THE operatives of FCT Police Command have arrested armed robbers at an abandoned N4bn healthcare project in the Utako area of Abuja.
The ICIR revealed how the hospital project remained abandoned ten years after the contracted company, PPC Limited, shabbily executed the project despite gulping over N2 billion.
This led to a legal tussle between the company and the FCT, which has stalled the project’s completion.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, Josephine Adeh, Police officers attached to Utako Divisional Headquarters, on Wednesday, February 7, in a coordinated raid operation, arrested six suspected armed robbers in the building already marked a black spot.
The suspects, Basara Hassan, 41, Daniel Charles, 27, Adamu M Oshiaka, 32, Chancy Asidi, 38, and Saliu Al Hassan, 24, were arrested in neighbouring states bordering FCT.
“A locally made pistol, two live cartridges and wraps of substances suspected to be marijuana were recovered from the suspects.
Further investigation about the recovered ammunition led to the arrest of one Yusuf Iliyasu, a.k.a Tablet, who is an ex-convict and the syndicate leader,” the statement reads.
According to Adeh, while the investigation is ongoing, the Commissioner of Police FCT, Benneth C. Igweh, wishes to assure residents of his commitment to making Abuja a hell for criminals and to ensure the safety of all.
The command urged residents to report suspicious activities through the following emergency lines: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653, and 08028940883; PCB: 09022222352.
Conceived in 2008, the Utako District Hospital, now a haven for criminals, was initially designed as a 220-bed facility to provide high-quality healthcare services to FCT residents, particularly those living in the surrounding area.
Surprisingly, the community is not located in a remote area but along the Obafemi Awolowo Road, near the Arab junction in the heart of the FCT.
According to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) response received from the Federal Capital Territory Development Administration (FCDA), the project was awarded to M/S Phillips Project Centre Limited at a total cost of N4.26 billion on September 20, 2008.
However, despite more than half of the contract value (N2.26 billion) being released to the contractor, the hospital remains uncompleted and abandoned, leaving the community without the much-needed healthcare facility.
Hospital turned into a home for squatters
The hospital’s surroundings were a dumping ground during a visit to the hospital site by The ICIR. The buildings with roofs intact had become a haven for illegal occupants and street urchins. The residents lamented how the building had transformed into a hub for criminal elements.
The compound was a habitat for reptiles, and farmers took advantage of the situation by planting maize and other crops, during the rainy season.