Front Cover
 Major agricultural and industrial...
 The local loans boards
 Part four: Western region housing...
 Western Nigeria housing corpor...
 The Bodija estates
 Ikeja estates
 The impact of crown lands
 Part five: Western Nigeria government...
 Western Nigeria government broadcasting...
 Part six: Western Nigeria printing...
 Western Nigeria printing corpo...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Report of Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Affairs of certain statutory corporations in Wetern Nigeria, 1962 ...
Title: Report of Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Affairs of certain statutory corporations in Wetern Nigeria, 1962
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072647/00002
 Material Information
Title: Report of Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Affairs of certain statutory corporations in Wetern Nigeria, 1962
Physical Description: 4 v. : ; 33 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Nigeria -- Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Affairs of Certain Statutory Corporations in Western Nigeria
Publisher: Federal Ministry of Information
Place of Publication: Lagos
Publication Date: 1962
Subject: Corporations, Government -- Nigeria   ( lcsh )
Marketing boards -- Nigeria   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072647
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 14248750

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Major agricultural and industrial loans
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    The local loans boards
        Page 6
    Part four: Western region housing corporation
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Western Nigeria housing corporation
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The Bodija estates
        Page 19
    Ikeja estates
        Page 20
    The impact of crown lands
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Part five: Western Nigeria government broadcasting corporation
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Western Nigeria government broadcasting corporation
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Part six: Western Nigeria printing corporation
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Western Nigeria printing corporation
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Report of




into the affairs of
Certain Statutory Corporations in
Western Nigeria




Federal Ministry of Information, Printing Division: Lagos


We have set out in Appendix 42 to this Report
loans of 10,000 and over granted for agricultural
and industrial purposes but we propos- o dis-
cuss in the paragraphs which follow the major
loans, listed below, on which some evidence was
given to us in the course of the proceedings of
this Commission of Inquiry.
(a) Joseph Asaboro Limited ... 350,000
(b) Nigerian Fishing Company 120,000
(c) S. A. Okubule ... ... 27,100
(d) Shonny Bros. & Co. ... 26,000

SECTION 1. Joseph Asaboro Limited
A formal application for a loan of 350,000
was made on the 22nd April, 1960, by Joseph
Asaboro Limited, a private limited company
wholly-owned by a husband and wife-Joseph
and Christiana Asaboro. The company was in-
corporated in May, 1958, and took over the
rubber sheeting factory, crepeing factory and
Joseph and Christiana Asaboro since 1940.1
Evidence was given by the witness Aina that the
purpose of the loan was to help the company re-
pay its existing bank overdrafts which stood
then at a figure of about 293,000 and provide it
with some amount of working capital. We also
have it in evidence that pressure was being put
on the company by its bankers to reduce sub-
stantially these overdraft balances. We were in-
formed that the company's difficult financial
situation was created by the fact that it employ-
ed short-term bank facilities for long-term
In keeping with its Loan Policy and Procedure
the Corporation obtained financial and agricul-
tural investigation reports on the company. The
financial investigation was carried out by Aina,
Secretary of the Finance Corporation and him-
self a qualified accountant, assisted by the Cor-
poration's Internal Auditor and Valuation
Officer. The agricultural and other technical
reports were submitted by officials of the Mini-
stry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and
those of the Western Nigeria Development Cor-
poration. 2
The net worth of the company at the 31st
March, 1960, a few months before the Corpora-
tion made the loan, was stated to be about 1.14
million. It is appropriate to mention, how-
ever, that included in the figure of 1.14 million
was a substantial amount of 855,999 for Plan-
tations. Messrs Cassleton, Elliott & Co. in
reporting on the Statement of Assets and Lia-
bilities as at the 1st May, 1958, prepared by
them on the conversion of the business into a
limited liability company, commented on the
item 'Plantations' which at that date was shown
as 757,500 as follows:
'No accurate figures of cost could be ob-
tained from the books and records and we
have accepted your (i.e. Joseph Asaboro's)
estimate of the present value of the planta-
tions based on acreage cleared and planted
before 30th April, 1958. All the plantations
were inspected by us and it is apparent that
substantial expenditure has been incurred
since 1952.'' The securities for the loan
comprised :
(i) First Specific Legal Mortgages on the
1 Day 35, pp. 19-21-see also Exhibit BOA. 99
a Exhibit BOA. 51.
4 Exhibit BOA. 96.

