on lawful duty were resisted by the security agents who exercised the highest level of restraint and professionalism.
“Contrary to the claim that the State Government was served court papers on the matter, we state that no court paper has been served as at the time the government took steps to preserve what lawfully belongs to the people.
“Finally, we urge the people of the state to remain calm, peaceful, and be guided only by facts of the matter and not be drawn into an emotional outburst that is targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake.
“While the administration is focused on restoring sanity to the state after years of barefaced impunity, we will do so within the limit of the law.”
The Kwara state government has demolished the political home of the family of former senate President, Bukola Saraki. The demolition exercise took place in the early hours of today January 2nd.
The building which is popularly referred to as ‘Ile Arúgbó’ in Ilorin, the state capital, was demolished under the supervision of security operatives who kept protesters including aged women away.
Recall that in December 2019, the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, had announced the decision of the state government to demolish the property on grounds that the land on which the property was erected, was illegally acquired by the Saraki family.
According to the state governor, the land was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and parking lot of the civil service clinic, but was unlawfully allocated to a private firm — Asa Investments Limited which is allegedly owned by the Sarakis.
In his defence, the former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, in a statement released, argued that his late father lawfully acquired the land from the state government.
“The property had been rightfully allocated to my late father under the name of one of his companies, Asa Investment Limited, since the 1980s and contrary to the claim of the Governor, the land was properly allocated and a Right of Occupancy title issued on it” Saraki said
The Kwara state bureau of lands says the Saraki family did not make payment for a piece of land it occupied in Ilorin the state capital.
The state government in December took over the land, saying it was originally designated for the construction of a secretariat and the parking lot of the civil service clinic. Bukola Saraki, former senate president, said the land was duly allocated and that a right of occupancy was issued on it.
However, Ibrahim Salman, director-general of the bureau of lands, in a statement on Wednesday, refuted this claim.
“The entire land was acquired in the 1970s for Overriding Public Interest and same was initially designed to host the phase II of the State Secretariat. The construction of the said State Secretariat Phase II was actually commenced and it was at superstructure level before same was abandoned,” he said.
“The entire land was later redesigned in the 1980s for the construction of a Civil Service Clinic, State Secretariat, and a parking lot for both the Clinic and the State Secretariat.
“The Clinic was subsequently constructed in 1982, while the remaining plots of land were conceived for the expansion of the Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital. The dream of the State Government was stalled when part of the land slated for the parking lot was spuriously allocated in principle to one Asa Investment for commercial purpose.
“From available records, the allocation was not based on a formal application, nor application forms filled; there was no evidence of payment for the said allocation as stipulated in the letter of allocation in principle and consequently, no right of occupancy was ever issued to the Company.
“Furthermore, in flagrant abuse of the allocation terms, the company took possession of the land and constructed what is today known as “Ile Arugbo” on part of the land that was designed as parking lot and later conceived to host the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic into a full-fledged Hospital.”
He said following a resolution of the Kwara state house of assembly mandating the government to revoke the allocation, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, governor of the state signed an instrument to reclaim the land on the grounds that it was unlawfully allocated.
He said the statement issued is to state the facts on the land as contained in the records of the bureau.
Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki has tackled Kwara State Government for taking over a piece of land occupied by the Sarakis in Ilorin, the state capital.
Explaining reasons for revoking the land, Rafiu Ajakaiye, chief press secretary to the state governor in a statement said the land was originally meant for government secretariat.
He added that the land was unlawfully allocated to one of Saraki’s late father’s private firms without any record of payment to the state.
Reacting to the allegation, Saraki said the state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is waging war against him and his father.
In a statement he personally signed, Saraki, who governed the state from 2003 to 2011, said the land was duly allocated to his family and a Right of Occupancy title issued on it.
He said, “It should be noted that the excuse given by Abdulrazaq in his revocation holds no water since it is clear that this is the height of his vengeance against my father, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki and I.”
“This action is clearly a manifestation of vengeance … in his narrow-mindedness, he believes his victory at the polls is an empowerment, entitlement and enablement to settle scores, provoke and pursue inter-family rivalry. They expected development and fulfilment of promises.”
