The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, has bemoaned the illegal activities of touts and advised the public to desist from transaction on plots of land allocated by the Area Councils until title regularisation process is concluded.
The FCT Permanent Secretary and Chairman of the FCT Land Use & Allocation Committee (LUAC), Chinyeaka Ohaa, made this disclosure at the weekend during the meeting of the committee in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary stated that this action has become necessary to reduce the knotty cases of illegal land activities being perpetuated at the Area Councils of the Territory and thereby defrauding unsuspected members of the public.
“The confirmation of titles of the Area Councils can only be conducted after completion of the ongoing Area Councils’ title regularisation exercise, and therefore the general public is hereby advised to desist from transacting on the said titles until conclusion of the regularisation exercise”.
Mr. Ohaa remarked that by the virtue of Section 297 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Sections 18 & 1 (3) of the FCT Act respectively has absolutely vested the entire 8,000 square kilometres of the land in the Federal Capital Territory to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and is being managed by the FCT minister under a delegated responsibility.
According to him, “the administration has observed that with the recall of Area Councils’ Zonal Land Managers and Zonal Planning Officers back to the mainstream, as well as the suspension of land allocation by the six Area Councils of the Territory, the illegal activities still persist”.
The Permanent Secretary recalled that the FCT Administration in 2006 had directed the Area Councils to discontinue allocation of land and requested that they update and forward their records of allocations to AGIS for the commencement of the title regularisation for thorough cleaning and validation.
He, however, regretted that the administration has spotted some illegal allocation papers being backdated by fraudulent ex-FCT officials and ex-Land officers at the Area Councils; fake letters of allocations and Certificates of Occupancy in circulation as well as farmers, village heads, community heads selling land in the Area Councils, thereby duping unsuspecting members of the public.
Mr. Ohaa warned the general public to be wary of these illegal activities by fraudulent people; reiterating that all lands in the entire Federal Capital Territory is vested in the FCTA and can only be accessed through application to the Hon. Minister.
The Permanent Secretary used the opportunity to announce that the FCT Administration has several thousands of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) as well as Rights of Occupancy (R of O) for Federal Capital City (FCC) titles unclaimed in the Department of Lands Administration and therefore, called on the beneficiaries to come forward with necessary documents for collection.