OrderPaperToday– The House of Representatives joint Committee of Air Force and Justice has commenced an investigation into the alleged invasion of an over N10 billion building project by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
The building project is reportedly a partnership between NAF and Blue Boulevard Limited.
The investigation was sequel to a petition brought to the floor of the House by Mr Robert Tyough (PDP, Benue) on behalf of Blue Boulevard Limited.
At a public hearing which held in the National Assembly, on Thursday, the chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Mr. Shehu Koko (APC, Kebbi), who presided over the meeting, informed all stakeholders that the investigation was not geared towards witch-hunting anyone but to get the facts in order to resolve the issue.
But just as the hearing was about to commence, the general manager of NAF Holdings Properties, Mr. Bagare Kassimu, appealed for a postponement of the hearing to enable them respond to the petition accordingly.
He explained that he received the letter from the committee to appear before it less than 48 hours to the commencement of the hearing.
“Mr. Chairman, we are here because of the respect we have for this parliament but I must say we are not prepared because we only received your letter of invitation to appear before this committee on the 14th of February, 2020, and of course, we did not receive any letter or petition from Blue Boulevard. If we are to make progress, I request you reschedule this meeting to give us time to prepare ahead,” he stated.
When Koko enquired from Blue Boulevard if the company submitted the petition to NAF, the response was in the affirmative.
Ruling on the matter, the chairman directed the leadership of NAF to provide the necessary documents to the committee to ensure fair hearing.
“The general managing director of NAF Holdings, you are to make available all the petitions and documents served to you by Blue Boulevard to the committee, following a resolution of the House to conduct this investigation, to the Chief of Air Staff NAF Holdings, NAF Properties on or before Feb. 27,” he declared.
He also directed the managing director of Blue Boulevard Limited to serve copies of the petition to the general managing director of NAF Holdings, following the claim of non receipt of the petition.
“The committee has resolved that the MD, Blue Boulevard, should avail to the committee copies of the petition sent with the acknowledgements by the Air Force.
“Send a copy of the petition to the Chief of Air Staff, NAF Holdings, NAF Properties on or before February 27 and avail the secretariat with copies of the acknowledgements,” Koko stated.
In an interview with newsmen, Mr Peter-Kings Osunde, general manager, Blue Boulevard Limited claimed that the Air Force had breached a contract agreement signed by his company and NAF Holdings on a N10 billion project investment.
He said, “Blue Boulevard built a mall and a market for the Air Force in their Port Harcourt base. The Air Force violated, invaded the place.
“We brought in all the funds to build the market and run it for 20 years and hand back to them but as at the time they messed up the project, over N10 billion had been spent.
“We went to Federal High Court and it passed injunctions on them and the matters came out in the papers, and it is those injustices that continued that has caused over 1000 jobs and monetary loss.
“All these are the matters the House of Representatives committee is looking at and trying to straighten them out.”
According to reports, NAF had leased the land where Blue Boulevard erected the shopping mall and other investments to them to operate for 20 years with a certain percentage paid to the owners of the land.
The agreement was reportedly breached along the line, including the invasion of the shopping mall by NAF operatives, a development that forced Blue Boulevard to drag the NAF to court.