– The Sun News

Govs Forum, ex-minister clash over Abuja building

Fred Itua, Abuja

The entrance gate of a building housing the law firm of a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Chuka Odom, located at No 49, Lake Chad Crescent in Maitama, was on Thursday night, brought down by workers allegedly acting on the instruction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

The twin duplex which serves as the law offices of the former minister, also host other businesses run by his wife.

But the Director-General of the Forum, Mr. Asishana Bayo Okauru, has however dismissed the claims. Instead, he explained that the gate was not brought down as being rumoured.

He explained that the occupants of the building were aware of the development before the gate was brought down. He said the Forum needed to pull it down so as to replace it.

The former minister, while taking our correspondent round the building, said two power generators were vandalised by the suspected when the workers came into the building.

 

When Daily Sun visited the building at about 6.30pm last on Thursday night, security men stationed at the gate were not on ground.

Investigations by Saturday Sun showed that the Forum purportedly bought the said building from the owner. But the former minister said there is an existence of an agreement of lease.

According to documents seen by Saturday Sun, the ten-year rent is expected to expire on the 30th of May, 2020.

According to the documents, the complex was leased to the former minister in 2010. It was gathered that the owner of the complex, sold it to the Forum, who it was gathered, was aware of the existing agreement and had agreed to resolve the issue.

Speaking to Saturday Sun, Mr. Odom condemned the what transpired. He said it is shocking that people who should lead by examples have become law breakers.

“They are supposed to be custodians is law and due process. I rented this property and spent almost N86 million to remodel it for my use. That is why I took the long lease. Without any thought about my investment and my rights as a Nigerian, agents of the Forum invaded my premises without any justification,” he told Saturday Sun.

On his part, Mr Okauru, said the former minister was in the know and was duly informed about plans to replace the gate and commence work on another project within the compound.

The said the claims made by the former minister were done to paint the Forum in a bad light and whip up sentiments. He, however, promised that the issues will be resolved.

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