David Mark Sues FG Over Attempt to Recover Senate President’s Lodge Illegally Purchased for N673m
Former senate president, David Mark, is presently locking horns with the federal government which has accused him of illegally acquiring his official residence as senate president for personal use.
The former senate president has presently filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to restrain the federal government from recovering the property in his possession.
Mark was in September issued a 21-day quit notice by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP) headed by Chief Okoi Obono-Obla. The notice also asked the former senate president to state reasons why the federal government should not “enforce the recovery of the property for public good.”
The property in dispute is located in Apo Legislative Quarters in Abuja and comprises 8 structures, made up of the main house, ADC/chief security detail’s house, guest chalet, security/generator house, boys quarters, security post, driver/servants’ quarters and chapel.
The sale of the property to Mark was reportedly approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan. The PSIRPP has however alleged that the property was excluded from the monetisation policy of the federal government and could not have been legally sold.
Copies of correspondences and other documents, leading to the purchase and eventual handover of the property to Mark in April, 2011, were also said to have shown that Mark purchased the property at a “reserved price” of N673,200,000 while Jonathan’s approval letter for the sale of the property put the open market value of the property at N748,000,000.
Mark, who presently represents the Benue south senatorial constituency at the National Assembly, in the suit filed by his lawyer, Ken Ikonne, and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1037/2017 insisted that he legally acquired the property through a “walk-in bid” at the behest of the FCTA.
He also described as unconstitutional the recovery process initiated by the federal government. According to the Punch, the Attorney General of the Federation and Obono-Obla are joined as respondents to the suit.
He stated in his suit that, “the defendants (AGF and Obono-Obla) unilaterally, and without affording me any hearing at all, and without any order of any court, declared my acquisition of the said property illegal, and ordered me to vacate the said property failing which the defendants would enforce the recovery of the property against me.”
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