The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Code of Conduct Bureau and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate and prosecute former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, and other promoters of the Centenary City, Abuja, for their roles in the acquisition of land for the controversial project.
This decision was adopted in the floor of the House after the Committee on FCT, which investigated the controversies and alleged irregularities surrounding the project, delivered its report.
According to Herman Hembe, chairman, and Mukhtar Kusari, clerk of House Committee on FCT’s report, Anyim Pius Anyim, former secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and Bala Mohammed, former FCT minister, were recommended for prosecution by relevant agencies over alleged breach of extant laws on Public Procurement Act and Presidential directive on multi-billion naira Centenary City project.
Others recommended for prosecution alongside Mr. Anyim are former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, as well as Paul Oki and Boma Ozobia, who are the directors of Centenary City Plc.
The House also resolved that the company’s right of occupancy should be revoked by the current Minister of FCT, the land returned to the original owners and public funds spent on the project be returned to government coffers.
The project was valued for $18.3 billion and was supposed to be strictly a private enterprise, but the committee discovered that the agreement was breached to suit personal interests.
The committee recommended that the statutory rights of occupancy and certificate of occupancy granted by the past administration to Centenary City PLC be withdrawn by the FCT Minister and same be restored back to the original owners.
The Centenary City Project was embarked upon by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2014 to mark 100 years of the amalgamation of Nigeria.
Ironically, the Centenary city project is one of the few projects of the past administration that was endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This city is to occupy a 1,267 hectare of land located along the airport road and is supposed to showcase Abuja as a modern city.
Anyim, who was also a President of the Senate, had initiated the project, a modern city covering 1,267 hectares of public land, under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The House Committee on FCT is investigating alleged “irregularities surrounding the centenary city project.”