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779 views | Kenechukwu Ofomah | June 25, 2021
Awka – Anambra State Government under Governor Willie Obiano has denied allegations that it has sold off all Property belonging to the state, located in Enugu.
In 1991, following the creation of the new Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi States out of the Old Anambra State, Anambra inherited assets in form of five properties in Enugu, Enugu State Capital.
Recently, the social media has been awash with reports claiming that the assets the state inherited, have been secretly sold to individuals by Governor Obiano.
On Tuesday, a delegation from Anambra state Government had embarked on a fact-finding visit to some of the properties located at Plot 650 (M23) and No. 3 Upper Presidential Road, Independence Layout, Enugu State.
Briefing TNC correspondent on Thursday in Awka, the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barr Chike Maduekwe said the visit was following reports of encroachment on the properties of the state government.
According to him, three out of the five properties received by the state government had no problems while two others being used earlier with the approval of the state government by the Court of Appeal Judges and Project Development Agency, PRODA, have been encroached on.
“One of those properties in Independence layout, the former Anambra State administration allowed Court of Appeal judges to use the property and to the best of our knowledge, they did not sell the property. However, when the judges left, recently we got information that some people were making substantial alterations, building and renovating the building and you can’t renovate somebody’s property without their approval.
“The other property, formerly occupied by PRODA, over 30,000 square metres, some very senior government officials in the Federation, have started to rebuild. Our lawyer has been writing to PRODA, asking them to give us a vacant possession since they have officially moved to Emene in Enugu. But what we discovered was that some senior PRODA officials probably without the knowledge of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, have been letting out the property and collecting rent without considering the interest of the Anambra Government who owns it. So our visit was to secure the interest of Anambra State Government in its properties that it got when the properties of the Old Anambra State was shared,” he said.
Maduekwe revealed that the State Government has been serving the occupants of the properties notices but they have remained adamant except for the Court of Appeal occupants who he acknowledged, has initiated some forms of communication with the state government.
“Our lawyer has given them notice and at the expiration, we will evict them from the place and we take back our property. As soon as Governor Willie Obiano learned of the challenges, he engaged the state legal team to commence action on serving the occupants. The court of appeal occupants have started responding but that of PRODA is being problematic,” he explained.
The ANSPPB Boss while maintaining that the present administration has not sold any of the state assets in Enugu, cleared that what the Obiano administration is actually doing is to identify and document all the properties of the state everywhere so that successive governments can get benefits due from them.
Maduekwe said “What was being spread on the social media is a wicked propaganda but the truth is that Obiano did not sell any of the properties belonging to Anambra State. They were just left there since. Nobody has sold any property and if any was sold, we will find out because we are talking with the Court of Appeal. If the property was sold to them by a previous government, they will tell us and we will know why such prime property would be sold and no documentation done for records.”
Maduekwe, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Obiano, also debunked rumours that the State Government took war to Enugu, explaining that the Enugu State Government was duly informed of the visit and has also expressed willingness to help the Anambra reclaim its properties.