As the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki resumes next week at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, ownership of one of the properties listed in a false asset declaration charge preferred against him at the tribunal would create a legal firework between the defence team and the prosecutor.
THISDAY checks showed that the said property, a newly refurbished storey building painted in cream colour, located on 42, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, alleged to belong to Saraki may actually be owned by Lagos State Government. THISDAY investigation reveals that some of the houses in the area are properties of the state government and are occupied by its staff.
When THISDAY visited the location of the property recently, findings revealed that the building was actually occupied by civil servants with the Lagos State Government.
During the visit, THISDAY sighted no fewer than 10 vehicles with private and official registration numbers parked inside the building, although THISDAY was not allowed to gain entrance into the building for thorough examination.
THISDAY also sighted a KIA Rio car branded and marked in the official colour and logo of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) inside the said property.
Even though he was not really persuaded about THISDAY’s mission, one of the people in the premises agreed to call out one of the occupants, whom he said, could provide answers to our inquiries.
Speaking with THISDAY, a dark complexioned occupant, who refused to provide his identity, acknowledged that the property belonged to Lagos State government.
He added that all occupants of the building “are public servants of Lagos State. Each flat in the building was officially allocated to the occupants. So, this place belongs to the Government of Lagos State and not to any other person.”
To further confirm veracity of the residents’ claim, THISDAY contacted the Ministry of Housing and Social Amenities, but the efforts were fruitless as officials contacted said they could only provide details until after going through their records. Attempt to also get direct confirmation from the Commissioner for Housing and Social Amenities, Hon. Gbolahan Lawal, was also not fruitful as he could not respond to THISDAY enquiries at the time of going to press.