***Maja still using official number plate years after leaving office
By Steve Oni, Ilorin
A former Commissioner in Kwara State Sulaiman Kayode Yusuf (popularly known as Maja) has narrated before Justice Olabanji Orilonishe led Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the sales of Kwara State assets how he acquired a government chalet at 2, Peter Tokula Street GRA, Ilorin in 2004.
Recall that government chalets are usually meant for dignitaries who are visiting the state. Such chalets are purposely built to save the cost of perpetually accommodating such important visitors in hotels.
But Yusuf Maja said he had occupied the chalet which he later acquired until now, thereby underscoring the impunity of the past few years in the state.
He said: “When I was given appointment in 2003, the government allocated the two bedroom flat property to me in 2004 with no windows, no doors and asbestos.
“It was sold to me at the rate of N8.8m. I installed everything in the house. But the title was issued to me in March 2016.”
Yusuf, who agreed with the panel’s counsel Joseph Bamigboye (SAN) that government chalets are reserved for government guests to save hotel cost, alleged that the state executive council approved the sales of the chalets at that period.
When the chairman of the panel asked whether the property was valued before it was allocated to him, Yusuf said he was aware it was valued but the then government did not tell him the amount it was valued before he was asked to pay N8.8m.
Yusuf, who was also a one-time chairman Kwara State Local Government Service Commission, pleaded with the commission to consider his health and allocate another apartment to him before taking over the chalet from him.
“I want to plead that if you want to allocate another chalet or quarters to me, you should please do that before you collect the one I am living now because of my health, please. Almighty Allah will bless you and protect you,” he pleaded.
Yusuf was also discovered to be unlawfully using vehicles with official number plates — years after leaving government.
On two vehicles with government plate numbers within his premises, Yusuf said the bus was given to him from government house for campaign in those days and admitted deliberately putting government house number on it while the 307 car “was an abandoned car that the ministry of finance auctioned to me at the rate of about N70,000.”
He added: “When the commission visited my house I explained to them that the bus was for campaign but I was the one who wrote government house number on it. The other one was actually government number on the abandoned car that the ministry of finance sold to me at about N70,000. It is nothing to write home about. In fact, they have removed the top engine.
“I don’t have the bus papers because I didn’t buy it. How can I buy campaign vehicle? It was allocated to me and allocating a vehicle in government house is just by your name or your office and the party.”