properties belonging to the company
and enumerated in the Return dated 13th
September, 1960, made to the Registrar
of Companies, and
(ii) a First Floating Charge on all the general
assets of the company including its un-
called capital but excluding stocks of
timber, rubber and other produce. "
The terms of the loan provided for the payment
of interest only in the first five years of the loan
and repayment of capital and interest in equated
instalments over the succeeding five years. "
The witness Aina informed us that interest
due on the loan was regularly paid but that the
interest due on the 31st May, 1962, had not been
fully paid. 7 The witness also said that the De-
benture executed provided for the Finance Cor-
poration to step in and take over complete con-
trol with a view to recovering its funds should
the loan be in jeopardy. The company em-
ployed over 3,000 workers.
In the light of evidence before us, we are
satisfied that the application for the loan of
350,000 made by Joseph Asaboro Limited to
the Finance Corporation was processed in ac-
cordance with the laid-down policy and proce-
dure of the Corporation and Ministerial appro-
val was obtained. We also consider that in spite
of the size of the loan, the Corporation's action
in entertaining the application and granting the
loan could not be considered imprudent, having
regard to the fact that the purpose for which
the loan was granted was financially sound; that
the company employed a large labour force; the
net worth of the company was substantial and
its annual turnover reasonable; and also having
regard to the proviso in the Debenture instru-
ment safeguarding the Corporation's interest.

SECTION 2. Nigerian Fishing Company
The Nigerian Fishing Company is a partner-
ship business owned in equal shares by Dr.
Akinola Maja and Chief Shonowo, both of
whom are prominent members of the Action
Group.I The witness, Dr. Maja, gave evidence
to the effect that the firm made application to
the Finance Corporation on the 9th April, 1959,
for a loan of 300,000 and that he signed the
formal application form, tendered in evidence
as Exhibit AM.4. In this application the purpose
for which the loan was required was stated to
be for the development of fishing industry and
the manner in which the loan was to be expend-
ed was also stated as follows:
'120,000 to be utilised in retiring bank
loan and balance to be expended in getting
more vessels and machinery and also in ex-
tending existing buildings.'
In a letter dated 24th June, 1959, Dr. Maja
stated that his firm had been operating for the
past four months, that is from February, 1959,
and that it took over the 'assets and goodwill
of the Nigerian Shipping and Trading Company'
- a limited liability company. In this same
letter Dr. Maja wrote:
'We consider a loan of not more than
150,000 will be sufficient for our needs as
the proceeds of the Company in the past four
months have encouraged us to believe that
"Exhibit 58B1
2Day 35, p. 24
,"Day 35, p. 25; Day 36, p. 4.
4 Day 35, p. 22
Day 30, p. 89

7? I.i

further capital developments could be financ-
ed from the net profits to some extent.'2
In his evidence before us, however, Dr. Maja
explained that he had to cut down the loan re-
quirement from 300,000 to 150,000 because
Chief Shonowo's name was no longer to be as-
sociated with the loan application so that he
alone had to apply.
Without any thorough financial and technical
investigations having been carried out as laid
down in the Board's Loan Policy and Procedure
(Exhibits BOA. 1 and 2) the full Corporation at
its meeting of the 29th September, 1959,
approved a loan of 150,000 to the firm subject
to adequate securities being offered and to
availability of funds. It is to be noted that at
the date of the meeting Chief Shonowo was a
member of the Corporation and that he was
present at that particular meeting of the 29th
September, 1959. In January, 1960, Dr. Maja
in replying to further enquiries from the Finance
Corporation mentioned that the bank overdraft
to be retired was from Merchants Bank and
amounted to 130,000. It should be noted
also that Chief Shonowo was at the material
time Chairman of the Merchants Bank.
Subsequently Dr. Maja made a fresh applica-
tion, not on the usual Corporation's application
form, but in a letter dated the 12th July, 1960,
in which he asked for a loan of 145,000. In
answer to a question put to him Dr. Maja said
that the loan of 145,000
...was applied for in my personal capacity
because there was difficulty of getting money
from the Finance Corporation with Mr. Sho-
nowo associating with me.' Dr. Maja's
evidence and the purpose for which the loan
was required as set out in the letter of the 12th
July, 1960, showed conclusively that he inten-
ded it to be treated as a fresh application. This
fact was also confirmed by the change in the
securities offered in respect of the fresh applica-
tion. The evidence from both Aina and Chief
Babalola suggested, however, that the Finance
Corporation treated the letter as a further
reduction of the original application for 300,000
loan and not as a fresh application. 6
In his letter of the 12th July, 1960, Dr. Maja
stated that the loan of 145,000 was required 'to
acquire the ownership of a fishing business, now
in good running condition, from the Nigerian
',!,plll i and Trading Company Ltd.' The letter
then proceeded to set out what the loan would
be utilised for. We find it difficult to reconcile
Dr. Maja's evidence as shown in his letter to
the Finance Corporation dated January, 1960
and that dated 12th July, 1960 for whereas he
stated in the first letter that he had already pur-
chased four Trawlers, in his letter of the 12th
July, 1960, he was asking for loan to finance the
purchase of the four Trawlers. 7
On the 8th October, 1960, Dr. Maja wrote
again to the Finance Corporation and said:
'The loan required is now reduced to
120,000 due to settlement of some outstand-
ing accounts and credit facilities offered for a
Fish Mill Plant.'
Faced with so many changes in the require-
ments of the Nigerian Fishing Company for loan
assistance from the Finance Corporation, we
are surprised that the Corporation did not con-
2 Exhibit AM. 6
SDay 40, p. 27-Exhibit BOA. 152
4 Day 30, p. 98-Exhibit AM. 9
Day 30, p. 99
3 Day 40, pp. 24 and 28. Day 48, pp. 58-60. Day 49, p. 68
7Exhibits AM. 9 and AM. 10
s Exhibit AM. 12

