Politics

BREAKING: Governor Mbah Sets Up Committee To Review Documents, Compensate Owners After SaharaReporters’ Report On Massive Demolition In Enugu

Governor Peter Mbah’s government has constituted a standing committee for property, land reconciliation and compensation following its demolition of over 200 houses and properties belonging to investors.

SaharaReporters reported on February 1, 2024, that residents and owners of over 200 houses worth billions of naira recently demolished by the Enugu State government on January 19, 2024, had lamented their losses and called for adequate compensation.

The houses were demolished in Uzamagu village in Obeagu Awkunanaw, Enugu South local government area of the state, southeast Nigeria.

The property owners and investors described the demolition exercise carried out by the same government persuading investors to invest in the state as “preposterous” and an “aberration”.

In what appears as a volte-face, the government announced on Sunday the constitution of a standing committee for property and land reconciliation with the mandate to review all title documents, construction approvals, double and wrongful allocations and double certificates of occupancy, and evaluate compensations in respect of government’s acquired lands, among other functions.

Mbah, who inaugurated the committee over the weekend, according to a statement from his media office, reportedly charged members of the community to be resolute, fair and transparent.

He also urged them to bring to bear their experiences and integrity which were the conditions precedent for their selection.

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Nigerian Community Residents Lament Demolition Of Over 200 Properties For ‘Being Kidnappers’ Hideouts’ In Enugu, Seek Compensation

Nigerian Community Residents Lament Demolition Of Over 200 Properties For ‘Being Kidnappers’ Hideouts’ In Enugu, Seek Compensation

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who will also serve as Chairman of the committee, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the terms of reference of the committee as spelt out should be implemented to the letter.

He added that “the procedures adopted must pass the tests of integrity, accountability, traceability, transparency, and fairness to all parties regardless of status”.

The committee known as Inter-Ministerial Committee for Property/Land Reconciliation and Compensation in Enugu State is saddled with the responsibility of verifying all title documents relating to land and property in any designated area assigned for construction; verifying all construction approvals and stages of construction; reconciling all issues of double allocations, wrongful allocation, double certificates of occupancy; evaluation and payment of compensations in respect of any acquisition; resolving issues of acquisition and recommending amount of compensation to be paid, and verifying allocations and payment made as a result of the allocations.

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According to the governor, the committee’s assignment commences immediately with the Office of the Secretary to the State Government as the Secretariat for all correspondence, complaints and enquiries.

Part of the functions of the committee is to also verify construction within the Enugu International Conference Centre (ICC) and other government facilities.

Responding to their inauguration, a member of the committee who doubles as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr. Kingsley Udeh, said the committee would not disappoint the public in the discharge of its duties as it would ensure social equity and justice.

Udeh added that all issues would be treated with the utmost sense of responsibility.

He said, “We accept it with every sense of responsibility, and we understand how sensitive it is.

“We understand that if this committee does its work well, the members of the state that have been affected will heave a sigh of relief because all their interests, whatever be their concerns, whatever be their fears when channelled through this committee will be fully addressed; addressed from the point of social equity; addressed from the point of the rule of law; addressed from the magnanimity of a father to do good to his household.”

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While appreciating the governor for trusting the committee with such responsibility, Udeh said Mbah had been playing the role of a compassionate father with the interests of everyone in the state accommodated.

He further called on any member of the public who is aggrieved to channel their grievance to the committee, assuring that justice would be done within time.

“It is on that note that we invite the members of the public that may feel aggrieved or affected by this to please come forward; come forward with genuine cases, genuine concerns, genuine claims, and through this committee the administration of Dr. Peter Mbah will address them because it is for the general good,” he said.

Other members of the committee include the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Gerald Otiji, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Project Development and Implementation, Arc. Uchenna Nwatu, the State Acting Surveyor General, Mr Justus Chime, a representative of Estate/Valuation Department, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Legal and Inter-Ministerial Matters who also doubles as Secretary of the Committee, Barr. Okonkwo Juliet.

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