We are concerned citizens of Lagos who have brought to your attention various cases of corruption and abuse of office by former Gov Bola Tinubu and Gov Fashola in our previous publications.
In this publication, we bring to your attention once again monumental cases of corruption and abuse of office involving land matters in Lagos State perpetuated by the duo.
Over the past 10 years, both Tinubu and Fashola have been involved in various land scams including outright conversion of Lagos land for personal use, and given out state land and buildings to their cronies, political associates, public officials, members of security agencies, politicians and members of the various arms of the judiciary to achieve one interest or the other at the expense of Lagos tax payers. Tinubu in particular is the number one landlord in Lagos and has turned Lagos land worth trillions of naira into his personal possession to be used freely or given away unaccounted for.
Even after he left office, Tinubu still continues to steal Lagos land under the watch of Fashola. He is still giving out Lagos land to curry political favours, signing C of O and backdating them to period he was in office. Gov. Fashola has photocopied Tinubu’s land grabbing style as he is also acquiring land for personal and political purposes.
These brazen acts of corruption by the duo have been with the active collaboration of select few public officers who have gotten obscenely wealthy at the expense of Lagos taxpayers. Most notable are Gbenga Ashafa-formerly executive secretary and now Permanent Secretary, Land’s Bureau since 2001; Mrs Awofisayo-formerly Permanent Secretary and now Special Adviser, New Town Development Authority (NTDA), and a relation of Bola Tinubu from Iragbiji, Osun state who has been in charge of NTDA since 1999; Hakeem Muri-Okunola-PA to former Gov Tinubu and now Executive Secretary, Land’s Bureau; Mrs Nike Animashaun-Director, Land Services and known to be close to Bola Tinubu and Tunji Olowolafe. These people are arguably the wealthiest unelected public servants ever in the history of Lagos state. They are major wheelers and dealers of prime land. We mentioned in our earlier publication that the Land’s Bureau at Alausa stinks of corruption.
We catalogue below a few brazen acts of stealing and corruption committed by both Fashola and Tinubu on the good tax payers of Lagos. For ease of reference, we categorize these acts into two parts: the direct theft of prime land and properties and the use of Lagos land and properties to buy favours or pay off public officials at various levels.
- A. Direct Theft of Lagos Land and Properties
Tinubu’s greed and primitive acquisition tendency knows no bound. In fact, it is believed that Lagos land personally converted by him is worth over N500 billion and growing because he hasn’t stopped. A few of them are listed below:
1. 4 Oyinkan Abayomi (formerly Queens) Drive, Ikoyi. A 5 bedroom detached house on 1 acre of Land, which was a Lagos State Governor’s guesthouse since 1979 now belongs to Bola Tinubu. The C of O was signed and released to him by Fashola in 2007 shortly after he assumed office. The property is valued at N450million
2. Tinubu’s residence at 26 Bourdillon road, Ikoyi was initially falsely presented as Oando Plc guest house. Later, he purportedly bought it from Oando, and used public fund to rebuild and renovate it. Recently, the Lagos state government bought the property and paid undisclosed sum to him and thereafter gave the property back to him under the bogus Pension Bill he signed to law shortly before he left office in 2007. The property is worth over N600 million
3. The annex of the Lagos State Guest House in Asokoro, Abuja was bought by the State Government in 2006 for N450million purportedly to protect the main house from security breach. Shortly after he left office, the property was transferred to him under the pension plan he signed into law before he left office.
4. The 250 hectare land valued at about N35 billion strategically located at the Ajah junction on Lekki Road which was initially meant for a General Hospital for the people of Eti-Osa local government was stolen by Tinubu and handed over to Trojan Estate Ltd- a company owned by Deji and Wale Tinubu to develop as Royal Garden housing estate at the expense of the tax payers of Lagos.
5. The 1,000 hectares of land valued at about N75billion located at Abijo at Ibeju-Lekki LG and given to LCC which is part owned by Tinubu and Fashola and being developed as golf course and housing estate by Assets and Resource Management Ltd (ARM) as ADIVA project
6. The prime land of 157 Hectares with 2.5km of Atlantic beachfront valued at about N10 billion and stolen by Tinubu from the communities of Siriwon, Igbekodo, Apakin, etc in Ibeju-Lekki LG and given to Ibukun Fakeye-his crony to build a golf course and luxury villa with little or no compensation to the villagers. In addition, Tinubu paid $20 million (N3billion) out of public treasury to Ibukun Fakeye to commence the project in late 2006. Fashola has since released additional funding for this project, which is not owned by the state government.
