Reps query FRCN, VON bosses over property sale, lease

An Ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives, has queried Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria FRCN, Mansur Liman, and his Voice of Nigeria (VON) counterpart, Osita Okechukwu, over the reported sale and lease of government property in parts of the country.

Chairman of the committee set up by the House to investigate the status of federal government’s abandoned properties, Hon. Ademorin Kuye, and other members of the probe panel at an investigative hearing on Monday grilled the heads of the two government agencies on the reports to the committee on the sale of some property of the agencies.

The chairman recalled that the adhoc committee, had through letters to the Special Presidential Inveatigative Committee on sale of abandoned property in March 2020, requested from FRCN and VON, documents on the sale as well as details on the processes and proceeds from the said transactions.

Information available to the committee suggested that some of the property alleged to have been sold or leased by the broadcast organisations include Lagos Zonal Office of the FRCN, 30 hectres of land in Kano, and a land at No 3 Savage Crescent, GRA Enugu which was said to be under litigation.

However, the FRCN DG in his presentation before the ad-hoc committee said the agency bought the Lagos property in 2010 from the Special Presidential Committee on abandoned properties, and later sold it to Seaman Tech Co Ltd Idumota, Lagos before it was gutted by fire, adding that he made inquiries on the property and it was confirmed that the Special Presidential Committee on Abandoned Property had sold the property.

“I made inquiries at the CAC and some names came up. I showed the documents to the honourable Minisiter and he said that it is a government building and further said he ‘ll take it up at the Federal Executive Council”, he said, noting that there was also no plan to sell the Kano property, which he further disclosed had no insurance cover. The about 30 hectare property was reported to have been partitioned and sold to estate developers by yet to be named persons.

On the Enugu property of the agency, it was said to have been been leased out at N20 million per annum to Innoson Technical Co Ltd and a memorandum of understanding signed by the Minister with the leasee, but that before the the leaseholder could put up any structure, it was demolished, leading to a legal action against the FRCN.

The panel’s Chairman who later constituted a three-man sub committee to inspect some of these property also demanded the valuation report, mandate extract, evidence of remittances to the federation account from the sale and all the documents relating to sales and lease surrounding the properties in question.