The Nigerian Unemployed Youth Vanguard (NUYV) yesterday disclosed that it has completed plans to sue the immediate-past Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, over alleged fraud in the Centenary City project.
Though the current administration endorsed the $18.5 billion project flagged off by former President Goodluck Jonathan after much outcry, the youth group insisted that the land acquisition process was fraudulently acquired as it was against the legal provision of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).
In a statement in Abuja, the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to tenaciously investigate the project and determine if it was truly set up to create jobs and boost the nation’s economy.
The group added that the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the centenary project should be in possession of the federal government rather than the private investors as being practised in other developed nations.
The statement signed by NUYV National Coordinator, Comrade Solomon Adodo, and National Secretary, Comrade Suleiman Musa, stated that based on the outcome of their investigations, the city project “is a grand plot to further enrich a few fiendish elements in society.”
It reads: “Rising from our factual findings after our inquest on the thickets of controversies surrounding the Centenary City project, the Nigerian unemployed youth vanguard has resolved to sue the erstwhile SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, and his accomplice soldiers of fortune over the convoluted fraud embedded in the centenary city project.
“Our prime disenchantment is anchored on the fact that Anyim Pius Anyim in his privileged position as the SGF at the time misled the then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Nigerian government and the good people of Nigeria to believe that this contraption will create jobs for the unemployed youth whereas it was a grand plot for the further enrichment of a few fiendish elements in society.”
It stated further that “the entire landmass on which the Centenary City rests was wrongfully acquired and under false pretence, the free trade zone status issued to the Centenary City clearly contravenes the sacrosanct provisions of the NEPZA Act, the Nigerian government was hoodwinked into parting with billions of Naira used in acquiring the land for the Centenary City project, and that contrary to the global practice which stipulates that the Certificate of Occupancy of a free trade zone be in possession of the government, the promoters of the Centenary City have surreptitiously hidden the C of O of the said Centenary City since it has been marked as a free trade zone.”
The group which expressed hope that Buhari would ensure a balanced judgment on the allegation urged him to revoke the project.
“The Centenary City is a perfectly matching definition of corruption, fraud, exceedingly avaricious greed and all antithetical factors which our dear President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to tenaciously fight to a grinding halt. We have already written our letter to Mr. President chronicling the excessive fraud shrouded in the Centenary City project.
“We also attached weighty evidences to buttress same. It remains our fervid belief that Mr. President will stand up to his salient promises in this moment of truth and ensure the Centenary City project is revoked from the heinous elements bent on wrecking our nation’s economy and frustrating President Muhammadu Buhari’s drive at generating employment for the Nigerian Youth,” it said.
NUYV, which distanced itself from a group using its name to endorse the project, also vowed to drag the perpetrators of the act to court.
The project which is 100 per cent private sector driven has generated a lot of controversy.