The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, yesterday told an Abuja High Court that Zainab, daughter of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, allegedly forged several documents to lay claim to ownership of a disputed plot of land in Abuja. Bello further stated that there was nothing to show that Zainab ever applied for land in the FCT or made any payment officially or otherwise to the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to enable her entitle to own any land in Abuja. In a joint statement of defence to a legal action instituted by Zainab on the ownership of plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, the minister and FCDA, who are 3rd and 4th defendants, in the suit denied ever allocating any plot of land to the plaintiff.
In the defence statement dated September 21, 2021 and filed on their behalf by their counsel, Yakubu Abubakar, the minister and FCDA informed the court that Zainab claimed ownership of the plot of the land through a Power of Attorney which the donor, one Haliru Malami, later disowned as purported seller. Zainab through her company, Marumza Estate Development Company Limited, had sued Itban Global Resources Limited Haliru Malami, Bello and the FCDA laying claim to ownership of plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District, Abuja, having allegedly purchased the land from the FCDA through Itban Global Resources and Malami.
However, in their statement of defence, the 3rd and 4th respondents averred that before filing the court case, Zainab had allegedly given conflicting accounts of how the land was acquired through a former Minister of the FCT as well as acquisition by way of purchase from the 1st defendant. They stated that the 1st defendant, who allegedly sold the land, issued a letter on March 4, 2021, denying ever selling the land and ever issuing Power of Attorney to the plaintiff. They further argued that there was nothing in the records of their Department of Land Administration and the Abuja Geographic Information System indicating that the plaintiff paid any money, whether official or otherwise in respect of the land, adding that their review of events revealed that the registration of the purported Power of Attorney was irregular.