Saraki said the seven months of Abdulrazaq’s administration has been all about attacking his father’s legacies in Kwara state.
He said, “Seven months down the line, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has shown that its cardinal Programme is to wage war against my late father and I. He has demonstrated that his only competence and astuteness is in the area of viciously assailing the late Oloye Saraki and I. Definitely, he is a man with no sense of history. Enough is enough. Now, he has crossed the line,”
“Perhaps, I should let it be known that if Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq thinks he is taking all these actions to get at me, he is only deceiving himself. There is no basis for competition between us. Our paths cannot cross because the status that he is struggling to attain, Almighty Allah has given it to me many years before now.”
The former senate president, however, said that he would not contest the revocation of his properties by the state government, adding that the governor would not win the war he had declared on the legacies of his late father, Dr. Olushola Saraki.
“With all his subterranean and open moves against my family, person and property, I remain unmoved.
“However, his open antagonism against my late father and his legacies is unwarranted and will not be tolerated. He has definitely gone beyond bounds as he cannot be allowed to ride roughshod on the deceased. In this war against my late father, he will not win,” he said.
The Kwara State Government has taken over a piece of land owned by the Saraki Family in Ilorin saying it will be used for a new secretariat for civil servants.
Chief Press Secretary to Kwara Governor, Rafiu Ajakaiye announced the decision Friday, December 27th saying the land was originally meant for Government Secretariat and parking space of the Civil Service Clinic, but was unlawfully allocated to a private firm, Asa Investments Limited, without any record of payment to the state government.
Part of the land, situated beside the Civil Service Clinic, is also right in front of late Dr Olusola Saraki’s residence. The senior Saraki built a house and named it ‘Ile Arugbo’ (elderly peoples’ home).
According to the statement, no certificate of occupancy was issued in favour of Asa Investments Limited. The statement explained that the government has now made provisions for the secretariat in the 2020 budget, although its construction will spill over to 2021.
“Hundreds of civil servants still operate from rented apartments at a huge cost to the government. The new secretariat, once completed in 2021, will definitely go a long way to end this unhealthy trend as well as provide a more conducive and decent working environment for government workers,” the statement said.
Ajakaiye added that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has signed an instrument withdrawing the allocation of plots of land 1, 3 and 5 to the firm. He said that the said land was unlawfully appropriated contrary to the purpose for which it was meant.
The spokesman added that the governor’s decision followed a resolution of the State House of Assembly urging him to reclaim the land because it was arbitrarily taken over in the 1990s without any evidence of payment by the company, even though the land was meant for public use.
The governor noted in the revocation order that the land was originally meant for the construction of another phase of the Kwara State Civil Service Secretariat and a parking space for both the civil service clinic and the secretariat.
The revocation order read: “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999 and Section 1 and 28 of the Land Use Act Cap. L.5 of 2004 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governor of Kwara State of Nigeria, give the following notice:
“The Notice may be cited as the Land Use (Revocation of Right of Occupancy and withdrawal of allocation) Notice, 2019. Allocation of plots of land 1, 3 and 5 TPS/MISC 129 to Asa Investment (Nig) Ltd. which is meant for the Kwara State Secretariat.
“The land, specifically and more described in survey No. KwSH 927 and Land/G1071 situated and lying beside Civil Service Clinic on Ilofa Road Ilorin, Kwara State, is hereby revoked and withdrawn for overriding public interest for use of the purpose it is originally meant for:
“The construction of Kwara State Secretariat; parking space for civil service clinic and the Kwara State Secretariat and annex to the Civil Service when upgraded to a hospital. That the plots allocated are hereby declared void. Notice is therefore given to you, Asa Investments Nigeria Limited, that the plots of land 1, 3 and 5 TPS/MISC 129 allocated to you and any title on the land whatsoever are hereby revoked and the allocation is withdrawn for overriding public interest,” it read in part.
Ibrahim Ajayi Allah, a 65-year-old ex-staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was reportedly killed in his farm by his worker.
