VIEWS AND DECISIONS OF THE OGUN STATE GOVERNMENT (WHITE PAPER) ON THE FIRST REPORT OF THE JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO ALL LAND ALLOCATIONS, ACQUISITIONS, SALE 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. 1.
On 16th September 2011, His Excellency the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA inaugurated a five-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry described above. The members of the Commission are as follows. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e)
Hon Justice Abiodun Akinyemi Mr. Dipo Onabanjo Mr. Ayobami Biobaku Arch (Mrs.)Bisi Olumide Mr. Niyi Oguntula
Chairman Member Member Member Member
Arch (Mrs.) Bisi Olumide declined the offer of appointment and did not take part in the Commissionâ€&#x;s activities and proceedings. 2.
The terms of reference of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry are to:(i)
Inquire into all allocations of State land between January 2004 and May 29, 2011 by all Ministries, Departments and Statutory agencies charged with the exercise of the power of allocation whether such allocation be by way of sale, lease, grant or any other manner of land transfer with a view to identifying whether such allocations involved breaches of policies, guidelines, rules, regulations or procedures resulting in non-payment or underpayment of appropriate fees, loss of opportunity to the State for industrial, commercial and agricultural development or any other situation which in the opinion of the Commission is not in the public interest;
inquire into the structures, systems, methods, policies and procedures of land administration in Ogun State between January 2004 and May 29, 2011 with a view to determining the adequacy, conformity with best practices and transparency of the systems, methods, policies and procedures, and identifying instances of impropriety in land allocation and acquisition; 1
inquire into the acquisition of any interest in land or property in Ogun State by any public officer or public office holder in Ogun State between January 2004 and May 29, 2011 (either directly or through any person) or by any body corporate in which such public officer or office holder (with or without his spouse and children), has majority shareholding with a view to determining whether such acquisition was in abuse or misuse of power or authority or in breach of the rules, regulations, policies and guidelines governing the acquisition of such interest in land or property;
inquire into the sale, lease, grant, concession or any other form of transfer of interest in any property held in the corporate name of Ogun State Government or in the name of any of its Ministries, departments, statutory agencies or any body corporate owned by Ogun State Government between January 2004 and May 29, 2011 with a view to determining whether or not such sale, lease, grant or other form of transfer was in the public interest and in conformity with best practices;
identify individuals, institutions and groups involved in the breaches, abuse or misuse of power, loss of revenue and other acts, omissions or losses enumerated in (i), (ii),(iii) and (iv) above and the extent of their involvement;
recommend appropriate measures and sanctions against such individuals, institutions and groups identified in (v) above;
(vii) recommend appropriate policies, guidelines, rules, regulations and structures of land administration in Ogun State to prevent the future occurrence of the breaches, lapses and losses identified by the Commission and (viii) make appropriate recommendations on any other matter which in the opinion of the Commission is relevant or incidental to the foregoing. 3.
After its inauguration, the Commission by public notice invited memoranda from members of the public and about one hundred and sixty (160) were received. The Commission commenced sitting on 25th October 2011, held twenty six public sittings up till 13th December, 2011 and examined over one hundred witnesses.
The Commission submitted its first report to His Excellency the Governor of Ogun State on 16th December 2011. Although called an “interim report” the Chairman of the Commission, Hon Justice Abiodun Akinyemi emphasized that the report is final in respect of the allocations acquisitions, concessions, corporate organizations and individuals covered in the report. The Chairman stressed that the need to submit a first report was to enable the Governor-in-Council look into the recommendations of the Commission as they touch and concern matters that are very important to the State economy and fundamental to public welfare.
On 3rd January 2011, the Governor constituted a five member committee to review the Commission‟s first report. The committee has compared the findings and recommendations of the Commission with the Commission‟s terms of reference and found that all the twenty four matters treated in the report were covered by terms (i),(ii), (iii), (iv) (v) and (vi) of the terms of reference. This draft document of views and decisions will follow the pattern of the Report.
Land is a prime asset in Ogun State not just for the Government but also for the people. As a result, the setting up of this Judicial Commission has met with universal approval and support. This is evident from the number of memoranda received, the witnesses who testified and the eager expectations of the people of Ogun state both in Nigeria and abroad. The committee has painstakingly examined the Report and come up with the views and decisions set out hereunder. Subsequently, the Governor-inCouncil met, deliberated upon and ratified the reports.
CONCESSION OF LOMIRO OIL PALM PLANTATION TO JB FARMS LIMITED OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS OF THE COMMISSION (i)
The provision in the concession Agreement requiring the concessionaire to invest the sum of N450 million in the farm over 10 years is vague as it does not clearly specify how and what the money should be spent on. Specifically, it is not clear whether or not it is to be spent on re-planting or regeneration of the farm and replacement of the processing mill, all of which are very crucial factors that will affect the reversionary interest of the State.
There is no provision in the Agreement on how much of the farm (in acreage) the concessionaire should replant during the concession period, only that he should leave behind palm trees with a life-span of at least 14 years. The implication of this is that the concessionaire has the unilateral discretion to decide how much to replant and may not do any replanting at all until about seven years to the end of its tenor, busying itself with only harvesting what has been planted and nurtured over the past several years by the Government.
No proper valuation of the farm was done before the arrangement with the Concessionaire was hurriedly made.
On the spot inspection of the Farm revealed that the Mill inherited by the concessionaire has been completely abandoned and left to rot away. No effort has been made to either replace or repair it. Bunches (produce) from the Farm are presently being transported from the farm to the Concessionaire‟s private Palm Oil Plantation elsewhere supposedly for processing. In other words, Lomiro Oil Plantation is presently serving only as a feeder to the concessionaire‟s private farm elsewhere and no efforts is being made to commence re-planting in the near future.
