The Corporate Affairs Commission says it has uncovered 189 fake companies used to secure land allocations in the Federal Capital Territory.
The Registrar General of the commission, Hussaini Magaji, disclosed this during a press briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.
Magaji stated that the discovery was made following a complaint from the Federal Capital Territory Administration to verify the status of a non-existing company seeking land allocation.
He explained that the discovery of the non-existent company led him to investigate further, resulting in the identification of other companies.
He added that two suspects including a lawyer have been apprehended and a cartel involving staff of Abuja Geographical Information System, lawyers, and the commission have been identified.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to inform the public that one of the major milestones achieved so far since I assumed office, is our ability to bust a cartel or a link of individuals that are creating havoc for the commission.
“This cartel creates companies through collaboration with some lawyers claiming to be accredited agents of the commission and staff of Abuja Geographical Information System to secure land allocations in the FCT and we only knew this crime after a complaint from the Federal Capital Territory Administration asking us to verify some applications made by some entities, which turned out to be non-existent on our system.
“With the information available to us, I gave a directive on the issue and we have so far identified 189 fake companies used to secure land allocation in the FCT. We have also facilitated the arrest of two suspects.
Explaining their mode of operations, the CAC boss said the cartel manoeuvred the land process to make their applications for land allocation priority over existing applications aiding land fraud in the capital city.
He noted, “The nature of their crime is they create fake entities through connivance with some lawyers claiming to be accredited agents of the commission and staff of Abuja geographical information system and apply for land at the FCT, manoeuvring their ways to a priority application over existing application in other to take over lands and they have been quite successful before we discovered it.
“As of yesterday we arrested two suspects including a lawyer and we are interrogating them to get more information and clampdown on other members of this cartel.
“In the course of our investigation and research, we found that the companies do not exist. And with the collaboration of security agents, we arrested a suspect and by arresting him, he has volunteered some information and from that, we have gotten a clue that something like this is happening and we are working hard to stop this menace.”
Speaking further on the vision of the commission, the registrar-general promised to increase the commission’s revenue base by sanctioning companies who fail to disclose their annual returns amongst other penalties.
He said that increasing its revenue base would enable the commission to perform its objective as a world-class commission.