sider the necessity for a thorough financial and
technical investigation to be carried out into
the project. One is therefore tempted to con-
clude that the political influence of the two
partners in the venture, both of whom are pro-
minent members of the Action Group, would
appear to have prevailed on the Chairman and
Senior Officials of the Corporation. In fact Aina
admitted this under cross-examination. 9 The
Ministry of Trade and Industry did not in fact
give its approval to the Corporation's decision,
at its meeting of the 29th September, 1959, to
make a loan of 150,000 because in the opinion
of the Ministry complete investigation had not
been carried out. 10
In March, 1961, the Senior Accountant of the
Finance Corporation, Egunjobi, who also testi-
fied before us, carried out financial investigation
into the Nigerian Fishing Company and made
the following recommendations:
1. 'The company is in dire need of working
capital and additional fund for fixed
assets. Therefore the following steps must
be taken :
(a) Provision of Working Capital of not
less than 30,000.
(b) Additional fund up to 80,000 for
fixed assets, e.g. trawlers etc. in order
to meet the competition and extend
the inland markets.
Unless the loan is applied to meet the above
urgent needs the company may not be able
to repay working under the present condi-
tions.' "
From these recommendations it became obvious
that the Nigerian Fishing Company required
not 120,000, as requested by Dr. Maja, but
The circumstances in which the 120,000
loan was paid out to the firm call for some brief
comments in that no attention would appear to
have been paid to the serious recommendations
contained in the Senior Accountant's Report.
(Exhibit AM.15). The payment of the cheque
also showed a departure from Corporation pro-
cedure under which cheques should be issued
to loan recipient's suppliers of equipment and
machinery or to the financial institution con-
cerned where an existing loan or bank overdraft
was being retired. The cheque for 120,000 was
issued in the name of Nigerian Shipping and
Trading Co. Ltd. which was not the company
that applied for the loan. We are satisfied, how-
ever, that the issue of the cheque in a wrong
name was a genuine mistake on the part of the
Corporation's Accounts Section. Dr. Maja's
evidence was to the effect that the Nigerian
Shipping and Trading Company Limited and the
Nigerian Fishing Company were owned by
Chief Shonowo and himself. 1 Chief Babalola
said that he only agreed to the payment of the
loan to the applicant because the Premier pro-
mised that additional funds would be made
available to the Corporation within four days
but this promise was never redeemed. "
Dr. Maja in his evidence admitted that the
business of the Nigerian Fishing Company was
virtually at a standstill and that the Finance
Corporation was at the stage of exercising its
right of lien under the loan agreement in order
to safeguard the loan, which was in jeopardy.
Witness further explained that one of the rea-
Day 40, p. 35
10 Day 40, p. 11
11 Exhibit AM, 15
1a Day 30, p. 109
Day 47, p. 122

sons for the firm's financial difficulties was that
the Managing Agent, van Hoof, absconded with
a substantial amount due to the Fishing com-
pany. Witness also said that on further reflection
he should not have reduced his loan requirement
from 150,000 to 120,000. Apart from one re-
i.Irikwnt of 5,000 no other payment on princi-
pal or interest account had been made. On the
_.i November, 1961 the Corporation's Senior
Accountant addressed a letter to the firm, set-
ting out the position of the repayments to be
made, after taking into account the 5,000
apparently paid on the 6th November, 1961.
'You are requested', wrote the Senior Account-
ant 'therefore to remit the sum of 2,58613s. 10d.
to reach this office not later than 1st February,
1962 and thereafter the sum of 4,386 13s. 10d.
at quarterly intervals until 39 of such instal-
ments have been paid.' 16 With the loan principal
and interest in arrears and the fishing boats not
working, attention must obviously be directed
to the question of adequacy of securities offered
for the loan. Chief Babalola in his evidence said
that at the meeting with the Premier he men-
tioned that the securities offered for the loan
were only valued at 60,000 and that the Pre-
mier, Chief S. L. Akintola, said the loan should
be granted.
Both Chief Babalola, the Chairman, and Aina,
the Secretary of the Finance Corporation, testi-
fied before us to the effect that they were sum-
moned by Chief S. L. Akintola, the then Pre-
mier of Western Nigeria, to his office and per-
suaded to issue the cheque of 120,000 to the
Nigerian Fishing Company out of the 300,000
paid to the Corporation in respect of its 1961-
62 allocation of funds. Chief Babalola said that
he protested to the Premier at this meeting on
the grounds that it would be unfair to have to
grant 120,000 to one single company when
there were a number of other applicants re-
questing loans of 500 to 2,000 which had been
approved, but which the Corporation had not
been able to grant for the simple reason that
funds were not available. Present at this meeting
also were Chief Shonibare, Managing Director
of the Ntational Investment and Properties Co.
Ltd., Chief Adeyi, the Minister of Trade and In-
dustry, and Chief Durosaro, Managing Director
of the National Bank of Nigeria Limited. 13
From other evidence before us, it would appear
that the National Investment and Properties Co.
Ltd. was the institution that made a loan of
120,000 to the Nigerian Fishing Company or its
associated concern, the Nigerian Shipping and
Trading Co. Ltd. and this probably explained
why Chief Shonibare was present at the meeting
called by the Premier. In answer to various
questions from us, Chief Shonibare admitted
that he was putting pressure to bear on Dr.
Maja for the repayment to the National Invest-
ment and Properties Co. Ltd. the loan of
120,000 made to Dr. Maja's Fishing and Ship-
ping Company; he told us:
'I won't swear but I was anxious to snatch
the cheque, you see, before it went elsewhere.
I wouldn't be quite sure whether... Well, I
am not sure what happened now, but I know I
got hold of the cheque immediately it was
issued to him and I got him to endorse it and
paid into National Investment and Properties
Co. Ltd. account.' 14
In the opinion of the Witness and as advised by
his Secretary, Aina, the securities were inade-
quate. Aina, on the other hand, under cross-
16 Exhibit AM. 14
13 Day 40, p. 27 and Day 47, pp. 121-122
14 Day 75, p. 16