Since taking over the farm in 2010, the concessionaire has not added ANY value to it nor replanted a SINGLE palm tree. Rather, all it has been doing is simply harvesting and selling off what is on the farm. Interestingly, going by the fact that the concessionaire paid the sum of N5m to the government in its first year, being 5% of turn-over, and intends to pay at least N13m to the government in the current year, being also 5% of this year‟s turn-over, by the admission of the company‟s chief executive while testifying before the commission, it means that the company has made a staggering turn-over of about N360m in two years by merely selling off products from the farm without investing any money at all, thereby making huge profits while the government would have only received a paltry sum of N18m!
There is no effective monitoring, if any at all, by Gateway Holdings Ltd, the concessionning authority.
(vii) The overall implication of the present arrangement if left to continue is that at the end of the concession period, all that the State would be left with would be a shell or carcass of an Oil 4
Plantation, consisting only of old and unproductive trees and a few young ones, because the present arrangement will not ensure any viable and profitable reversionary interest in the farm for the State. RECOMMENDATIONS: (a)
The present concession agreement is not in the overall interest of Ogun State, being onerous, one-sided, and grossly exploitative and meant only to strip or plunder the State of a precious asset. Consequently it is recommended that the present Agreement be either RE-NEGOTIATED or RESCINDED by the government.
Gateway Holdings Ltd lacks the professional capacity or expertise to monitor or supervise the project. It is recommended that the Agricultural Development Corporation be strengthened and given the task of monitoring or supervising any new or renegotiated arrangement decided upon by the government.
The agreement between the Ogun State Government and JB farms Limited has no provision for renegotiation. The recommendation of REVOCATION is accepted
Government accepts recommendation (b) subject to the restructuring of the Agricultural Development Corporation to enable it perform its role effectively.
In order to make these recommendations useful the Government will immediately stop access to and operation on site by JB Farms Limited to prevent looting and vandalism
CONCESSION OF REMO RUBBER PLANTATION TO OJA-OMO AGRO-ALLIED LIMITED OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
ADC which had managed the farm for several years and could have afforded GHL the benefit of its expertise and experience was not involved in the concession arrangement or negotiation of terms with the concessionaire. 5
No proper valuation of the Farm was done before the arrangement with the Concessionaire was hurriedly made.
The term of 60 years granted to the Concessionaire is grossly exploitative and not in the interest of the State. The tapping of rubber starts from age 6 to around 25-30 years. Therefore, it does seem that the 60-year term granted is deliberately intended to avail the concessionaire of the opportunity of having two life-spans of rubber-tapping, before handing back to the State, an aged farm which is no longer productive and therefore has no financial benefit to the State.
Physical inspection of the farm revealed that since it took over, the concessionaire has added no value whatsoever to the farm. No trees have been planted on the farm by the concessionaire in the one and half years it has had possession of the farm.
The plantation was in a parlous state, with weeds almost everywhere.
There is absence of any serious supervision or monitoring of the operations of the concessionaire by GHL.
(vii) Illegal tapping of rubber is going on unabated on the farm by unknown persons. (viii)
Machinery handed over to the concessionaire by ADC when it took over are no longer on the farm, without any plausible explanation of their whereabouts by the concessionaire.
In view of the absence of a formalized Agreement, there is no provision anywhere tying the concessionaire to any conditions or warranties so as to leave behind for the State at the end of the concession period, a viable reversionary interest.
In view of all the above, the Commission is of the view that this Concession is onerous, extremely one-sided, not well-thought out, and certainly not in the best interest of Ogun State and its people.
that the Agreement be RESCINDED forthwith; or
that Government re-negotiates fresh terms with the concessionaire after a thorough investigation of its antecedents, relationships, financial and professional capabilities and any underlying agreements or third-party involvements it may have or intend concerning the farm.
Government accepts recommendation (a) since the contract document was not executed but recommendation (b) is not accepted
The Government will immediately take over and secure the assets of farm
No refund should be made to the concessionaire until the assets stripped off the plantation are accounted for and restored.
CONCESSION OF APOJE FARMS TO EGJA MIRAMAR LIMITED OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The present concessionaire, EGJA-MIRAMAR LTD is nothing but a clone or re-incarnation of EGJA-MECENG NIGERIA LTD, whose tenure at the farm from 2003 was an abysmal failure and woeful financial disaster for the State, going by available records presented before the Commission by both GHL and ADC.
The chief promoter and controlling mind of EGJA-MECENG, OBA (ENGR.) ISIAKA OLAJIDE AJEDE, THE OGIRIMADAGBO AKIN ILODO, IJEBU-MUSHIN, in evidence before the Commission boasted that he was also the chief link through whom the present concession agreement was granted to EGJA-MIRAMAR. In his evidence before the Commission, the Kabiyesi admitted that he is a shareholder of the concessionaire and that he was instrumental to the grant of the concession agreement to the company. 7
ADC who previously managed the farm was not involved in the concession arrangement.
The concessionaire has no business plan or programme of development for the farm. Even though the agreement stipulates that it shall invest N1 Billion in the farm within the first 10 years, there is no detailed program of how this is to be done.
There is no functional Oil Processing Mill on the farm as the 6-ton Oil Mill handed over by ADC to EDGA-MECENG had been burnt during the management term of EGJA-MECENG. Physical inspection by the Commission revealed that the concessionaire has resorted to very crude and extremely backward local method of processing.
There is no replanting or regeneration programme going on in the farm and no evidence of any such effort intended in the near future by the concessionaire.
