By Our Correspondent
Two former General Managers of the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation (names withheld), have been fingered in the alleged illegal purchase of the Corporation’s property located at A9/4 and A9/6, Third Avenue, State Housing Estate, Calabar.
The properties were said to have been acquired by the Newspaper firm in 1974 from the former State Housing Corporation, now Cross River State Property Investment Company Limited (CROSPIL).
Our correspondent gathered that, already, the management of the State Newspaper Corporation has placed a Caveat Emptor on the two properties which are used for the accommodation of the senior editorial and admin staff.
Our reporter also learnt that the management is saying that it had at no time contemplated the sale of the property.
Impeccable sources at the Corporation said the lid of the alleged illegal deal was blown open by the 6-member inventory committee instituted to collate the moveable and immoveable assets of the Corporation.
Our sources explained that the committee in its findings discovered at the State Ministry of Lands that the two houses were sold to the buyers at the cost of N7.5 million each by the former Commissioner for Lands, Surveyor Ralph Uche, following the alleged approval of former Governor Liyel Imoke.
A member of the committee who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the story but said the committee could not sight the purported application that the former governor approved.
Further checks by our reporter at the Ministry of Lands and Housing indicated that it was not the responsibility of the ministry to transact the sale of the houses since it does not custody any document related to the property.
It was learnt that CROSPIL has been the custodian of the property since 1974 and would have been the one to sell the property on behalf of the corporation as its agent.
Our reporter was also informed that the corporation had been paying ground fees to CROSPIL, while the occupant pay rent to the corporation.
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