NewsAbiodun Inaugurates Judicial Commission Of Inquiry Over Illegal Land Allocation In Ogun

Abiodun Inaugurates Judicial Commission Of Inquiry Over Illegal Land Allocation In Ogun

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June 30, (THEWILL) – Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, has inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, to undertake a comprehensive review, analysis, and investigation of land allocation, documentation and general land dealings in the state.

In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, in Abeokuta, the 8-member judicial Commission were inaugurated on Wednesday evening, to investigate land dealings in the state for the past eleven years.

The Commission is headed by Justice S.A Olugbemi (Rtd), who has three months, in the first instance, to carry out the assignment.

Other members of the commission are: a legal practitioner, Adetunji Onabowo; a former Commissioner of Police, CP Edward Awolowo Ajogun; the Chairman, Ethics Committee, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Oyebanji Akinhanmi; an estate valuer, Toyin Aluko and a representative of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Speaking at the inauguration on Wednesday, the governor emphasised the important role of land in the economic development of any nation.

Abiodun tasked the commission to unravel the circumstances surrounding rampant illegal land transactions that have been carried out in the state, land allocation by MDAs, all illegal land transactions that have taken place to date; and all perpetrators involved in any discovered illegal dealings.

He added that the commission is also to receive and investigate general complaints from the public around land acquisition and documentation in Ogun, make recommendations to curb bottlenecks, delays and corruption in land acquisition and documentation in the state. Unravel various sums of money involved in the illegal dealings, identify the value of government loss, and recommend methods of recovery.

The governor further charged the commission to recommend necessary punishment to be meted out to erring person(s); suggest ways to curb or forestall re-occurrence of any identified illegalities or inefficiencies; and, make any other suggestions and recommendations that could assist the state government in all other related matters.

He, however, noted that the members of the Commission are people of high integrity, who are also experts in land matters and are not expected to yield to inducement or blackmail of any kind, assuring them of government support.

“I have authorised the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwasina Ogungbade SAN; and all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to provide the required support – personnel and material – that the Commission will need to perform its task.

“In our own peculiar situation, land is our gold. It is our crude oil and thus, plays a crucial role in our Administration’s “Building our Future Together” Agenda. This is more, especially in the areas of agricultural production and industrialisation; affordable housing and urban renewal; rural- infrastructural development, as well as employment generation.

“For us in Ogun State, providence has been very good to us and blessed us with a land mass of approximately 16,762km2. The land is rich with abundant and commercially viable mineral resources such as limestone, bitumen, granite, mica, clay, feldspar, silica sand, gypsum, kaolin, shale, phosphate, quartz, sillimanite, gemstones, etc. The land is also suitable for different agricultural and agro-processing industries”, he stated.

Quoting a data released by the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) on the production of goods nationwide across 14 industrial zones, Abiodun said Lagos and Ogun States are responsible for about 86% of all goods manufactured in Nigeria from January through May, 2022, translating to about N3.2 trillion worth of goods, while Ogun State accounted for N867.3 billion as of May.

He noted that by the end of the year, goods worth more than N1 trillion would have been produced in the state.

According to the governor, “we have achieved this by marketing, protecting, and transforming the vast and arable land that we are blessed with in Ogun State. We cannot afford that all these are washed away by the activities of a few dishonest people. These achievements must be supported by transparent, modern and informed policy making. We must identify any threats to these achievements, then take proactive effective steps to neutralise those threats and consolidate on our achievements.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Commission, Retired Justice Olugbemi, assured that his members would do their best to unravel all illegal and improper allocations of land as stipulated in the commission’s term of reference.

He said the commission at the end of its assignment would make recommendations that would lead to greater ease of doing business in the state, assuring that the report would also move the state to greater height in the use of land for economic purposes.

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