(vii) There is no plausible evidence of financial, professional or even managerial capacity of the concessionaire to manage the farm successfully so as to meet the desire and aspiration of the State. (viii) In almost one year of being in possession, there is absolutely no evidence of any investment by the concessionaire. Yet, there is evidence that the concessionaire has being harvesting the bunches in the farm, albeit, in a crude manner. (ix)
In spite of requests made, the concessionaire was unable to provide any record of its activities or performance on the farm since it took over.
The Commission found that there is an almost total lack of monitoring or supervision by GHL, due either to lack of capacity, inefficiency or outright non chalance.
No proper valuation of the farm was done before the arrangement with the Concessionaire was hurriedly made.
(xii) It is worthy of note that the Acting Managing Director of GHL, Mr. Salami admitted before the Commission that the concessionaire has not performed well and that with what is now 8
known, it is obvious that the company lacks the capacity to handle the project and has committed several breaches of the Agreement. (xiii) There is a very high level of communal disenchantment and hostility from the local community arising principally from the unproductive manner both EDJA-MECENG and EDJA MIRAMAR had operated the farm and the non-involvement of the community in the concession agreement. (xiv) To continue with the present agreement with EDGA MIRAMAR will continue to result not only in loss of financial opportunities for the State, but also loss of employment opportunities for citizens of the State. RECOMMENDATIONS: In view of all the above, the Commission recommends an outright cancellation of the concession agreement with EDGA-MIRAMAR, as it is nothing but an exploitative sham aimed only to benefit a few, and totally against the public interest. It is further recommended that any new arrangement to be reached by government should involve ADC and the local community and be properly monitored to ensure strict adherence to agreed terms and conditions. A principal consideration must also be the need to ensure a viable and profitable reversionary interest to the State which can only come about by an effective replanting/regeneration program. GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEWS Government accepts these recommendations. The Concession agreement is cancelled forthwith. 10.
CONCESSION OF GATEWAY HOTEL, OTA TO MIDC LIMITED AND SUB-LEASE TO ARTEE INDUSTRIES LIMITED OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Business plan submitted by the concessionaire stipulated that it would complete the refurbishment of the hotel within 18 months of taking possession. It took possession of the hotel in January 2009, but more than two and half years after taking possession, the concessionaire has done virtually nothing in this regard. 9
The concessionaire has breached several important terms of the Agreement, such as the provision of insurance policy for the hotel, setting up of an Operating committee, etc.
Clearly evident is the fact that the concessionaire LACKS the financial capacity to deliver on the project. Indications of this fact emerged quite early when it failed to pay the balance of the signature fee on schedule, could not honour its obligation to construct the shopping arcade and had to enter into an amended agreement with a third party (ARTEE INDUSTRIES LTD) to undertake the construction. The inability to refurbish the hotel on schedule is principally due to lack of funds as admitted by the CEO of the company. While testifying before the Commission. Mr. Gboyega Isiaka, former GMD of GHL, who mid-wifed the concession admitted before the Commission that MIDC had failed woefully to perform and that he even threatened several times to terminate the contract due to serial default on the part of the company. He tendered before the Commission three (3) letters of termination written to MIDC to terminate the contract.
The Concessionaire and GHL subsequently entered into a Tripartite Agreement with ARTEE INDUSTRIES LTD, by which ARTEE INDUSTRIES LTD was granted a Development Lease for a term of 23 years less 3 days (i.e. the unexpired residue of the term granted to MIDC) in respect of an area measuring approximately 2.153 hectares (the shopping arcade) to be used for a SHOPPING MALL. Due to the inability of MIDC to procure the funds needed to build the shopping arcade, and the agreement of ARTEE to finance the construction, the three parties (MIDC, GHL and ARTEE) agreed to execute another agreement by which ARTEE would be granted a further term of 15 years by GHL, and also an additional land area of 8-10 hectares to be used by ARTEE for support services as consideration for these additions to other agreed terms. However the new agreement embodying these new terms is yet to be formally executed by the parties. It needs be mentioned that ARTEE has already paid about N135 Million to MIDC in consideration of the development lease.
While MIDC is evidently incapable, ARTEE appears quite capable and very eager to proceed with its side of the project. It is to be noted that ARTEE are the owners/operators of the well-known 10
PARK AND SHOP brand and their presence in OTA, will result in a lot of benefits to the economy of the area and the State. RECOMMENDATIONS: (a)
The Commission recommends that the concession Agreement with MIDC be terminated forthwith in view of the several fundamental breaches and the clear demonstration of financial incapacity by the company, and a new investor/partner with verifiable financial ability and demonstrable expertise and commitment be sought for the hotel.
The Commission is of the view that the arrangement with ARTEE is severable from the one with MIDC, and should be allowed to continue, subject to further discussions with the company with a view to renegotiating some of the terms relating to the yet to be executed Lease Agreement. The commission recommends that the Shopping Arcade area be SCREENED OFF from the Hotel, and that the government does all in its power to encourage ARTEE to remain, in view of the benefits that the presence of PARK AND SHOP shopping mall will attract to the State. In this light, government is urged to take into cognizance the commitment the company has shown and the consideration it has already paid to both MIDC and GHL.
GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEWS (i) (ii)
Government accepts recommendation (a) Government does not accept recommendation (b) as the agreement with ARTEE is not severable from the one with MIDC being a tripartite agreement. Furthermore the shopping arcade cannot be screened off from the hotel.
