‘Reason army took over Jonathan’s cousin’s firm’
Soldiers took over a construction firm belonging to former President Jonathan’s cousin because it posed a security risk to Lungi Barracks in Maitama District, Abuja. Proximity to the military facility was considered a risk because blasts took place in the premises of Kakatar Construction Limited, belonging to Azibaola Robert, who has been in and out of detention for alleged financial crimes.
Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, did not pick his calls yesterday evening. He did not reply either to an SMS inquiry.A source, however, said: “Unknown to many Abuja residents, the barracks is home to sensitive military hardware, and this was bound to happen because we were not comfortable with locating a construction company that close to us. Anything can happen. So, we decided to take preemptive action, to forestall a future disaster, like the type that took place in Lagos, years ago, which led to the death of many innocent persons. It has nothing to do with the former Commander-in-Chief.”
Azibaola was taken to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his company for allegedly collecting a $40 million security contract from the office of former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki.He is on bail and was not available for comments.
The controversial piece of land was given to Kakatar Construction Limited by the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) for use in the provision of engineering and other services for the Maitama District Extension.
The soldiers, according to workers of the company, stormed the premises Friday night and sent staff packing with no official reason given for the take over.Spokesman for the firm, Mr. Austin Ekeinde, confirmed the development, saying: “Armed military men have suddenly taken over our site in Maitama and we have asked our workers to go to their respective homes till further notice, while we try to get clarification from the military on their provocative action. This action has led to huge loss, as even the asphalt we prepared overnight for laying this morning has been allowed to cake and waste.”Prominent Nigerians, including principal officers of the National Assembly, are said to own plots in the area.