Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has, since his election as the chairman of the National Assembly on June 9, been attending to official matters at his private residence in the Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory because the N27.1bn official homes being built for National Assembly’s principal officers are still under construction.
The former multi-million naira official residence of the Senate President and those of other principal officers had been sold in 2010 at give-away prices by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo administration under the monetisation programme.
Former Senate President, David Mark; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and his deputy, Usman Nafada, had in 2010, bought their official homes. Other lawmakers also did likewise.
The new homes being constructed by the government for the federal lawmakers at a cost of N27.1bn are still under construction.
Our correspondent, who visited Saraki’s residence on Lake Chad Avenue on Friday, observed politicians trooping in and out of the building.
Apart from the influx of vehicles in the hitherto serene highbrow area, hawkers have also besieged the area with their wares displayed on the road side.
An Abuja based legal practitioner, Simon Ayede, in an interview with our correspondent on Monday, described the sale of the official quarters by the Federal Government as unconstitutional because “there is a subsisting Federal Government gazette that certain official residences should not be sold.”
Ayede argued that the gazette listed some of the official residences that should not be sold to include, the Presidential Villa, the Senate President House, that of his deputy, House of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and that of his deputy.
He therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the sales of the official quarters of the principal officers so that they could be renovated for the use of the current occupants of the positions.
However, another resident of Abuja, Mrs. Stella Omowale, argued that allowing the principal officers to live within the Apo Legislative Quarters would expose them to security risk.
“Building new quarters for them within the Three Arms Zone will guarantee their security since the place is highly secured and the other arms of the government are also cited there,” she said.