Fair and legitimate expenditures of MIDC and ARTEE will be scrutinized, verified and refunded, if established
ARTEE will be eligible to participate in the fresh bidding process upon terms, if any
CONCESSION TO GATEWAY HOTEL IJEBU ODE ANNEX TO PRAEMAK COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED
OBSERVATION/FINDINGS The concessionaire of this hotel withdrew his interest in the hotel following the resolution of the House of Assembly concerning concession agreements. While testifying before the commission, the concessionaire/stated categorically that he was no longer interested as the House of Assembly had „nullified‟ the agreement. He therefore prays for a refund of his financial expenses on the Hotel so far. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that GHL/Government verify the claim of the concessionaire and refund to him any justifiable aspect of his claims. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation
CONCESSION OF GATEWAY HOTEL ABEOKUTA TO A. A. ENTERTAINMENT AND TOURISM LIMITED OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS: The Commission found that the concessionaire has performed fairly well in fulfilling the terms of the concession Agreement. On the spot assessment by the Commission revealed extensive refurbishment work going on and there is evident commitment on the part of the concessionaire to meet the expectations of government. RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the Agreement with the concessionaire be allowed to continue subject to proper monitoring and supervision to ensure that there is no deviation at any point from the agreed terms. The Commission however further recommends that the Government engages the concessionaire in further discussions/re-negotiations in respect of 12
several provision of the agreement particularly the following clauses 4.5, 6.2, 7.1, 9.1, 9.4, 9.4.2, 11.1.5, 11.2.3, 11.1.9, 11.5.9 and 13. GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEW
The Governor In Council accepts that the concession agreement be renegotiated immediately
Government notes that the concessionaire has carried out extensive renovations on the hotel. Government and the concessionaire had met several times to agree new terms for the concession, namely, for the concessionaire to proceed to complete the renovation works immediately and to operate the completed facility for a maximum term of 10 years with 7.5 % of the Gross Revenue payable to Ogun State
A new agreement will be executed on the new terms agreed by the parties
Compliance with the new terms of maximum 10 years tenure and 7.5% gross revenue accruable to Ogun State shall be fundamental and of the strict essence to the validity of the agreement.
CHIEF AKIN AKANDE AND OTHERS (ABEOKUTA GOLF CLUB) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS 1. The Commission observes that although the original allocation and grant of the alleged Certificate of Occupancy complained of took place before 2004, the actions of the Government on the land between 20032011 falls within the Terms of Reference of the Commission, thus vesting it with jurisdiction to look into the entire matter. 2. The Commission found as a fact that the said Parcel of land in issue was indeed originally allocated by the Ogun State government to ABEOKUTA GOLF CLUB and NOT Abeokuta Golf International Ltd. 3. The Commission found further as a fact that the government was misled into issuing the said Certificate of Occupancy meant for ABEOKUTA GOLF CLUB to Abeokuta Golf International Club Ltd 13
whose chief promoter is Apagun Oluwole Olumide and that the survey plan attached to the said certificate was wrongfully and clandestinely altered after the certificate of occupancy had been signed by the Governor to achieve the intended mischief. This action by itself taints the said Certificate of Occupancy rendering it a suspect document. 4. The Commission found that between 2003-2011 the Ogun state Government established the Hillcrest Estate and also excised some land for Mamu Village extension out of the original 79. 351 hectares allocated to the ABEOKUTA GOLF CLUB. (vi)
Although the Commission summoned the said Apagun Oluwole Olumide to testify before it, he did not honor the invitation. RECOMMENDATIONS: a
The Commission recommends that the certificate of Occupancy registered as no 7 at Page 7 in vol.476 dated 29 th October 1992 issued to Abeokuta Golf International Limited be revoked and, upon application, a fresh one with the correct and exact land size dimensions and abuttal properly demarcated be issued to the ABEOKUTA GOLF CLUB and handed over to the registered trustees of the Club.
The Commission recommends that the Hillcrest Estate and the Mamu Village excisions granted out of the original land allocated to the Abeokuta Golf Club, be allowed to stay in the public interest.
GOVERNMENT’S VIEW Governments accepts these recommendations 14.
REGENERATION CHURCH TABERNACLE, SAGAMU
The Commission found as an incontrovertible fact that the church known as ABRAHAM‟S TABERNACLE situate at Church Estate, Oba Erinwole road, GRA, Sagamu, was built by the erstwhile Governor of Ogun State OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL in honour 14
of his father, His Grace, the Most Rev ABRAHAM ADELOLA DANIEL (ii)
Incorporation documents of the Church confirm without doubt that three of the named registered trustees of the church, to whom the ex-governor issued the certificate of occupancy, were his close family members namely: OLABUNMI OPAWOLE (Wife), ADEBOLA IREDE DANIEL (son) and MOST REV ABRAHAM ADEBOLA DANIEL (father).
The Commission found as an incontrovertible fact that the said church ABRAHAMâ€&#x;s TABERNACLE was built on a parcel of land comprised in the certificate of Occupancy No 0033337 dated the 14th day of May, 2011 registered as No 60/60/761 at the Land Registry, Abeokuta and signed personally by the erstwhile governor, OTUNBA GENGA DANIEL.
The following irregularities were found in the processing of the allocation made to the Church: (a) The application form for land allocation was obtained on the 4 th of January 2011. (b) The application form was filled and submitted on 20th January 2011.
The application form shows that it was sworn to at the High Court Registry Abeokuta on 13th September, 2011.
All receipts for payments connected with the land such as premium, annual ground rent, capital contribution, preparation of certificate of occupancy, (except government survey), were all made on 4th January 2011 (the same day the land was applied for,) as evidenced in the copies of the receipts and endorsements on the application form.
The letter of Allocation of the land issued by the then Director General Lands, Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki, was issued on 9 th July 2009, almost two years before the land was applied for
Even the survey plan of the land, dated 11 th October 2010, was done long before the land was applied or paid for. 15
The allocation (9th July 2009), was done even before the name in which it was allocated was registered on 8th June 2010.
