How I bought my multi-million naira mansion from government — David Mark

Senator David Mark

A former Senate President, David Mark, has stated how he took possession of a public property in 2011.

Mr. Mark, still a senator from Benue State, was quizzed last week by anti-graft detectives at the EFCC.

In a statement Sunday, he said the grilling was over the campaign finance that went to the Peoples Democratic Party Benue during the 2015 election.

Mr. Mark was the Senate President from 2007 to 2015.

He said he was asked about a N2 billion which the PDP allegedly transferred into a bank account run by the National Assembly in 2010.

The money was then allegedly used to bribe lawmakers of all parties, Mr. Mark said, adding that the claim was absurd.

The lawmaker followed up with another statement signed by his spokesperson, Paul Mumeh, on Tuesday, alleging that the EFCC was after him over a property he purchased from government in 2011.

“The EFCC or any other agent of Government are (sic) chasing shadows because the property was dully offered for sale, bided for, and he purchased like any other person would in line with Federal Government’s Monetisation Policy that was started during the time of President Olusegun Obasanjo,” Mr. Mark said.

“I had the right of first refusal. Even if I did not purchase it, someone else would have.

“I am a law-abiding citizen. I did not flout any law,” the senator added.

PREMIUM TIMES has not independently verified Mr. Mark’s statement that he’s being probed by the EFCC over the controversial purchase.

Wilson Uwujaren, a spokesperson for the anti-graft office, did not immediately return requests for comments.

Mr. Mark also alleged political persecution on the part of the Buhari administration, saying he wasn’t the only one who bought official quarters meant for principal officers of the parliament.

“Curiously, four houses occupied by the then Presiding Officers of National Assembly were offered to the occupants. All of us, me as the then President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and his Deputy Bayero Nafada were all given the same offer.

“I am at a loss as to why it is now a subject of contention.

“If this persecution is about politics, my political party and the 2019 elections, I dare say that only God and Nigerians would decide. No amount of persecution would alter the will of God.

“I had refrained from commenting on this because it is already in the law Court. But they have taken the matter to the Court of public opinion,” he said.

The presidential Task Force on Recovery of Government Properties has been making moves to evict Mr. Mark from the property, but the senator said he had dragged the government to court.

He said his lawyer, Ken Ikonne, has been litigating the matter in suit number FHC/ABJ/1037/2017 at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, saying he followed due process and legally acquired the property from the Federal Capital Development Administration, FCDA, on April 27, 2011.

He recalled that the Federal Executive Council decided to authorise the sale of the properties housing the principal officers of the National Assembly because the general security of the area had been altered/compromised due to the sale of the other houses in the Legislative Quarters to the public.

Consequent upon which the houses were offered for sale and dully purchased.

Mr. Mark said he was given the first option of refusal upon which he dully accepted on April 21, 2011 and he paid the agreed purchase price to the adhoc committee on sale of Federal Government houses on April 27, 2011.

Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman of the properties recovery panel, said the property was “grossly undervalued” when It was sold to Mr. Mark.

“They sold it to him for about N500 million or so,” Mr. Obono-Obla told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Wednesday morning. “This is a big property that is sitting on a large land in a choice part of Abuja.”

Besides, the official said, the property should not have been sold because it was allegedly amongst a few government properties that were reserved for top public officials under the monetisation policy.

Mr. Obono-Obla, who was recently asked to suspend activities of his panel, told PREMIUM TIMES he’s also working to recover the properties purchased at the same time as Mr. Mark by Messrs. Ekweremadu, Bankole and Nafada.

“The properties belong to the Nigerian people, and we’ll ensure that we recover them all,” he said.


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  • Emeka

    A man known as civil servant all his buying a house close to a billion Naira, and very proud to announce it, by way of laundering the process if the transaction.

    • Abdullah Musa

      You have saved me time.
      Simply put: government gave him money to purchase its property.
      But he has the Middle Belt Forum to scream persecution on his behalf.

  • Truthometer

    Excuse sir, you are a thief. You days of reckoning is fast approaching. Don’t input politics into the criminality you committed in the past. People like you should be held fully accountable for your past misdeeds.