examination told us that his Corporation found
the securities offered to be adequate having
regard to the valuation of the collateral securi-
ties plus the valuation of the boats, which ex-
ceeded 150,000. 17
In respect of the loan of 120,000 made by
the Finance Corporation to Dr. Maja's and
Chief Shonowo's Nigerian Fishing Company, we
come to the following conclusions, some of
which have been mentioned above:
(a) That the application was approved when
Chief Shonowo was still a member of the
Finance Corporation;
(b) Exhaustive investigation should have
been carried out and the report of such
investigation carefully considered before
any money was paid out, particularly with
so many changes in the amount of loan
required, from 300,000 to 150,000, then
reduced to 145,000 and finally scaled
down to 120,000, which was the amount
eventually paid;
(c) The Senior Accountant's recommenda-
tions were not given serious consideration
before payment was made, nor was there
any evidence before us to show that the
recommendations were brought to the
notice of the Premier, Chief S. L. Akin-
tola, when he directed that the loan be
paid to the Fishing Company;
(d) That the difficult financial position which
the Fishing Company found itself might
probably have been avoided if the Senior
Accountant's recommendations had been
acted upon;
(e) Doubts have been created as to the ade-
quacy of the securities offered against the
loan by the evidence given by Chief Baba-
lola, the then Chairman of the Corpora-
tion. In consequence of this and with the
operating activities of the Fishing Com-
pany virtually at a standstill, the loan and
accrued interest due to the Corporation
would appear to be in jeopardy and calling
for prompt and firm action to be taken.
(f) That the political influence of Dr. Maja,
a prominent leader of the Action Group,
weighed heavily on the Premier of the
Region, Chief S. L. Akintola, and that
the Premier allowed party political consi-
derations to affect his decision on this
matter, in spite of the knowledge which,
in his evidence elsewhere, the Premier had
regarding the difficult financial position of
the Region at the time he was asking Chief
Babalola to pay out the 120,000 and pro-
mising that a further grant would be made
to the Corporation to cover the payment,
which promise was not fulfilled. 1

Section 3. S. A. Okubule and Shonny Brothers.
S. A. Okubule
S. A. Okubule was granted a loan of 27,100
for Stone Crushing Venture in 1958 by the
Finance Corporation and repayment was to be
made in 42 monthly instalments on which he de-
faulted and his properties mortgaged to the Cor-
poration were to be put up for sale. The loan
carried an interest rate of 8 per cent per annum.
Evidence was given that as a result of the inter-
vention of Chief S. L. Akintola, then Premier of
Western Region, and other Action Group leaders
the sale was stopped and that the reason for this
intervention was because Okubule was himself a
prominent member of the Action Group.
17 Day 49, p. 4 and Day 40, p. 29
18 Exhibit EAB. 11 and Day 49, p. 93