As at the time the allocation was made on 9th July 2009, and the certificate of occupancy issued on 14th May, 2011, other private citizens had subsisting valid titles on portions of the land. For example, one Mr. Dele A Dada had subsisting title evidenced by a deed of Assignment to which the Governorâ€&#x;s consent was granted on the 1st day of February 2006. The assignment was predicated upon a Certificate of Occupancy registered as no 13/13/142 dated 13/8/80, registered at the Lands registry Abeokuta. His land is plot 3 Block XLIX.
(vi) Mr. M C SOWOLEâ€&#x;s land-PLOT B BLOCK XLVA with duly registered title, though not within the land covered by the Certificate of Occupancy granted to the church, is alleged, and duly confirmed by officials of the Bureau of Lands and Survey who charted same and physically inspected the lands in issue testified before the Commission to have been appropriated by the church, having fenced it into its premises. The Bureau of Lands further confirmed before the Commission that two other persons, who however did not complain to the commission, namely one G 1 O ADUWO (PLOT 9 BLOCK XLVb) and S.O.J. OLOKUN, (PLOT 10 BLOCK XLVa) also have their lands fenced in by the church even though their respective titles, like those of Messrs Dada and Sowole, remain unrevoked and therefore subsisting. RECOMMENDATIONS: (a)
The Commission having found that the Certificate of Occupancy No. 60/60/761 granted by the ex-governor OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL to the Regeneration Church of God was tainted by several serious irregularities, and that the same was issued upon land in which there existed prior valid and subsisting titles, recommends that the said allocation be cancelled.
All persons found to have held valid subsisting titles in the said land prior to the wrongful allocation made to the church, particularly MR. DELE DADA should be given immediate possession/access to their plots. 16
The offending fence of the church which has fenced in land belonging to other persons such as MR M. C. SOWOLE, G. O. I. ADUWO, and O.J.OLOKUN. should be removed FORTHWITH, so that the named persons can gain access to and possession of their plots
GOVERNMENT’S VIEW Government accepts all the averments of facts as established. The Certificate of Occupancy dated 14th May, 2011 and registered as No 60/60/761 is hereby revoked and the allocation made in breach of the extant laws and regulations is cancelled. However, for reasons that the said Abraham‟s Tabernacle is said to be a place of worship, government directs as follows: (a)
Government surveyors will go back to the site to determine, establish and ascertain the exact size of the land in the occupation and actual use of the church. The congregation and trustees of the Regeneration Church of God, aka Abraham‟s Tabernacle will be allowed to keep that portion only. A fresh allocation and new Certificate of Occupancy will be issued accordingly upon the application of the trustees.
Government surveyors will further determine and carve out the portions of land belonging to other people but fenced in within the current perimeter walls of the church, outside the portions allowed the church. Government directs that these be returned to the pristine owners who are able to establish their title
Compensation shall be payable to petitioners whose portions fall directly within the area in the actual occupation and use of the church. Government notes that the recommendation here is for revocation and cancellation altogether. Indeed, facts before the Commission showed that the allocation or indeed, allocations were done in breach of the former Governor‟s duties as a trustee of State land. To do justice to the victims of that abuse of power, the allocations and titles detailed above will be cancelled forthwith. The relief allowed for the place of worship itself, for reasons only that it is said to be a place of worship, will be as set out in paragraph (a) and (b) above.
GOLF PLACE RESORT HOTELS LTD OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found as an incontrovertible fact that the government in 2004, revoked the title of the Lions Club in the subject land for OVERRIDING PUBLIC PURPOSE.
The Commission found as incontrovertible fact that the erstwhile Governor, OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL, on 16th February 2004, signed a Certificate of Occupancy No 024245 registered as No: 4/4/619 in favor of GATEWAY FRONT FOUNDATION.
The Commission found as an incontrovertible fact that the erstwhile Governor, OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL was the founder and STILL one of the registered trustees of the said GATEWAY FRONT FOUNDATION, as at the date that he signed the Certificate of Occupancy in its favor.
The Commission found as an incontrovertible fact that erstwhile Governor, OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL signed the Certificate of Occupancy N0: 025591 registered as no:36/36/649 in favor of GOLF PLACE RESORT HOTELS LIMITED, a purely private concern.
The Commission found no evidence to show that the subsisting title of GATEWAY FRONT FOUNDATION was revoked or cancelled before the subsequent grant to GOLF PLACE RESORT HOTELS LIMITED. Although the representative of Gateway Front Foundation, who testified on its behalf before the Commission, Barrister Gbenga Ojekunle, stated that the Foundation „transferred‟ its interest in the land to Golf Place Resort Hotels Ltd, and in another breadth said that the Foundation „surrendered‟ the title, he could not furnish the Commission with any proof of either the said „transfer‟ or „surrender‟ of the title.
Officials of the Bureau of Lands confirmed to the Commission that at no time was the title of Gateway Front Foundation ever revoked to their knowledge.
(vii) Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki, the DG Lands at the material time, acknowledged before the Commission that the Government erred 18
in granting the land, acquired for public purpose, to purely private concerns. In his words, it was “a generational error”. (viii) The two chief promoters, directors and shareholders of GOLF PLACE RESORT HOTELS LIMITED, the subsisting beneficiary of the certificate of occupancy, namely : OTUNBA ALEX ONABANJO and APAGUN OLUWOLE OLUMIDE are widely acknowledged close friends and associates of the erstwhile Governor, OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL. (ix)
The said GOLF PLACE RESORT HOTELS LTD, is presently erecting a hotel which is nearing completion on the land, even though evidence before the Commission was to the effect that till date, no approved building plan has been granted for the structure, although the builders have paid all necessary fees for the same.
The Commission recommends that both Certificate of Occupancy granted to GATEWAY FRONT FOUNDATION and GOLF PLACE RESORT HOTELS LTD, be REVOKED/CANCELLED, being not just outright illegalities but products of a gross and blatant abuse of office, and breach of public trust by the erstwhile Governor, OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL.
