Thursday, August 27

Buhari investigates Centenary City fraud allegations

Amidst allegations of underhand dealings in the Centenary City project, President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday meet members of the board of the Centenary City Plc.

A former military Head of State, who is the chairman of the board, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (retd.), would be leading the members to the meeting.

The Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bukar, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Thursday after leading others to brief Buhari on the office's activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting is coming at a time the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party for South-South, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, petitioned the President, demanding a probe of the role of the immediate former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, in the multi-billion Dollar project.
Ojougboh claimed he had reasons to believe that the former SGF may have connived with the sponsors of the project covering over 1,500 hectares of land in the Federal Capital City Abuja to perpetrate fraud.

He lamented that the free trade zone status granted to the centenary city project is a colossal loss of revenue to the country, adding that the land whose size is equal to Maitama, Asokoro and Guzape districts put together did not meet the criteria of a free trade zone as was being ascribed.

He also accused Anyim of deceiving the Nigerian people that the centenary was a synergy between the Federal Government and the organised private sector.

The former SGF, in denying the allegations, had since dragged Ojougboh to court.

Bukar however expressed the belief that the issue would be handled at the Friday meeting with the President. 

He said, "Mr. President has graciously granted an audience to the governing board and the management of the Centenary City tomorrow (Friday) at 12noon.

"The board is led by Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, who is the chairman of the governing board of the Centenary City Plc, and I know that they applied to come and see the President and he graciously accepted to listen to them.

"Thereafter, I hope those involved in the management of the city will be able to give you information or full facts on the city."

Bukar told reporters that although he would not want to comment on issues that were before a court, he knew that government money was not put into the Centenary City project. 

He said the project was completely private sector driven.

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