Land Racketeering: What FCTA Should Do

The authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), have been offered a way out of perpetual land racketeering especially at the area council level; mapping and quick issuance of certificate of occupancy.

An Abuja-based lawyer and estate manager, Mr. Nweke Chukwudi, made this known in an interview with our correspondent.

Chukwudi, who was the pioneer first vice chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Unity Bar, Bwari, fingered area council officials as the worst culprits in double allocations.

“Area council officials are to be feared when it comes to land racketeering and double allocations. Some of them have area council allocation papers in their possession long even after they have retired. Because they know that some of the lands people acquire are for future development, after legitimately allocating them, they wait after a year or two and resell the same land to other people,” Chukwudi alleged.

According to him, as a result of the double dealings of council land officials, estate and land speculators like him have fallen victims to accusations and defamation, which he said was regrettable.

“I can tell you that I am a victim of the dubious nature of some council land officials. You are certain that you have legitimately bought a piece of land and you take possession, then sell this land to someone else only for some other persons to show up that the land belongs to them.

“In the process, the person who bought from me will turn round to accuse one of working shadily and this is unfortunate.

“What I think the FCTA should do is to have correct mapping of all area councils land especially in Bwari Area Council where double allocation is pervasive. After the mapping, they should be a process of speedy presentation of certificate of occupancy. I do not know once an individual has certificate of occupancy how the criminal gang can manufacture one for their evil enterprise.

“Besides that government should make an example of these officials engaged in land racketeering and double allocations. I cannot recall how many of these persons have been arrested, tried and jailed,” the lawyer turned estate consultant said.

While commending the Abuja authorities for the technological update of the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) the agency responsible for land documentation in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, he said it was also important to have sub offices at the area councils so as to grant access to more people.