The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described as mind-boggling the revelation by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) that two corrupt public officers own as many as 301 houses in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
From the information made available by the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasonoye when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the operations of real estate developers in the federal capital, a particular public officer was discovered to own 241 houses, while another owns 60 houses.
According to BMO in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, from this revelation, it is obvious that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s fight against corruption is gathering momentum.
“Indeed it is unimaginable, as the ICPC chairman noted in his presentation, that in a country with close to 70% housing deficit, a few individuals are helping themselves to the country’s coffers and using the funds to acquire property that will be kept as a store of value, without any tangible benefit to the citizens.
“It is indeed regrettable that while some Nigerians are living in uncompleted buildings, shanties and slums, a few greedy and self-serving Nigerians build hundreds of houses with stolen money, and keep them vacant for many years. This is not only conscienceless on their part but reprehensible and a crime against humanity”.
The group also noted that these mindless public officers, in a bid to conceal their corrupt activities, use fronts or pseudonyms to buy the property. This is exacerbated by the connivance of other civil servants at the Federal Capital Territory Administration who aid and abet the sharp practices.
“We condemn the nefarious activities of these public officers and indeed any Nigerian who is involved, as it not only deprives the citizens of habitable accommodation but leads to an exorbitant rise in the cost of the property to the extent that such buildings are today out of reach of ordinary people.
“We also decry the involvement of government officials and some members of the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) for aiding the shady deals being perpetrated by these corrupt public officers. It is a disservice to the country as it is man’s inhumanity to man”, the statement added.