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Obtaining C-of-O By Forgery, Land Scandal Rocks Abuja Development Control Office


Obtaining C-of-O By Forgery, Land Scandal Rocks Abuja Development Control Office

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An uneasy storm is building up at the office of Abuja Geological Information Services (AGIS) over a scandal centered on illegal acquisition of Certificate of Occupancy on a landed property through the means of forged documents.

The land, which originally belonged to one Jamila Saleh Hassan is located at the highbrow Cadastral Zone of Guzape District.

According to findings, Jamila Hassan, through her father, Alhaji Saleh A. Hassan had initiated and closed a deal to sell the property to one Mr. Bako Matunji Chonoko in 2008 at an agreed sum of six million Naira.

Upon the payment of the agreed sum and further verifications at the office of the AGIS ascertaining the viability of the property, a Power of Attorney and Deed of Assignment were executed by Jamila Saleh Hassan in favour of Bako Matunji Chonoko, and handed over to him together with the original statutory Right of Occupancy.

Subsequent findings revealed that the new owner of the property equally sold it to a business entity known as New Balcyon Ventures Limited through his agent called Daniels Yakubu Ogwu.

However, it was revealed to Daniels Ogwu when he went to verify the records of the land sometime in 2018 at the land registry, that the said property had surprisingly acquired a Certificate of Occupancy in the name of one Sunday Benjamin Egele, in addition to a registered Power of Attorney in his favour.

It was upon this discovery that Chonoko caused a complaint to the Development Control Department of AGIS in January 2019.

The petition reads in part: “we hereby appeal to your good office to thoroughly investigate the apparent fraudulent infraction against Sunday Benjamin Egele on the said plot of land.

“To assist you in your investigation, please find attached the following documents: acknowledgement by Alhaji Saleh A. Hassan of the receipt of N6,000,000 dated 1/08/2007; statement of account showing evidence of the draft raised in favour of Jamila Saleh Hassan; irrevocable Power of Attorney dated 30/08/2007; deed of Assignment dated 30/08/2007 and statutory Right of Occupancy.”

Upon investigation into the petition, a shocking discovery was made indicating that the documents relied upon to award a Certificate of Occupancy to Egele was actually a forged diplomatic passport of Jamila Saleh Hassan.

Further investigations revealed that one Mercy Yusuf, who had been a well known land racketeer in AGIS, sold the land to Sunday Egele by creating a fake data page of alleged diplomatic passport of Jamila Hassan.

When Jamila Hassan was contacted, neither she, nor her father, Alhaji Saleh A. Hassan confirmed ever having any contact whatsoever with Mercy Yusuf or Sunday Egele and also affirmed that the data page used to secure the C-of-O did not carry her original signature.

It was gathered, that at this point, the Development Control Department was compelled to activate its Alternative Dispute Resolution at AGIS in order to arrive at an amicable settlement on the matter.

It was gathered also that an agreement was made whereby the Mercy Yusuf and Sunday Egele would pay a sum of one hundred and fifty million Naira and a duplex building as compensation to Daniel Ogwu and the business concern he represents, New Halcyon Ventures Limited.

However, the agreement was not concluded because the terms offered was not consented to by the aggrieved parties.

Further findings revealed that while the matter remained pending on the terms of the Alternative Dispute Resolution, both Mercy Yusuf and Egele began to walk away from their guilty pleas and, indeed, issued threats to the aggrieved parties.

Thus, Ogwu reported the matter to the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police, and the police report on the matter was made on April 4, 2023.

While the police report also establishes guilt on the part of Yusuf and Egele, a new twist was however added to the story because a certain newspaper and blogs publications circulated through a reporter of the Sun newspaper known as Godwin Tsa, made a false presentation of facts about the matter.

The news report which was published in several newspapers and blogs surreptitiously made a whitewash of the allegations against Yusuf and Egele and tend to put the victims, Daniel Ogwu and his partner company as conspirators of the infraction on the matter.