7. The 1-Acre Parkview Ikoyi Estate foreshore land valued at N1 billion reclaimed by Lagos State Government is now owned by Bola Tinubu.
8. While in office, he allocated to himself the former Strabag yard beside the Lagos state secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja.
9. Also the choice property at Lekki-Epe road on which he built and owns the multi-billion naira Oriental Hotel and the extension of multi-storey car park beside it. Also the multi-level recreation centre by Mobil in Oniru Estate on Lekki-Epe road jointly owned with ARM and Tunji Olowolafe. All these assets valued at over N25billion were obtained without paying a kobo to the Lagos State Government.
10. Tinubu and Fashola sold the following prime Lagos properties to their personal friend and front-Prince Dipo Eludoyin at very ridiculous prices:
- The 3.8 hectares of land of Lagos State Fisheries office in VI (beside the Institute of Oceanography ) valued at N3 billion
- The Fishery landing jetty at Badore (where the Ilubirin fishermen were to be relocated) valued at N500 million
- The entire Ogudu foreshore scheme initially earmarked for low cost housing scheme valued at N5 billion.
- The Ilubinrin housing estate (which used to house Lagos state civil servants and judges up till 2007) valued at N2.5 billion.
- The former Julius Berger yard at Oko Orisan, Epe valued at N450 million
11. Tinubu raised a loan of N4.7billion on Eko Akete Project for which nothing was achieved before he turned around to sell the property to his Chagouri friends of C & C and Hitech Construction Ltd at ridiculously low price at the expense of the taxpayers of Lagos.
12. Tinubu expended over N5billion of Lagos tax payers’ money on the bar beach shore line project and no further work has been done by the concessionaire to develop the Atlantic City project which was claimed to have been over-subscribed. We suspect the N5billion will soon become a complete waste given the temporary nature of the shoreline protection. The Federal Government in 2005 offered to handle this project at no cost to Lagos but Tinubu refused because of his personal interest and greed.
13. Tinubu applied to personally purchase the Federal Secretariat building while in office. When he couldn’t get to buy it, he directed Fashola to stop the eventual owner of the complex to develop it. The complex is presently wasting away courtesy of the Lagos State Government.
14. It took several months of horse-trading and underhand payments before Gov Fashola could allow the new owners of 1004 flats to redevelop the complex.
15. Several other buyers of Federal Government properties and developers of properties in Ikoyi, VI and GRA Ikeja were forced to succumb to the outrageous demands of Tinubu, Fashola, Commissioner Abosede and other officials of the Lagos State Physical Planning Ministry and were made to pay ridiculous amounts to private accounts before their redevelopments were approved. Those who refused or are unable to pay could not develop their properties. This is a major economic strangulation of property developers and has contributed largely to the sky rocketing rent in Ikoyi, VI and Lekki axis.
16. Tinubu converted all the plots of land where Lagos Polytechnic was located at Ikosi near the old toll gate. He chased away the polytechnic in 2006 and went ahead to locate the choice plots to himself, his cronies and political associates. The headquarter of Television Continental (TVC) which is owned by him is located there. He deprived the youths of Lagos of decent education because of his greed.
17. Tinubu single handedly sold the prime land on Aboyade Cole, VI that was recovered from some allottees, to UACN Properties Plc. The amount of proceeds was shrouded in secrecy
B. Use of Land and Properties to buy favours from public officials
This is an act of using Lagos prime land to buy favours and corrupt public officials. This act was perfected by Bola Tinubu as governor and now inherited by Gov Fashola:
- Several prominent Nigerians in the judiciary, police, INEC, and other sensitive agencies have obtained prime land from former Gov Tinubu and Gov Fashola over the years without paying a kobo. Many of them had turned around to sell the land to third parties at substantial profit.
- Many top officials in the police, INEC and the judiciary who participated in the 2003 and 2007 elections and tribunals in states where Tinubu has interest were compromised with parcels of free prime Lagos land and cash. If the Lagos State Land ’s Bureau could publish the names and identities of beneficiaries of land allotees from year 2000 to date, the scandal that will result is better imagined. Gbenga Ashafa and Mrs Awofisayo are the conduit through which these acts are being perpetuated. Both are also personally involved in various dubious land transactions on their own.
