Ile Arugbo: How Late Olusola Saraki Illegally Took Over Land Proposed For Public Hospital

Documents have shown that the land, which until recently housed Ile Arugbo, a property belonging to former Nigerian politician, Olusola Saraki, was in fact originally scheduled to be used for the construction of a public hospital, secretariat for civil servants in Kwara State, and parking lot in the 1980’s.

SaharaReporters gathered that the late Saraki allotted the land to himself when he served as a federal lawmaker in the 1980s and used it to construct a home for old people, who regularly visited his abode for assistance.

A clinic was however, built but was never fully completed because the land was fraudulently assigned to one Asa Investment for commercial purposes.

The Kwara State Bureau of Lands has revealed that no money was paid for the acquisition, no paperwork filed and no certificate of occupancy issued to the company.

To reclaim the land for the construction of the hospital, the demolition of Ile Arugbo was taken by the Committee on Review of Property of Kwara State Government.

Documents seen by SaharaReporters shows that the demolition, which has been politicised by son of the late politician, Bukola Saraki – Nigeria’s immediate-past Senate President – raises questions on how the land was acquired.

Recall that on January 2, 2020, the Kwara State Government demolished Ile Arugbo, sparking reactions from far and near.

Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman had said that the land was originally meant for government secretariat and parking space for civil service clinic but was unlawfully allocated to a private firm, Asa Investments Limited, without any record of payment to the state government.

The governor signed a constitutional instrument withdrawing the allocation of plots of land 1, 3 and 5 to the firm, asserting that the said land was unlawfully appropriated contrary to the purpose for which it was meant.

Reacting two days later, Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, accused Governor Abdulrazaq of carrying out a revenge mission against her family by demolishing the property built by her late father for old people.

She added that the demolition was unwarranted and “disrespectful” to her being a top member of the All Progressives Congress ruling Kwara State and Nigeria’s central government.