PSC Debunks ICIR Publications On Shady Land Sale Of Designated Police Barracks

…… Publication seeks to project a false narrative – Arase

The Police Service Commission said the attention of Dr Solomon Arase has been drawn to a publication which was packaged and published on the online platform of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) on 17th February 2024.

In a statement on Wednesday, 21st February 2024 signed by the PSC Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, said that while the initial inclination was to ignore the spurious publication to deny the misguided authors and the elements they might be representing the undue attention they were, perhaps, seeking to attract, the depth of the misinformation, maligning content and hatchet man job they seek to project and the overriding consideration of the need to continually protect Dr. Arase’s hard-earned public service reputation and integrity, make it expedient that the records be set straight.

The statement read, “The publication essentially seeks to project a false narrative indicating that in his then capacity as the Inspector-General of Police between 2015-2016, that he drew pecuniary benefits as reward for ‘selling’ police barracks at Mbora District, Abuja.

“For the avoidance of doubts, at no point in his service as Inspector-General of Police was he involved in any form of corruption about the project referenced or in broad public service engagements, including his post-retirement national assignment. Similarly, at no time in his service record did he sell any police barracks at Mbora District or any other location across the country as being falsely and maliciously alleged.

“In setting the records straight, a core agenda of his leadership as Inspector-General of Police was to address the welfare needs of serving police officers through the emplacement of frameworks that will engender the delivery of modes, low-cost, and affordable housing schemes to all cadres of police personnel. In furtherance to this, the idea was conceived for the establishment of the Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company Ltd. (NPFPDCCL) with the mandate of addressing one of the main welfare challenges of the Police (housing needs) and revamping the existing dilapidated barracks/staff quarters.

“From inception, NPFPDCCL had embarked on several development projects some of which include the development of the following housing schemes, all completed within the space of six (6) months under his leadership:

Construction of 100 units of housing estate including infrastructure at Enugu, Enugu State.
Construction of 64-unit housing estate including infrastructure at Yola, Adamawa State.
Construction of 136 units of housing estate including infrastructure at Katsina, Katsina State. Construction of 100 units of housing estate including infrastructure at Benin, Edo State.

“Over time, the NPFPDCCL embarked on other Joint Venture partnerships in housing estate developments, one of which is the Police Housing Estate for Police Officers situated on Police land at Mbora District, Abuja.

“Summary points to note regarding the subject -Police Housing Scheme under consideration as follows:

“A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for affordable housing development, prepared by AIG Igbodo David (Rtd), was signed between the Nigeria Police Force and Messrs Corpran International Limited, dated 27th July 2015. The NPF was represented in the signed MOU by DIG Mamman I. Tsafe (Rtd) and DIG Chintua Amajor-Onu, (Rtd and Late).

“The subject Police property situated at Plot 1848 Zone C 06 Mbora District FCT Abuja, measures 2.13 Hectares and is unencumbered.

“The Police Housing Scheme solely designed, funded, insured, and managed by Messrs Corpran International Limited, comprises of 52 Housing units of various categories; 50% meant to be discounted for Police Officers and 50% at a determined rate for the public on lease for 99 years.

“The Police Housing Scheme includes perimeter block wall fence with gate/gate-house, comprehensive infrastructural development (internal circulation, electricity, drainages, etc), recreational areas, and provision of urban neighbourhood facilities/services/utilities (water, health, security, etc).

“Mortgage financing for subscribing Police Officers for the owner-occupier housing option. The project was jointly supervised by professionals drawn from the Nigeria Police to ensure compliance with Development Control and building regulatory specifications and standards. The Police Housing Scheme in the subject location was completed within 7 (Seven) months duration as agreed in the MOU by both parties. It was commissioned by the then IGP Idris Kpotum NPM (Rtd).

“In the course of the relationship between Messrs Corpran International Limited and his then-lawyer, Barrister Francis Mgboh, a dispute ensued in respect of the subject Police estate. Mr. Andy Chime, the MD/CEO of Corpran International Limited was said to have offered a unit of the terraced houses to Barrister Francis Mgboh at subject Police Housing estate. Barrister Francis Mgboh reneged on full payment for allocated property as agreed, rather he mischievously engaged in circumventing and double-dealing to swindle Mr Andy Chime through court cases he instituted. This was the premise upon which Mr Andy Chime sued Barrister Francis Mgboh in court.

“Barr. Francis Mgboh has written baseless petitions on subject matter to sensitive quarters mentioning names of public personalities that had nothing to do with the subject matter.
“Premised on the foregoing, it is noted that:

“NPF had an MOU with Messrs Corpran International Limited and not Barrister Francis Mgboh. The terms and obligations of the subsisting MOU between the NPF and Messrs Corpran International Limited have not been violated in any way and by whatever means whatsoever. The project is a Joint Venture initiative which has been since completed, and commissioned, and the units were acquired at a highly subsidized rate and are currently occupied by both serving and some retired police officers.

“At no point in the project perfection process did Dr Arase seek nor obtain any form of reward as being maliciously and falsely projected by ICIR or their paymasters.

“In furtherance to his dispute with Messrs Corpran International Limited, it is clear that Barrister Francis Mgboh is attempting to drag credible personalities to discredit all principal actors in the project by undertaking smearing campaigns against such responsible personalities and corporate entities involved in the perfection of the well-intentioned project. It is clear that ICIR has wittingly or unwittingly, become a tool in the advancement of this smear campaign.

“IGP Arase (rtd), therefore, finds the unholy alliance between ICIR and Barrister Francis Mgboh in engaging the ICIR platform and the cyberspace to malign his personality and taint his hard-earned public service reputation in the manner conveyed in the publication under reference as irresponsible, intolerable, ill-intentioned and in bad faith.

“In issuing this rebuttal, Dr Arase has also briefed his lawyers to initiate requisite civil actions against ICIR and their paymasters, while the relevant law enforcement agency has also been petitioned to investigate and prosecute these characters towards holding them criminally liable for cyberstalking and sundry crimes.