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Irregular land allocation: Abuja court adjourns hearing in El-Rufai’s case

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Irregular land allocation: Abuja court adjourns hearing in El-Rufai’s case

by Dare Lawal

The court case against former minister of FCT, Nasir El-Rufai, at a Federal Capital Territory High Court on Thursday was adjourned to May 7. The case against El-Rufai which is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, involves his alleged irregular land allocation and abuse of office.

The case was adjourned so as to enable El-Rufai’s Counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), certify the document to be tendered.

Agabi sought to tender a copy of an agreement letter entered into by the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and Rosehill Group for the development of the post office site in Maitama. But the EFCC Counsel, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), opposed the admissibility of the document, saying the document was not properly tendered before the court.

“My lord, we oppose the admissibility of this document and the defence counsel ought to have certified this document before coming to court because you know what you are coming to defend in court.

“You should have certified your entire documents; so we oppose this,’’ Adelodun said.

A short adjournment was however agreed upon after exhaustive argument on the admissibility of the document.

Prior to that, Arch. Adeyeye Olu, who was Deputy Post Master-General of NIPOST, was brought in as a prosecution witness.

The Nation reports that:

He told the court that Plot 3350, which was formally known as Plot 3776, located in Maitama District, belonged to NIPOST.

He said that NIPOST applied for and got allocation of the plot from the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in 1994.

“We went to FCDA and verified if the plot was allocated to any organisation before we applied and it was confirmed that the land was not allocated to anybody.

“We wrote application for allocation to the FCDA and we made all necessary payments, and in 1994, the plot was formally allocated to NIPOST.

“We submitted our certificate to FCDA for the approval of our building plan and paid all necessary fees; I have a copy of the approval slip and the payment slip of Aso savings,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the prosecution witness as saying at the hearing.

He said that he had a copy of the application letter and the letter of allocation which the authority issued to NIPOST.

Olu further explained that the reason why NIPOST was unable to develop the plot as at that time was as a result of economic down-turn experienced in the organisation.

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