That Lion‟s Club should be restored to their land while the rest should revert to Government.
GOVERNMENT’S VIEW: 1.
Government accepts recommendation (a). The Certificates of Occupancy dated 16th February 2004 and registered as 4/4/619 is hereby revoked. The same goes for Certificate of Occupancy No 025591 and registered as 36/36/649. Both allocations will be cancelled forthwith on the grounds that they were made in breach of public trust and the extant laws and regulations. Government shall take over the subject property in the public interest. As there is allegation that state funds were used in the construction of the hotel, no compensation shall be payable either to Gateway Front foundation or Golf Place Resort Hotels Ltd until the said allegations are determined 19
A special committee under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Governor will be set up immediately to look into allegations that the resources of Ogun state were utilized to construct the hotel and to further advise government as may be appropriate
Government does not accept recommendation (b) as Lions Club can no longer practically be restored to any part of the land
The DG Lands is to locate and offer an alternative parcel of land for the use of Lions Club
OLUMO ROCK TOURIST COMPLEX OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found that RSL consistently defaulted in meeting its financial obligations to the government since 2008 thus depriving the government of a lot of revenue. The current indebtedness is N61.50m as at December 2011. This is in addition to several other breaches, such as improper maintenance and repair of equipment, etc.
The Commission found the excuses given by RSL such as â€žforce majureâ€&#x;, failure of government to fulfill its own obligation, security and power failure untenable. Rather the Commission found upon an on-the-spot visit to the complex, that the manager has not done enough to make the complex attractive to guests and tourists. There is no publicity given to the complex by the manager and the facilities are not properly maintained.
The Commission is of the view that the Manager lacks the kind of ability and drive required to properly manage the facility so as to achieve the desired results.
The Commission recommends that the Management Agreement be determined without further delay in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement, as it very obvious that the manager is not willing or capable of achieving the desired objective. It is further recommended that firm steps be taken also to recover the huge debt owed by the manager to the Government as a result of unpaid backlog of rentals. GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEW Government accepts this recommendation and that in the interim the Management of the site be transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
MR. AND MRS. OSAYAMEH. OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The commission found that the titles of the petitioners were first in time, valid and subsisting, and that the allocation to one Ayo Akinrinola came later. It is a case of double allocation by the Bureau of Lands.
RECOMMENDATIONS: The Commission recommends that the petitioners take possession of their land as their title is valid and subsisting, while the Bureau of Lands is directed to relocate Mr. Ayo Akinrinola to another plot. GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEWS: Government accepts this recommendation
MRS MODUPE ADEDOYIN ADENIRAN (nee SONOIKI) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The Commission found that Mrs. Modupe Adedoyin Adeniran is the rightful owner of the said plot and that her title remains valid and subsisting. Officials of the Lands Bureau confirmed that her title is very 21
much intact and that no double allocation of it has been made. One Mrs. Rose Ogbebor testified that she was the person building the structure which has encroached illegally on a portion of Mrs. Adeniran‟s land. She has neither an allocation nor an approved building plan from the government. The Commission found that she has no valid title to the land having bought from persons who had no right to sell the land
RECOMMENDATION: As Mrs. Adeniran is a valid allottee of government whose title still subsists but who has been unable to take effective possession of land sold to her by government due to unlawful encroachment, the Commission hereby recommends that the Bureau of Lands in conjunction with the Bureau of Urban and Regional Planning and or any other relevant agency should take appropriate action to remove the offending encroachment on the land and give Mrs. Adeniran full and effective possession of her land. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation
NATIONAL POPULATION COMMISSION OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The Commission found that the title of the NPC in the disputed land was first in time and has never been revoked. The Commission also found that the said area in question is earmarked for Government Agencies and Corporate Institutions. Agencies/bodies which also have land allocated to them in the layout include Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, Nigeria Labour Congress, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Young Men‟s Christian Association, etc. The Commission found that the allocation of the plot to Dr. Oni by the Lands Bureau was wrongful. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that the title granted to Dr. Oni on the subject plot be immediately cancelled and he should be reallocated 22
another plot in another area without any further payment whatsoever since the error emanated from the Bureau of Lands. On the other hand, the National Population Commission should be immediately restored to their subject plot and they should take immediate steps to develop same. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation subject to NPC developing the plot within 12 months hereof failing which the title will be revoked
MRS. R.A.D. OKE (ESTATE OF LATE CHIEF FOLORUNSO OKE) OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The commission found a fact as follows:(i)
That Chief Oke had a valid title to the land and erected a fence and a building foundation on the same.
That sometime in 2004, Housing Corporation cancelled the allocation of Chief Oke, but upon representations made by him to the Governor, the cancellation was reversed and his title ordered to be restored by the Governor. This decision was communicated to Housing Corporation by the letter from the Secretary to the State Government dated 13 October, 2006.
(iii ) Just a few months after the restoration of his title, precisely May 2007, Housing Corporation again included Chief Oke‟s plot in a list of 156 plots sent to the Governor for revocation for nondevelopment without alerting the governor to the fact that he had only 6 months before, restored Chief Oke‟s title. The Governor simply approved the request for revocation. (iv)
Housing Corporation then allocated the plot to its Chairman Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, who hurriedly sold same to one Senator Babatunde Osholake.
The Commission found that Housing Corporation was mischievous and clandestine in the manner in which it pursued the revocation of Chief Oke‟s title and deceived or misled the Governor in to 23
approving the revocation again just after a few months after the Governor had reversed the earlier decision of the Corporation. It was clear that someone in the Housing Corporation desperately had their eyes on Chief Okeâ€&#x;s plot. (vi)
The manner in which the plot was subsequently allocated to Elder Yemi Akinwonmi who was then Chairman of the Corporation, and the haste with which the latter sold off the plot raises grave suspicion and puts a question mark on the motive of the Housing Corporation in this matter.
