The Nigerian Army has defended its takeover of the business premises of Karkatar Construction Company, which belonged to Mr Robert Azibaola, cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The army, had, on Friday, took over the business premises of the construction company, chasing away its staff and refusing to allow them resume work on Saturday.
The army spokesman, Colonel A.K. Usman, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune, said that the company was occupying a land that belonged to the army, adding that it would not be allowed to retain the land.
The location belonged to the army, adding that the army was determined to recover its land.
The military, had, around 8.00 pm on Friday, took over the premises of the construction company, which is handling the provision of infrastructure facilities to Maitama Extension, a district that houses the proposed official residences of the vice president and the principal officers of the National Assembly.
The military men said to be from Lingui Barracks, which shares fence with the company, were said to have taken position at the gate of the complex at about 8.00 pm and took over the complex.
During a visit to the company’s premises, at the weekend, it was discovered that the soldiers had took over the entrance and refused entry.
The spokesman of Karkatar Construction Company, Austin Ekeinde, confirmed that the soldiers invaded the premises of the company, adding that the workers had been directed to return home to avoid any confrontation with the armed soldiers.
“I can confirm to you that armed military men have taken over our site in Maitama and we have asked our workers to go back to their respective homes till further notice while we try to get clarification from the military authorities on their provocative action.
A soldier on duty, who volunteered to speak without being identified said: “We are on order from the Chief of Army Staff to take over this place and not to allow anyone in or out of the premises.”
“It was one of our generals, who led the team of soldiers to take over this place, but we do not know the reason for our being here Azibola has been having a running battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over allegations that one of his companies, One Plus Limited, collected security contracts worth $40 million through the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
The EFCC had charged Robert Azibaola and One-Plus, to court for allegedly receiving a $40 million security contract from the office of Col onel Dasuki. The Karkatar managing director , has however been granted bail by a Federal High Court, Abuja.