The deceased who was killed on December 13 by one of the workers at his farm in Oke-Oyi, outskirts of Ilorin, retired from the finance department of the NNPC.
The deceased’s younger brother Yakub Abejide Allah who confirmed his death, said;
“My elder brother was murdered on December 13th on his farm site in Oke-Oyi area of Ilorin East local government area of the state.
“Three years ago, he retired and chose to pursue agriculture which has always been his passion. He bought hectares of land in Ogidi, Kabba/Bunu local government area of Kogi State and poured all his passion into it. However, because of so many unanticipated factors, the returns were not as expected.
“About six months ago, he decided to gradually move out of Ogidi. So he bought about eight hectares of land at Oke-Oyi near Ilorin and restarted his farming there.
“The suspect picked up by the police is a man from that community with whom he had developed a close relationship. He was always going in and out with the man. In fact, on the day of the murder, they were said to be together and had lunch together before he was savagely axed to death at about 5pm.
“When the police searched the suspect’s house, they found my brother’s phone and other personal effects. He is said to have confessed to having killed my brother.
“I felt so bad when I heard the news of my brother’s gruesome killing. It was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Oke-Oyi Police Station that narrated how my brother was hacked to death.
“Subsequently, I called his wife and our other family members and broke the sad news to them. The police said they have arrested the alleged perpetrator of the heinous crime. According to them, he was initially detained at the Oke-Oyi police station before being transferred to the state Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Ilorin.
“We learnt that during a search in his house the late Ibrahim’s phones, personal effects as well as other dangerous items the perpetrator used to kill my brother were found there.”
Wife of the deceased said she became worried when she did not get the usual morning call from her husband.
“He usually calls me in the morning. He called me on Friday morning. When I didn’t get his call on Saturday morning, I called his lines and none were reachable. Later, one rang and someone picked it and said my husband had an accident and that his phone was with the police and they asked me to come there. I linked them to my husband’s brother in Ilorin before I arrived there.
“By the time I got there, it was already 8pm and I was told he was in the hospital. When I asked to see him, that was when my husband’s brother told me that he was dead.
“A farmer suspected something and called the local vigilante group who reported to the police. When the police came, they saw his car and his phone. That was how I was able to call his number.
“I saw the suspect, his name is Waheed. He actually confessed to committing the crime. I asked him what my husband did to him and he said nothing, that he did not know what came over him. He said my husband used to help him and even promised to buy him a car,” she said.
“He (the deceased) used to squat with the suspect because he is new there. He just arrived six months ago. They used to stay together and go to the farm together until he got his own apartment two months ago. A machete stained with my husband’s blood and his phone were found in his house. He also had wounds on his body and that was how they knew that he was the one who killed him.
“The Oke-Oyi police said they were going to transfer the case to a bigger police station. They had already brought the documents when I was there but since then, I have not heard anything. He has already confessed that he killed my husband and I just want justice. It may be that there are other people involved in the killing.
“I asked for my husband’s body because it was already decomposing and we buried him on Monday.”
Also confirming the death of the deceased, spokesman of the Kwara police command said the suspect has been arrested and investigation is still ongoing.
“Yes, I am aware of that incident. We have a suspect arrested already and intensive investigation is going on. At the appropriate time, people will be informed of the outcome of our investigation”
Yes, she can do more! But when it comes to advocacy, Kwara State First Lady, Olufolake Abdulrasaq, has been giving her best.
Recently, she led thousands of women on a street walk against gender-based violence and sexual abuse in Ilorin, the state capital, calling for mass support against the scourge.
The rally, which began at the Kwara State Banquet Hall, saw the women walking through the popular Ahmadu Bello Way through to Challenge, Post Office, Sulu-Gambari Road and back to the starting point. They carried placards with inscriptions like Stop Child Abuse, Walk Against Rape, End Rape, Keep Hope Alive, and Kwara Says No to Domestic Violence.
Tagged ‘Count me in, together we move Kwara forward,’ Mrs AbdulRazaq said the advocacy walk was to create awareness on the prevalence of gender-based violence with a view to stemming the tide.