(vii) The Commission is however convinced that Senator Babatunde Osholake was an innocent purchaser for value without notice of the mischief and intrigue that had happened before the title was transferred to him. RECOMMENDATIONS: a.
The Commission finds reprehensible and absolutely condemnable the mischievous and wicked role of the officials of the Housing Corporation headed by the then General Manager Engineer Elijah Adenaike. The Commission also condemns in strong terms the role of Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, as stated above.
The Commission feels strongly and would have recommended that the said plot be returned to the Estate of Chief Oke, but for the fact that Senator Osholake was an innocent purchaser for value without notice, who has fully built his house on the land, and who should not be made to suffer for the sins of the officials of the Housing Corporation. Accordingly, the Commission hereby recommends that the Housing Corporation IMMEDIATELY allocates an alternative PRIME plot in the same vicinity to the Estate of Late Folorunso Oke accompanied by all necessary documents including a new Deed of sub-Lease, all WITHOUT ANY PAYMENT whatsoever from the family.
The Commission further recommends that Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, should be barred from holding any public office again in Ogun State.
There is serious question as to whether Senator Babatunde Osholake was indeed a bona fide purchaser without notice, given the personalities involved and all the circumstances of the matter. However, in deference to the findings of the Commission, government accepts these recommendations.
CHIEF SIMON OLUBUNMI SODIPO PLOT 17 BLOCK 3 TAGOE STREET, OKE-ILEWO ABEOKUTA OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found that the petitioner had a valid and subsisting title to the land and was never served with any notice of revocation by the Housing Corporation before or after the purported revocation in May 2007 due to alleged non-development.
The Commission found as a fact that there was an uncompleted structure and a fence put on the land by the petitioner before the plot was purportedly granted to Surveyor Ogunnoiki in July 2007. The Commission further found from the evidence of the police photographer who testified before it, that some people led by armed policemen indeed destroyed the petitionerâ€&#x;s structures on the, land, despite the denial of Mr. Ogunnoiki in his testimony even though he alluded to the fact that he sometimes had policemen on the site. The Commission strongly believes that Mr. Ogunnoiki was responsible for the use of armed men to supervise the destruction of the petitionerâ€&#x;s structure and forcibly take possession of his land.
The Commission found that Mr. Gbenga Ogunnoiki was not an innocent purchaser for value without notice, but knew and was fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the clandestine revocation of the title of the petitioner, and used his position as DG Lands to connive with the officials of Housing Corporation to deprive the petitioner of his land.
RECOMMENDATION: The commission recommends that the title of Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoiki to the land in question, i.e. deed of Sub-Lease no 18/18/681 dated 23/7/2008 should be REVOKED forthwith, the title of the 25
petitioner immediately restored and that he be put in immediate possession of his land. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation. The subject site will be restored to the rightful owner forthwith. 22.
ALHAJA SILIFAT A ANIFOWOSHE PLOT 40, BLOCK E, GATEWAY CITY, ISHERI OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The Commission found that her title has not been revoked, but the land falls within the portion earlier granted to Havillah Properties, and later to Portal Properties & Development Ltd with certificate of Occupancy No 64/64/680. The Commission also found that there is on-going litigation between Havillah and Gateway City on the land.
RECOMMENDATION: In other to avoid any complications, the Commission recommends that she be granted another plot of land by Gateway City Development Company Ltd within the same vicinity, complete with full title documentation and without any payments whatsoever from her. She should also be given immediate physical possession of the plot and all efforts should be made to ensure that the does not encounter any problems with the new plot. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation.
PORTAL PROPERTIES & DEVELOPMENT LIMITED RIVERVIEW ESTATE, ISHERI OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS 26
The land belongs to GATEWAY CITY LTD, the Company from its own funds had built its corporate head office and an event centre at a total cost of almost N900 Million on a portion of the land.
The Commission found that in 2008 the erstwhile Governor,OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL issued certificate of Occupancy no 027937 to the said Portal Properties and Investment Company Ltd registered as 64/64/680 of 26th of June 2008.
There is no evidence whatsoever that Gateway City Development Company Ltd, which already had title in the land vested in it, alienated the land to the company or even knew of the transaction.
The Commission found that the two directors of the said company namely OTUNBA ALEX ONABANJO and ARCH. OLALEKAN ADAMS hold 45% and 40% shareholdings respectively in the company, while Gateway Holdings Ltd, through Gboyega Isiaka holds 15%.
The implication of the present situation is that property of Gateway City Development Company Ltd, and hence of Ogun State Government, built with the funds of the State, has now become vested or transferred by the former administration to this private company Portal Properties and Investment Ltd.
The Commission recommends that the Government should immediately cancel/revoke the said certificate of Occupancy issued to Portal Properties and Investment Ltd.
The Commission recommends that Government investigates the activities of Portal Properties & Development Co Ltd in view of the fact that its Associated Company (Gateway Holdings Ltd) is a shareholder in it.
(i) Government accepts recommendation (a) but does not accept (b) as Ogun State Government has no power to investigate a company registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act. The Certificate of Occupancy issued to Portal Properties & Development Co Ltd is revoked and cancelled FORTWITH. Government hereby directs that the circumstances of this transaction be referred to the EFCC and other security agencies for thorough evaluation, investigation and sanction for all persons, individual and corporate, that may be found culpable (ii) Since the certificate of occupancy stands revoked, Gateway Holdings Limited should relinquish its shares in the company and a new certificate of occupancy be issued to Gateway City Company Ltd.
101 AWOLOWO ROAD, IKOYI OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found that at the time the agreement with the developer was signed, Government had expended the sum of N78 Million on the project.