- Prime land and properties have been used to pay off public officials who are personally close to Tinubu and Fashola for ‘job well done’ or for being privy to sensitive information:
(a) Dele Alake, former commissioner for Information and Strategy was sold a whole house on Alexander road, ikoyi where he lived as official quarters at a giveaway price.
(b) Rauf Aregbesola, AC Osun State governorship candidate and former commissioner and Muiz Banire, still a serving commissioner got detached houses at Ladoke Akintola st, GRA Ikeja for the “good job” while serving under Tinubu.
(c) Yemi Cardoso and Wale Edun both former commissioners were sold houses on Iru close, and other location in old Ikoyi at giveaway prices by Tinubu. The list is endless.
- Gov Fashola was Tinubu’s Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2007. He was a part of these scams running errands for his boss to perpetuate these corrupt acts. He has since taken over as governor and has continued with these acts
- Gov Fashola in the wake of the petition against him presented by “The True Face of Lagos” to the House of Assembly has succeeded in buying his way out of trouble temporarily by bribing each of the 40 members with cash and prime state land at Abijo GRA off Lekki-Epe road. In addition, he bought a N40million bullet proof jeep for the speaker in a desperate bid to ward off investigation by the assembly.
These corrupt acts have deprived the taxpayers of Lagos billions in revenue, which could have been used for public projects. Indeed, the prime land stolen from the Lekki axis is enough to build the Lekki-Epe road without burdening residents and other taxpayers with a 30-year concessional toll road.
Tinubu recently came out with a full page advertorial in several newspapers to deny allegations against him that he influenced the President of the Court of Appeal on the on-going Sokoto State governorship case. We call on him and Gov. Fashola and all those whose names are mentioned in this publication to come out and deny or explain these allegations against them. The public would no longer take their silence as ‘golden’
We wonder why Lagosians, particularly the educated elites stand by while these men are depriving the good taxpayers of Lagos. Recently, in Delta state, eminent Deltans led by Chief Edwin Clark wrote a petition to EFCC on the various acts of corruption of former Gov Ibori, which caused the EFCC to make another move to charge him to court again.
Where are the elders of Lagos? Where are the elders of Island club, Yoruba Tennis club, The Metropolitan club, Lagos Lawn Tennis club, Eko club, The Association of Lagos Indigenes, Oriwu club, and a host of others? Where are the popular commentators on corruption?
Where are the human rights activists? Where are the NBA and the NLC? Where are the vibrant civil society groups? Where is the powerful and vibrant Lagos media? Where are the social crusaders? Where are the religious leaders? Where are the traditional rulers, the kabiyesis and chiefs particularly in the Lekki-Epe axis whose ancestral lands have been stolen and who have been deprived of their means of livelihood?
Why is there a conspiracy of silence by those known to be dogged fighters of corruption? Why are they watching as these men fritter away our collective wealth meant for future generation and us?
We should not expect any protection from the House of Assembly whose Speaker recently advised the group ‘The True Face of Lagos’ that leveled allegations of corruption against Gov Fashola to confront him with these allegations. What manner of Speaker?
We Lagosians should take charge of our own destiny. Let us join hands in the collective effort to call on the anti-corruption agencies, and in particular the EFCC, to act now and move into the Land’s Bureau and the State’s Treasury Office at Alausa to conduct a thorough investigation on Land matters from year 2000 to date. We assure the public that if this is done transparently, it might be possible to recover trillions of naira stolen from the tax payers of Lagos.
The Lagos Progressives is determined to continue to expose corruption and abuse of office prevalent in Lagos state. We have done three previous publications and have called upon the EFCC and ICPC to act and we hope this fourth publication will trigger the necessary actions from these agencies.
We thank the numerous members of the public who have responded with mails of commendations, moral and financial support. We want more of this from you and feel free to contact us by email lagosprogre[email protected]. And those who think they can intimidate us with their scare tactics, they have failed woefully .
We make bold to say that our organization will not relent in our efforts to expose corruption in Lagos State Government and we still have many more releases for members of the public in the coming weeks. Please watch out for part 5 soon
MR GBENGA THOMAS WALE ONILE- ERE
THE LAGOS PROGRESSIVES THE LAGOS PROGRESSIVES
TEL: 07065443358 TEL: 08088662074
Email: [email protected]