Several plots of land allocated in the 1980s for the construction of courtrooms in Ilorin, Kwara State, were arbitrarily sold by the administrations of former governors Bukola Saraki and Abdulfatah Ahmed without following the due process, the judicial panel on assets recovery heard on Wednesday.
The Director-General, Bureau of Land, Bolaji Edun, told the panel that some plots of land in the Tanke area of Ilorin were allocated to the judiciary under the new plan for the state, but were gradually auctioned from 2009 without the government first revoking the previous allocation in line with the law.
Edun was answering questions on a petition filed before the panel by the state judiciary, which seeks the restoration of the land amid shortage of courtrooms in the state capital. The judiciary also complained about unlawful encroachment on the remaining portions of the land by the Candidate Hotel and the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Edun said the earliest allocations on the land were made in 2009 and the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy commenced in 2013, adding that the bureau could not find the C-of-O of Candidate Hotel in its record.
“The extension and encroachment seen at the hotel were not part of the C-of-O granted. In fact, there is no record of its title in our files,” he stated.