Under cross-examination, Chief Babalola ad-
mitted that at a meeting in the Premier's office
attended by Dr. Maja, Chief Okupe-Agbonma-
gbe, Alhaji Gbadamosi, and Chief Akintola, the
Premier, it was explained that Okubule was also
indebted to BEWAC Limited and that BEWAC
Limited had prior claims on his properties.
Should there be any sale of Okubule's properties
therefore the Corporation would receive little or
nothing of the sale proceeds. 1 In the circum-
stances Okubule put forward proposals contain-
ed in a letter tendered as Exhibit EAB. 2, in
which he agreed to pay 103 monthly for six
months, by which time he expected to have com-
pleted paying the debt due to BEWAC Limited
and thereafter he would pay the Corporation
1,000 a month. Chief Babalola said that he con-
sidered this arrangement fair and reasonable as
it would enable the Corporation to get its money
back. The Witness, Chief Babalola, told us that
Okubule had had difficulties in collecting the
rents which were to be paid over each month to
the Corporation and that Okubule's lawyers were
pursuing the matter with the tenants. He had no
information as to whether Okubule had started
paying the 1,000 per month which was promised
with effect from September, 1962.
While it is true that all the people who inter-
vened in this matter were members of the Action
Group, we do not think that the stoppage of the
sale of Okubule's properties were motivated en-
tirely by political considerations. We are satisfied
that in view of the prior claims which BEWAC
Limited had on the properties the compromise
arrived at with Okubule appears to us prudent.
We are, however, unable to understand why the
mortgage of BEWAC Limited, if in fact there
was any, should take priority over that executed
on the same properties in favour of the Finance
Corporation. We need hardly say that we were
surprised at the evidence of Chief Babalola, who
was the Chairman of the Finance Corporation at
the time of enforcing the Corporation's claim,
when he told us that he could not say whether
the Finance Corporation had a First or Second
Mortgage on Okubule's properties. 2 In ad-
dition to the principal amount of 27,100, S. A.
Okubule also had outstanding against him at
31st March, 1962 interest overdue of 6,764.

Shonny Brothers
Loans totalling 26,000 were made in 1958/59
and 1959/60 to Shonny Brothers, the sole pro-
prietor of which is B. A. Shonibare, a brother of
Chief S. O. Shonibare, Managing Director of the
National Investment and Properties Company
Limited. The loans were for the purpose of build-
ing Produce Stores and were repayable over a
period of 10 years by ten annual instalments with
an interest charge of 8 per cent per annum.
The Witness, Aina, told us that Shonny Bro-
thers had not paid any of the instalments due
and no court action had been taken against the
proprietor nor had the securities held by the
Corporation been enforced. From the State-
ment of Loans of 10,000 and over included in
this Report as an Appendix, Shonny Brothers
had the following amounts outstanding due to
the Finance Corporation as at 31st March, 1962:

Principal Amount
Interest overdue

SDay 49, p. 9
2 Day 49, p. 10
'Day 42, pp. 11-13


Section 4. Observation and Recommendations
The major agricultural and industrial loans
granted by the Corporation have been discussed
in Sections 1 to 3 of this Chapter. To Joseph
Asaboro Limited was granted a loan of 350,000
after a careful investigation has been made. We
have already expressed our view that it would
appear that the loan was prudently made and
that the security offered and as contained in the
Debenture and Mortgages held by the Corpora-
tion would appear to give an assurance to the
Corporation as regards the recovery of the loan.
When all this has been said, however, wish to
observe that a loan of 350,000 to a private
company, the two shareholders of which are hus-
band and wife, appears to be very high, having
regard to the resources available to the Corpora-
tion, the sizes of the other loans granted by the
Corporation and the fact that substantial
amounts of other loans approved could not be
granted because of lack of funds.
We recommend that the Corporation should
keep a constant watch on this company and
should insist on regular financial and technical
reports being submitted to it. These reports must
be subjected to a careful study by the officials
of the Corporation, the Ministry of Trade and
Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and
Natural Resources. Consideration should also be
given to finding other sources of long-term
finance for the company so that the Corporation
may not be called upon in future to provide this.
If the loan to Joseph Asaboro Limited can be
described as prudent that to the Nigerian Fishing
Company, owned by Dr. Akinola Maja and Chief
Shonowo, must be regarded not only as impru-
dent but also as reckless. We have it in evidence
that at the time the application for 300,000, (the
original amount of loan asked for), was submit-
ted the business had only been carried on for
four months. The evidence before us also show-
ed that the proprietors of the business did not
know how much they actually required as the
application for 300,000 was changed to one for
150,000 then to 145,000 and eventually to
120,000 the amount ultimately paid out. Little
or no investigation was carried out on the tech-
nical side of the venture to see that it would be
viable and the financial report submitted by the
Senior Accountant of the Corporation, Egunjobi,
was not given any consideration. If this latter
report had been considered the Corporation
would have appreciated that a loan of 120,000
would not solve the firm's problems and that it
would be difficult for repayment to be made. We
find it difficult to resist coming to the conclusion,
previously stated in this Report, that Chief Baba-
lola and Aina should have brought this Investi-
gation Report to the notice of the Premier, Chief
S. L. Akintola, when he intervened in the matter
and directed that the loan be paid to Dr. Maja's
firm. The fears expressed by the Senior Account-
ant appear to be justified by subsequent events
in that the fishing vessels are no longer operating
and the Managing Agent of the firm, Mr. Van
Hoof, has absconded with substantial amount of
the firm's and other people's money to be ac-
counted for.
We are satisfied from the considerable amount
of evidence before us on this matter that party
political consideration had influenced to some
extent Chief Akintola in directing the payment
of the 120,000 to the Fishing Company both Dr.
Maja and Chief Shonowo being prominent mem-
bers of the Action Group. Chief Babalola and
Aina did not take adequate steps to see that the

recommendations embodied in the Senior Ac-
countant's Report were considered.

