A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Plateau, Hon Edward Gyang Pwajok SAN, has carpeted the Plateau State Government on technical details and overall constitutionality of the Jos Main Market concession deal its packaging with an Islamic Bank, Jaiz.
In a release in Jos, Pwajok, who is also the immediate House of Reps Member for Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, questioned the legality of the Memorandum of understanding against the background that ‘market’ is reserved for the Local Government as a tier of government according to the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to Honourable Pwajok, “how did the State government become ‘the beneficial owner’ of the land, given the root of title of the land”, noting that the manner of acquisition of the land, its attendant encumbrances, and the agreements pertaining thereto, have to be cleared for any transaction or deal to be struck concerning the land.
Questioning the value of the project, Pwajok wondered how “the parties arrived at the N9 billion+ valuation figure”, saying “there may be need for independent, expert valuation, to confirm the figure contained in the MoU.”
Pwajok also expressed distrust as to whether other stakeholders were consulted before the MoU was drafted, and whether the communities have been validly identified and informed of the unfolding deal affecting their interests.
Asking for the identities of the communities, he also interrogated the application of due diligence in the process, as he said “there is need for transparency and due diligence.
“We have a House of Assembly. I have not heard from them, whether as a House or the views of individual members. They have the power of oversight over the Executive arm of Government, and as our representatives, they have the right to speak out”, Pwajok noted.