The death has been announced, of the member representing Patigi constituency at the 9th Kwara state House of Assembly, Ahmed Saidu Rufai.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by the Special Assistant, media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly, Ibrahim Sheriff said “it is with heavy heart and total submission to the will of Almighty Allah that we announce the death of our colleague, Hon. Ahmed Saidu Rufai representing Patigi constituency”.
“This is an unexpected situation that caught us in a rude shock, but unfortunately, the Almighty deprived us of the power to reverse such sad occurrence”, Danladi said.
“As we struggle to live with this tragic development and the vacuum that comes with it, we pray that Allah in His infinite mercy forgive his shortcomings and give his family, the 9th Assembly, Patigi Emirate, friends and associate and Kwara state at large, the fortitude to bear this great loss.”
Ahmed Saidu Rufai died at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital at the early hour of yesterday and the Jannazah of the late legislator would be done later Tuesday, at his country home, Patigi.
Meanwhile, the state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has commiserated with the Emir and people of Patigi Emirate and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the death of Assembly member Ahmed Saidu Rufai.
“The death of Rufai is shocking and devastating. We pray Almighty Allah to forgive and repose his soul in Al-jannah.
The departed gentleman was a peace loving Kwaran and a strong advocate for the development of his community,” Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We commiserate with the Emir of Pategi, the entire people of Patigi Constituency, the Speaker and all the members of the 9th Assembly, and indeed the immediate family of the lawmaker on this sad event.”
All Progressive Congress APC in its message described the death of the member representing Patigi constituency at the Kwara State House of Assembly as shocking and devastating.
In a release by his media office, the State Chairman of the APC in Kwara state, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa commiserated with the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assemby, Salihu Yakubu Danladi, members of the Kwara State House of Assembly, the Emir and people of Patigi constituency over the unfortunate incident.
He described the late legislator as humane and easy going, saying….” My little interaction with him portrays him as a very gentle personality. I have no doubt that he will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues and people of his constituency. I pray that Almighty Allah will comfort all those he left behind and grant him Aljannah Firdous”.
Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki has reacted to an order issued by a Federal High Court in Lagos for the forfeiture of his two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State’s capital.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Yusuph Olaniyonu, the former Governor of Kwara state averred that EFCC’s claim that the two properties designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, were built with proceeds of fraud is outrightly false as they were partly built by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010.
Saraki also alleged that the anti-graft agency is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its cheap attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy.
The statement read in part “The EFCC’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceed of fraud is outrightly false. The fact is that the Ilorin property was built partly by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 while Dr. Saraki personally funded the remaining cost of the building.
“There are existing letters from the Office of the Head of Service of Kwara State notifying the former Governor (Saraki) of the State Government’s compliance with the State Pension for Governor’s law and the one indicating his intention to bear the cost of the additional expenditure that will arise from building the property to his desired taste dated 25th January 2012 and 8th February 2012 respectively.
“The construction of the building did not commence until the last few weeks of Dr. Saraki’s tenure as Governor and the bulk of his contribution to the funding were made with cheques. Where cash was involved, this was mainly in 2012 and 2013, more than a year after he had left office as Governor.
“It should also be noted that the land on which the house is built is not a government allocated land.
“One can only see that EFCC is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its cheap attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy.”
He expressed surprise that the EFCC “could not even hide its penchant for abusing the nation’s judicial institution as it engaged in forum shopping when it filed a suit in Lagos on a property situated in Ilorin.
“We will like to restate our earlier position that Dr. Saraki will contest this matter in court at least to further attest to his belief in the rule of law, the sanctity of the courts and their enduring readiness to do justice in all matters and to all persons.
“Let it be known that the usual claim by the EFCC that its actions were directed against corrupt elements does not apply to Dr. Saraki because he is a man who at every point in his public service has sought to institute transparency and accountability in governance.”
Recall that the EFCC claimed that it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011 when Saraki was the governor of the state, as it sought the forfeiture of the properties.