Investment scandal Rocks FCTA as pioneer owners of FCT Park & Pay project demands justice from Tinubu, Wike
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the newly appointed Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike has been advised to beam a searchlight on the activities of some of the top official of the Federal Capital Territory if they are still desirous in attracting Nigerians in Diaspora to invest in the country particularly in the Capital Territory.
This was the assertion of two aggrieved Nigerians, Otumba Olusegun Olarewanju, CEO platinum parking management, and Iliyasu Abdu, the MD/CEO Integrated Parking Managers who claimed to be the owners and initiators of the recently reintroduced Abuja Park and pay project but were unceremoniously pushed aside in the new arrangement by the Adesola Olusade led leadership of the Federal Capital Territory.
Our correspondent was reliably informed that the immediate past Minister had advised the Permanent Secretary when he was handing over to ensure that the two pioneer companies be given first right of refusal to avoid injustice before awarding the project in order not to exhibit the attitude of impunity thereby causing further anarchy.
But no sooner had the former minister handed over to the Permanent Secretary and his senior civil servant colleagues, they took advantage and was said to have quickly rushed to bring their proxies to snatch the idea and concepts of the original initiators who deserve first right of refusal.
Recall also that there is still a subsisting court judgment mandating FCTA to pay the damage as penalty for illegally truncating the two companies that suffered severe lost of fund due to the abrupt disengagement of the two companies.
Meanwhile, narrating their ordeal in the hands of these top FCTA officials they explained how they were brought back to the country by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, and how they put all the structure for the On- street parking management in place.
“At the onset of democracy in 1999, the then President Olusegun Obasanjor invited people in Diaspora when we tried to romance with his government. He said we should come back home, bring all our ideas, and come and invest in the country. This gingered us to come back home, and looking at the esthetics, the design, and the road network of Abuja, we came on board that we could do ‘On street Parking management’ on the streets of Abuja in other to generate revenue for the FCT and also to create massive employment for the teaming youths of Nigeria. And we also had it in mind that one day the influx of vehicular movement in Abuja city will be uncontrollable. So, in other to have a plan in place was what necessitated us coming up with ‘On street parking’ project in the street of Abuja.
“And we came with everything, we came with all our technical partners, we set it up, we did everything, and we tendered for the project. The FCT Minister later set up a technical committee to look into the proposal and here we are, we signed an agreement with them in 2010. When we started we put the entire infrastructure in place, all the street infrastructure we put in place, synergies or what have you. We did all the line marking in all the roads of Abuja. I and my PPMS went back abroad and brought technical partners to set up all these infrastructures. We engaged thousands of Nigerians. My company engaged over four hundred and fifty of direct and indirect labour to start the project, same with my friend. We brought state-of-the-art applications to manage the projects and start setting everything up, until one day we saw two companies that took over the street of Abuja saying the Minister said they should drive us away from the streets.
“And then these people took over the streets, and then mayhem started; chaos, and pandemonium on the streets of Abuja. This was what led to Justice Peter Afe to place a suspension on the project abi nitio, because people sued us to court, they sued one of the illegal operators in court. And when they suspended us they told FCT to go and get a proper traffic law to support the project," Otumba Olarewanju said.
On what really is their demand from the Federal Capital Territory Authorities leadership, the second partner, Iliyasu said, “Our demand is that first and foremost our original spots, which mine was zone A should be given back to me while PPMS is their zone B. Our next demand is that our arbitration judiciary award should be paid because we have debtors on our neck, most of the money we used in rolling out; this is almost ten years now. The money has not been serviced, debtors are on our neck. So, we needed money to pay them, and the remaining one we can reinvest back on the street of Abuja.
“This is because as pioneers, and in the agreement we had with FCDA we have the right of first refusal. It’s in the agreement, and that agreement has been certified by a court of competent jurisdiction, so our agreement is valid and subsisting and anything contrary to that is against the law. And number two, the arbitrary award is a legal thing that nobody can wish away except the court of competent jurisdiction. Since they have gone to the High Court, the high court could not set it aside; the Court of Appeal court did not set it aside, and even the Supreme Court will not set it aside because arbitration has a time limit. If you cannot do anything within those ninety days that means it’s only God that can intervene,” he stated.