N1bn scam rocks Yobe 2600 housing scheme, as residents, land owners threaten EFCC, ICPC on complicity

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Yobe Governor, Mai-Mala Buni

A group of aggrieved residents and land owners in Yobe State have threatened to institute a legal action to compel both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate, arrest and prosecute officials of the public housing finance company, Family Home and Fund (FHF) Ltd, for alleged misappropriation of compensation funds approved by the State Government.

This was disclosed by hundreds of affected land owners who converged on Friday on Damaturu, Yobe State, led by Mallam Abubakar Tebo, alleging that they were denied of their compensation from the approved total sum of N1 billion allocated by Governor Mai-Mala Buni’s administration to pay off land owners whose lands were affected due to construction of about 2600 housing units across the state.

Tebo praised the Yobe State government for the housing projects intended to make workers in the state house owners but said that “officials of the FHF Ltd., denied us, the land owners of the compensation that followed the loss of our landed property to this laudable projects. This is mischievous and it is unacceptable. FHF Ltd must pay us our compensation in full.

“The payment was allegedly withdrawn instead of immediate commencement of payment to rightful owners of the plots with valid and verified documents.

“All the exercises to ascertain smooth reimbursement were carried out and the State Governor, Mallam Buni, did the needful by approving the sum of N1billion for our compensation.

“We see this as rude denial for no reason. This sum of money is meant to be for resettlement for our lost land. Some of us lost their loved ones, while unable to fund medical bills due to denial of our settlement.

“Some of us planned to use the proceeds to re-establish ourselves in other businesses while others are struggling to get the money from the disposed land and channel the proceed to give their children to marriage but FHF Ltd, allegedly sat on our money while we are dying in silent,” he said.

Tebo urged the EFCC, ICPC and DSS to, as a matter of urgency, investigate the case and punish those behind the alleged misappropriation of funds for the settlement of the affected land owners in Yobe State.

He threatened to institute legal actions to compel the anti-graft agencies on the matter to do the needful by investigating and prosecuting the officials of the FHF Limited.

“You will recall that Governor Mai-Mala Buni of Yobe State in 2019, signed a whopping sum of N10.8bn in agreement with Family Home Fund (FHF) Ltd, a public housing finance company, to build houses, comprising two and three-bedroom bungalows, within 18 months in seven locations around the 17 Local Government Areas of the state; a sum of N1billion out of this sum was meant to compensate owners of the affected plots of land on which these buildings were constructed,” he stated.

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