We recommend, therefore, that immediate le-
gal steps should be taken to safeguard the in-
terest of the Corporation in the venture and
further investigation should be carried out to
ascertain if the venture can ever become viable
and what additional finance will be required. It
is our view, however, that the Western Region
Finance Corporation already has its hands in too
many pies and should therefore not attempt to
run the business. If a satisfactory offer for the
take-over of the business can be obtained from
within or outside Nigeria, the Corporation should
persuade the proprietors of the business to accept
such an offer and the Corporation's loan should
then be repaid. We are particularly concerned
also by the age of Dr. Maja a factor which
the Corporation normally considers before ap-
proving loan applications. If no offer is forth-
coming, serious consideration should be given to
the realisation of the securities held by the Cor-
poration at a most appropriate time when such
loss as the Corporation may suffer will be
reduced to the very minimum.

With regard to the loans made to S. A. Oku-

bule and Shonny Brothers and discussed in
Chapter III, Section 3, we recommend that the
possibility of enforcing the securities held by the
Corporation in the case of Shonny Brothers
should be given immediate consideration. In the
case of S. A. Okubule investigation should be
carried out as to why BEWAC should have a
prior right over his properties and the Corpora-
tion officials responsible for the transaction
should be interrogated. If Okubule fails to com-
ply with the terms under which the sale of his
properties were discontinued by the Corpora-
tion, consideration should be given to the hold-
ing of a meeting with the management of
BEWAC and Mr. Okubule himself with a view
to arriving at some arrangement satisfactory to
both parties and which will no longer involve
having to tie up the Corporation money indefini-
tely. Such a meeting is absolutely necessary be-
fore steps are taken towards the realisation of
any of the securities.
We have commented on the necessity for the
Corporation to face its bad and doubtful debts
position in a realistic manner. Such debts are
not only confined to the loans granted by the
Local Loans Boards but also some of the major
agricultural and industrial loans may be doubt-
ful of recovery.

Chapter 4
The Local Loans Boards.
Section I. Business Operations and Management

In order to facilitate the consideration and
granting of small loans for agricultural and in-
land fishing purposes, the Finance Corporation
and Local Loans Boards Law provides for the
setting up of 209 Local Loans Boards correspon-
ding to the Local Government Council areas.
These Boards were established in 1956 and re-
placed the 26 divisional and district committees
which previously helped in the administration of
loans granted to farmers.

Members of each Local Loans Board are ap-
pointed after consultation with the appropriate
Local Government Council, a procedure which
Aina, the Secretary of the Corporation, told us
resulted in the granting of loans becoming
'clouded by local prejudices'. 1 Each Board con-
sists of not less than three nor more than ten
members, not less than two of whom 'shall be
appointed from persons appearing to the Cor-
poration to be qualified as farmers.' 2

The Corporation provides all the Boards with
the same set of Directives. Each Board consti-
tutes an autonomous body with funds made avail-
able to it by the Corporation. Otitoju, Senior
Assistant Secretary of the Corporation, outlined
the established procedure adopted by the Local
Loans Board when granting small agricultural
loans. Each Loans Board area has a Secretary
who receives all applications for loans through
the loan clerks. The loan clerks are also respon-
sible for sorting out the applications, after which
they confer with the Chairman of the Local
Loans Board as to when the applications will be
considered by the Board. This is the Board set
up under the Corporation's Law and which pro-
vides that at least two members of the Board
must be farmers. The Board has absolute powers
to reject or accept applications. When a decision
is reached the loan clerks forward a report to
the Corporation Headquarters at Ibadan, which
will decide when to make payment. 4
More specifically, the Local Loans Boards are
empowered to approve loans for the following
(a) Cocoa Spraying Equipment;
(b) Seasonal Farming;
(c) Inland Water Fishing; and
(d) Cocoa cultivation.
In respect of Cocoa cultivation loans, the Wit-
ness Aina testified before us that the rate of de-
faulters was so high that there was no more fund
available to issue more of such loans. Under
cross-examination Witness admitted that some
of the abuses of the Local Loans Boards includ-
ed the following:
(a) Members of the Boards lent themselves
moneys meant for practising farmers;
(b) Moneys meant for farmers were granted
as loans to petty traders;

