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Centenary City Project: Reps call for Probe of ex SGF Pius Anyim & ex FCT Minister Bala Mohammed



Pius Anyim (L) and Bala Mohammed (R)

The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja called for the prosecution of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Senator Bala Mohammed, the former Minister of FCT, over their role in the alleged irregularities surrounding the $18.72billion Centenary City project.

The resolution followed the adoption of the report of its Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which probed the project.

The report was submitted on March 2 by the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Herman Hembe (Benue-APC).

The report also called for prosecution of the Directors of Centenary City Plc, Paul Oki and Boma Ozobia.

It said that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) should prosecute those indicted.

The Centenary City Project was conceived by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary celebration.

The committee, in its four-point recommendation, said:

All the statutory Rights of Occupancy purportedly revoked by the former FCT Minister in respect of the area covered by the Centenary City should be restored to the original owners.

The Right of Occupancy and Certificate of Occupancy purportedly granted to the Centenary City Plc by the former FCT Minister on April, 10 2014 should be withdrawn by the present FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello.

The President of Nigeria should direct the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment to revoke the Certificate of Free Trade Zone granted to the Centenary City Plc and the company be deregistered as a Free Zone Entity.

The Code of Conduct Bureau and the EFCC should investigate the role of the parties involved in the promotion and selection of Centenary City Plc. as investors and their roles in the management of the Centenary City Project.

Rep. Rasaq Atunwa (Kwara-APC) proposed an amendment that all public officials indicted in the report should be prosecuted and public funds wasted on the project be recovered to the fourth recommendation.

The amendment was supported by majority of members through a voice vote.

However, before the House dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for consideration of the report, a member of the House Committee on FCT, Rep. Linus Okorie (Ebonyi-PDP) raised a point of order.

Citing Order 17, Rule 3(e) of the House rule and Section 36 of the 1999 constitution, Okorie said that his dissenting opinion was not reflected in the report.

This, according to him, denies him the right to fair hearing in contravention of the House rule and the constitution.

The lawmaker argued that including his dissenting opinion in the committee report was not necessarily to change the tenor, but to show that he did not agree with the report.

Okorie insisted that the FCT Committee did not follow due diligence in arriving at its conclusion.

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