Audit Report Reveals 71% of Abia State Land Allottees Under Ikpeazu Administration Got Land Verbal Expression


An audit report by KPMG International Nigeria Limited, commissioned by Governor Alex Otti, has exposed that 71% of land allottees during Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration acquired land merely by verbally expressing interest to government officials.

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This action, the report states, violated Section 2 of Nigeria’s Land Use Act of 1978.

The report, titled “Final Report: Provision of Process Review Services to Abia State Government,” covers the period from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023. It highlights that out of 91 land allotments, 65 allottees did not submit formal applications, contrary to legal requirements.

According to the Land Use Act, governors are mandated to establish a Land Use and Allocation Committee, responsible for administering lands and advising on land matters. However, this committee was not set up during Governor Ikpeazu’s tenure, leaving land administration under the control of the commissioner, permanent secretary, and director of lands, which the report identifies as a breach of the law.

The report further criticizes the Ministry of Lands for lacking a documented policy on land allocation, leading to inconsistent practices and the disregard of established procedures. It notes instances where allottees were issued allocation offers without fulfilling basic application requirements such as written applications, application fees, passport photographs, and tax clearance certificates.

In response to the report, Onyechuchi Ememanka, spokesperson for Governor Ikpeazu, disputed its findings, clarifying that KPMG conducted a process review rather than a forensic audit. He emphasized that KPMG acknowledged gaps in the information provided to them and described the report as inconclusive.

Ememanka suggested that further inquiry is necessary, implying that essential documents and information, including application letters for land allocation, might not have been adequately presented to KPMG during their review.

The audit report recommends a thorough review of all ongoing land applications in Abia State to ensure compliance with stipulated requirements before any further allocations are made.

Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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