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Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2020

FCT Minister halts illegal construction on Venezuela Embassy land

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By Stanley Onyekwere

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has given a directive for the immediate stoppage of illegal construction work on a piece of land allocated to the Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in Abuja.
Bello gave the directive following a complaint from the Venezuelan government forwarded by a three-man delegation on a courtesy visit to his office.
A statement from the Minister’s Special Assistant (Media), Malam Abubakar Sani said the delegation had complained that the piece of land allocated to the Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela in Abuja in 1991, was illegally sold out to a private company by the former Head of Chancery at the Embassy.
It added that Bello explained that records of the FCT Administration show that the land in question remained that of the Embassy of Venezuela as the law does not permit the endorsement of sale of land belonging to a country to a private company or individual.
“Information in the files indicate that some officials of your Embassy brought documents in August, 2018, for registration and transfer of title. But the FCT Administration cannot transfer land title from a country to a private company”, the Minister said.
According to him, Nigeria and Venezuela enjoy a very strong and friendly diplomatic relationship which is highly cherished. He assured the delegation that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure the restoration of the land to its original status.
Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation, Mr. Konrath Moreno, Director-General of Legal Consultancy in the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the purported sale of the land was not authorised by his government.
He, therefore, appealed to the Minister to help in the recovery of the land which is meant for the building of a Diplomatic residence.
“Other members of the delegation include the Ambassador Mr. David Velasquez, Madam Marisol Awarado and a representative of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the statement stated.

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