1 Day 41, pp.64-65
2 Section 21(2) of W.R. Law No. 9 of 1955.
1 Day 43, p. 46.
4 Day 43, p. 37.
6 Day 41, p. 50.

(c) Farmers were not adequately represent-
ed on the Boards;
(d) Clerks and field staff of the Loans Board
were, in some cases, found to be dishonest. 6
Witness further admitted that as a result of
these defects the agricultural loans granted were
proving difficult to recover and the Government
was giving consideration to the possibility of
scrapping the Loans Boards and replacing them
by some form of Co-operative organisation pre-
sided over by the farmers themselves. A com-
mittee headed by Chief S. O. Adebo, formerly
Head of the Civil Service in the Western Region,
and of which the Witness, Aina, was a member,
was set up to consider a change in machinery.
The Committee invited an expert by name S.
W. Kerr from abroad and his recommendations
have since been submitted to the Government
for consideration.
As mentioned earlier in this Report various
Counsel put different questions to the Witnesses
who testified before us in connection with the
Finance Corporation to show that the Local
Loans Boards discriminated on political grounds
in the granting of loans to the various areas.
Without a very careful analysis of the relevant
figures, some of which were not produced to us
in evidence, and an exhaustive enquiry into the
reasons for the granting of loans to specific areas
and for particular purposes, it is not possible for
us to come to any conclusion on these allega-
tions. It is enough for us to point out that op-
posing Counsel were able to put to witnesses
other figures which appeared to contradict the
allegations of discrimination on political
Section 2. Observations and Recommendations
Our observations on the business operations
and management of the Local Loans Boards are
that they were set up with very good intentions,
but that in view of their close connection with
the local councils, members of which are ap-
pointed on political grounds, the Boards are not
discharging their functions properly and they
would appear to be coloured by political preju-
dices. Recoveries of loans granted on political
grounds are not usually easy and this is one of
the problems confronting the various Loans
Boards at the present time. Funds available for
granting such loans are also virtually exhausted
and the Government of Western Nigeria has
been given the Report of an expert appointed to
study the situation and make appropriate recom-
mendations. We were not supplied with a copy
of this Report but Aina admitted, under cross-
examination, by Chief Akintola that the re-
commendations would not involve the scrap-
ping of the Loans Boards but re-organising com-
pletely their machinery. The only recommenda-
tion we make here is that the re-organisation
proposed should be carried out without any de-
lay as soon as the State of Emergency comes to
an end in the Region.
6 Day 40, pp.64-6.
7 Day 41, pp.114-115.


HWes te rn

Housing (





1.-Business Operations .. .. .. .
2.-Management, including Staff Matters and Staff Relations
3.-Observations on Business Operations and Management ..
4.-Recommendations .. .. .. .. .. ..

.. .. .. .. 11
.. ... 15

.. .. .. .. .. 19

. .. .. .. 20




.. 21


SECTION 1.-History of National Investment and Properties Company, Limited Association with Moba
SECTION 2.-The Gleave Reports .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .
SECTION 3.-The National Investment and Properties Company, Limited and MOBA
SECTION 4.-Observations and Recommendations .. ......

SECTION I. Business Operations

As stated elsewhere the Western Nigeria
Housing Corporation came into existence by
virtue of the Western Nigeria Housing Corpora-
tion Law No. 12 of 1958 with the main functions
of increasing the availability in the Region of
dwelling houses for acquisition by members of
the public and industrial estates for purposes of
industries within the Region. From the opening
sentences of the Annual Report of the Corpora-
tion for the year ended 31st March, 1960 we
read that the Corporation came into existence on
the 20th June, 1958 2. At page two of the same
Report we find a resume of the functions which
the Corporation was designed to perform in a
passage which reads as follows:-
'The problem of the high cost of building
has not eased during the year under review
and the Corporation is still pursuing its policy
of endeavouring to reduce costs to enable
members of the public to be in a position to
buy their own homes without receiving any
element of subsidy.'
It seems to us that with this object in view,
the Corporation was destined to find ways and
means of meeting what is recognized as a dire
and popular need of this community. The first
Chairman of the Board was Chief Festus O.
Awosika who was appointed on the 20th June,
1958 and remained in office until the 31st Janu-
ary, 1961 when Chief Ayodele Okusaga succeed-
ed him. Chief Okusaga remained the Chairman
until the dissolution of the Corporation during
the Emergency period. We are informed that the
General Manager of the Corporation, Mr. R. E.
Fitchett was, in fact, appointed before the esta-
blishment of the Corporation as much prepara-
tory work had to be done and that he collabora-
ted with the draftsmen in the preparation of the
Western Nigeria Housing Corporation Law3.
To advert to the financial position of the Cor-
poration, during the tenure of office of the
second Chairman, the witness Okusaga was not
very happy. In his evidence he described the
position as follows4 :-
'.. But at no time did the Housing Corpo-
ration get what Government voted for it in
the estimates for its operation in the year;
but I must say that the financial difficulty in
the Western Region has arisen then I was
being given subventions in bits. On many
occasions I had to speak directly to the Minis-
ter and sometimes even to the Premier directly
over the head of the Minister when I found
that the Minister was dragging his feet.'
but he took the overall view that there had been
a continued progress since the Housing Corpo-
ration started and that there had been profits.
He stated that :-
'..during the period 1961/62 the overall
activities of the Corporation showed a gross
profit of 61,531 before provision for repay-
ment of loan capital was made. After that was
made, there was still a surplus of 37,886 ".'
The evidence before us reveals that the West-
ern Nigeria Housing Corporation has three
centres from which it conducts its activities.
1. The headquarters offices are at Ibadan where
also the Bodija site of the Corporation is
1 Exhibit AO.5.
SBy Virtue of Legal Notice No. 289 of 1958.
3 See Annual Report Exhibit AO.4 p.1-also Day 90 p.102.
Day 91, p.4.
SDay 91, p.8.