The Commission found there was no proper valuation of the investment of Government on the project to determine the extent of participation before the agreement was executed.
There was no Bill of Quantities to confirm the developerâ€&#x;s claim that N200 Million would be required to complete the development.
The Commission found that as a result of improper valuation, Governmentâ€&#x;s interest in the project was seriously underestimated.
The Commission found that the profit sharing ratio contained in the Development Agreement was heavily titled in favor of the Developer and against the Government.
The erstwhile Managing Director of Gateway Holdings Ltd at the material time, Mr. Dapo Odojukan admitted before the Commission that they did not seek professional or expert advice before proceeding with the matter.
RECOMMENDATION: Although the Agreement appears titled against the Government, the Commission found the Developer capable to deliver satisfactorily on the project. Consequently, it is recommended that Government should renegotiate the terms of the Agreement with the developer if it is so disposed. Otherwise the Government should determine the contract and seek alternative means of completing the project, such as getting one of its agencies, e.g. OPIC, to do so. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government directs that the agreement be terminated forthwith and that the site will be self developed by the Ogun State Government and/or its agencies
BABATUNDE RUNSEWE PLOT 15, BLOCK G, OPIC ESTATE, ISHERI. OBERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found that the petitioner‟s title is still valid and subsisting.
The Commission found that Plot 15 Block G Scheme 1 Residential Area belonging to the petitioner is still vacant and available to him.
RECOMMENDATION: Since his plot has now been properly identified and located, the Commission has, in its discretion directed the petitioner to proceed to take physical possession of it. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and action taken. 26.
SAMUEL AIKULOLA OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS
The Commission found the land was first allocated to Prof. Okuneye in 1996, but he did not fully pay up the consideration within the months stipulated in the offer letter. He only paid up his balance in 2001.
The Petitioner meanwhile applied and was allocated the plot in 1998. He also got his certificate of Occupancy in 1998.
The Commission found that at the time that the land was allocated to the petitioner in 1998, Prof. Okuneye interest has lapsed by effluxion of time.
After Prof. Okuneye paid up the balance of his purchase price in 2001, the Bureau of Lands issued him a Certificate of Occupancy in 2004 and he proceeded to sell the land to Odunsi in 2009, though he was fully aware of the interest of the petitioner and the structure the petitioner had put on the land.
RECOMMENDATION: The Commission is of the view that the title of the petitioner, Samuel Olugbenga Aikulola takes precedence over that of Prof. Okuneye. Therefore, it is recommended that Mr. Aikulola should retain the said Plot No. 8 Block 2 GRA Extension Olokomeji, Abeokuta, while the Bureau of Lands should allocate another plot to Prof. Okuneye without additional Payment. GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation
JOSEPH OLUWOLE MAJEKODUNMI OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The title of the petitioner was revoked by the Housing Corporation without due process.
The Commission in its discretion has directed and hereby recommends that the Housing Corporation issue him with an alternative allocation which has already been done. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation and action taken 28.
MRS FARAMOBI BABALOLA OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found that her title to the land still subsists.
The Commission found that the unknown person has no allocation from any government agency.
RECOMMENDATION: The Commission has directed, and hereby recommends that the Bureau of Lands in conjunction with other relevant agencies remove the encroachment o her plot within 14 days, and give her physical possession of the same. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation.
ADENIJI BANJOKO OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS (i)
The Commission found that the title of the allottee is valid and subsisting.
The commission found that the land has been encroached upon by a trespasser without a valid allocation or title.
The Commission has directed, and hereby recommends that the Bureau of Lands in conjunction with the relevant government agencies, remove the encroachments on the allotees land within 14 days, and put her in physical possession of the plot. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation
OLUSEGUN FABUNMI OBSERVATIONS/FINDINGS The Commission found as a fact that the petitioner had a valid allocation which he fully paid for but that the Bureau of Lands has allocated his plot to another party. RECOMMENDATION: The Commission recommends that the Bureau of Lands immediately allocates another plot in another scheme in Abeokuta to the petitioner, at no extra cost to the petitioner. GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS Government accepts this recommendation.
CHILTERN & CHESTER VACANT LAND FORMING PORTION OF GATEWAY HOTEL ABEOKUTA OBSERVATION/FINDINGS (i)
Commission found that the sale was not advertised so as to attract competitive bidding. The buyer claimed that he had many friends in Government and knew about the proposed sale through them.
Commission found that the property was sold at a gross undervalue. (N62.5m for 5.454 hectares)
The buyer testified before the Commission that he had sold two of the parcels to the Concessionaire of the Hotel, but no documentary proof of this was produced before the Commission.
The Commission however found that there exists two separate Deeds of Assignment dated 27th May 2001, executed, surprisingly, not by CHILTERN & CHESTER, as Assignors, but by Gateway Holdings Ltd, as Assignors to the concessionaire.
Curiously, the Chief Executive Officer of CHILTERN & CHESTER, MR. DAPO ODOJUKAN, succeeded Mr. Gboyega Isiaka as the Chief Executive officer of Gateway Holdings Ltd, and signed the deed of Assignment on behalf of Gateway Holdings Ltd to the purchaser, A. A. Entertainment.
RECOMMENDATIONS: In view of the above observations and findings, the Commission recommends that Government should immediately REVOKE/ACQUIRE the 3rd parcel (Parcel C, directly behind the Hotel Complex), pending the Final Report of the Commission. GOVERNMENTâ€™S VIEWS Government accepts the recommendation with the qualification that the excision of all three parcels A, B, & C is hereby revoked and reversed.
DATED THIS 18TH DAY OF JANUARY 2012
1. On 16 th September 2011, His Excellency the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA inaugurated a five-member Judicial Commis...