  • Owenz

    Rogue. Converting national monument to own use. Hoping to keep it through the instrument of rogue judges. This is why democrazy is bad.

  • Bunkaya Gana

    Once there was consideration, it suffices. It need not be adequate. Go and ask the Lawyers before justifying impunity.

  • Jb

    Mark, tell Nigerians, with your experience in the senate for over 20yrs: where in the world have you ever seen a sitting senator (president of the senate) bought over government house (national monument) of the country and paid cash like you? Just give example of one country. God will sure punish all the looters of this country.

  • tundemash

    Meanwhile Ekweremadu did not tell thousands of e-rats on this forum, figting on his behalf, that he had looted their destiny by “buying” over govt property meant for House of Assembly presiding officers.

  • tundemash

    Mark the rogue, you have “bought” a stolen property and the Otuoke cl0wn is equally guilty of signing away Nigeria’s property.

  • FreeNigeria

    Mark was a military man, how did he become a billionaire? These guys deserve the firing squad. they just take over government property for personal use. very soon, one Mumu President will buy Aso rock too

  • Wetin Naija

    Shameless thief. You and Jonathan brought disgrace to Nigeria

  • duwdu

    It’s not just your fault, David Mark; it’s also largely the fault of presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan, who were irresponsibly sharing public property and monuments to themselves and you stooges in disgusting manners.

    They even recklessly bended their own policies and rules to fleece the nation of these iconic properties.

    For God’s sake, even if such properties were deemed no longer “safe” for you legislooters or whoever, they could have been happily accepted as campuses or offices by other government organs who’ve always been starved of infrastructure!

    Dear God, please give our judges the wisdom to help the executive arm of government retrieve these public properties for the common good. Amen.

    ……..
    P34c3
    …..

    • Dr Bunmi Binitie

      Amen!

  • Gary

    David Mark is the perfect embodiment of all that is wrong with the governance and perpetual undevelopedment of Nigeria.
    He’s a barely educated soldier whose career rise and immense wealth came through coup-plotting and subverting the free will and democratic aspirations of the Nigerian people.
    He has thus personally prospered and continues to do so at the expense of the national interest, his entire life: State Military Governor, Federal Commissioner/Minister, key member of the ruling council of military juntas that have plundered Nigeria, Senate President for almost a decade and remains the senior Senator from Benue State (which itself remains one of the poorest and backward states in Nigeria, thanks to the likes of David Mark).

    And David Mark is not alone in acquiring this profile and pattern to leadership in Nigeria:
    Gaining national fame and wealth via subversion? Check.
    Using public office to oppress the people and plunder the nation? Check
    Barely educated soldier now making laws to govern better educated and sophisticated citizens? Check.
    Living a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption far above the people they purport to represent at the NASS? Check.
    David Mark was in the vanguard of the annulment of June 12,
    David Mark instituted the secrecy in which the emoluments of Nigeria’s legislators remain shrouded till today,
    David Mark was a principal player in the corrupt shenanigans that have embroiled the National Assembly since the start of the Fourth Republic.
    And he shielded his protege, Abba Moro from accountability for literally scamming unemployed Nigerians to their deaths in the deadly NIS job fiasco.
    So in the bigger scheme of David Mark’s sleazy public career, the arranged sale of official quarters of public officials (at a huge discount) to themselves, is the least of their egregious crimes against the Nigerian people.
    It’s cold comfort but David Mark and his ilk still go to sleep every night hoping that the Nigerian populace will forever remain docile and not rise against the brigands who have plundered our country and continue to hold it back.

  • Quency Olajide Oyegoke

    Wonders shall not end. Nigeria is full of highly professional robbers in the high places. A day is coming that something worst than boko haram will snuff life out of all of them.

  • isi

    This issue of inconsistency in government policies will lead us nowhere. we need to move forward and learn to ignore petty things. FEC approved this sale, so what’s the issue. if any issue, it is FEC that approved the sale? i doubt if d FG can win this case. FG shld reach an agreement with mark to pay d value cost..