located. This site makes provisions for both
residential and industrial buildings and the
witness Erinosho told us that with regard
to this site the demand was greater than
the supply 6.
2. The Corporation also has a site at Ikeja,
a site designed for both residential and in-
dustrial development and which is generally
known now to accommodate quite a consi-
derable size of industrial development.
There is an office of the Corporation locat-
ed at Ikeja.
3. Thirdly the Corporation has offices in the
Mid-West and with regards to the Mid-
West branch the witness Okusaga testified
as follows 7:-
'The Mid-West Branch just now is solely on
savings and loans operation there-operate our
savings account, savings scheme and then give
loan to people in the Mid-West area who wish
to build houses -who want assistance and we
give as much as 80 per cent of the cost value,
of the house to people who want to build their
It is difficult and maybe unfair to connect the
activities of the present Western Nigeria Hou-
sing Corporation with any activities of any body
of Government Agency in existence before the
establishment of the Corporation. The evidence
reveals however, that before the creation of the
Corporation in January 1958, the Regional Go-
vernment had appointed the Housing Executive
who was, in fact, at that time designated as the
future General Manager of the Housing Corpo-
ration. We are informed that a considerable
amount of preparatory work was done in this
connection on behalf of the Ministry of Lands
and Labour and that both the costs and the bene-
fits of this preparatory work were transferred to
the Corporation at its inception.
We have some evidence with regard to the
management of the affairs of the Housing Cor-
poration. It is proposed to deal in some details
with the activities of the Corporation in respect
of Bodija and Ikeja separately later in this part
of the Report and only casual references will be
made to them in this part. The evidence reveals
that the Corporation carries on its activities
through two important Committees set up by it
for purposes specifically assigned to them. These
Committees are:-
1. The Finance Committee, and
2. The Mortgage'Committee.
The Finance Committee we are told is charged
with the responsibility of dealing with matters
related to finance, award of contracts, allocation
of plots and staff matters. It consists of three
members of the Board of the Corporation, but
the Chairman of the Finance Committee is the
Chairman of the Corporation. The Mortgage
Committee is charged with the responsibility for
considering application for house loans from the
various customers of the Corporation. We are
informed that the Chairman of the Corporation
is also the Chairman of these Committees. We
are informed that members of these two Com-
mittees interchange themselves annually, and
SOkusaga does not agree with this-Day 91, p.51.
SDay 91, p.10.
8 See Annual Report for 1959 and Exhibit AO.4.

also that all the resolutions passed at these
Committees are subsequently referred to the full
Board of the Corporation 'for information.'
There is a large measure of agreement between
the witnesses Okusaga and 'Erinosho with re-
gards to this set-up and the various functions
stated to be performed by the Committees.
The Chairman of the Corporation Chief Oku-
saga however, stated that "in between meetings
the Chairman of the Corporation exercised all
the powers of the Committees and it is his duty
to report to the next Committee or the next
Corporation meeting all executive actions taken
in between meetings for ratification and appro-
val. '" In view of the evidence already given by
the witness Erinosho to the effect that there had
never been any departures from the practice
stated above until the appearance of Chief Oku-
saga on the scene, the witness was further ques-
tioned as to whether or not the exercise of such
powers by him depended on any provision of the
Law. The witness Okusaga answered as follows:
'Before I came into the Corporation express
resolutions of the Corporation had delegated
these powers to the Chairman and it is con-
tained my Lord if I may say so, I think it
is contained in the memorandum submitted
to Your Lordship by the Acting Manager
It will be recalled that the two Committees re-
ferred to were established at the inaugural meet-
ing of the Corporation held on the 26th June,
1958. We have to point out that nowhere in the
memorandum, Exhibit AO. 7 could we find, as
suggested by Chief Okusaga, any resolutions
delegating to him the general powers which he
had assumed with respect to the management
of the affairs of the Corporation. We have exa-
mined the Minute Books of the Corporation and
of the Committees which were produced in evi-
dence and after studying these books and
their contents we are satisfied that whereas
during the tenure of office of Chief Awosika
matters were referred to these various Commit-
tees for approval and for action and then to the
Corporation for ratification, the position was
different from the assumption of office of Chief
Okusaga when it is manifest from a reading
of these Minutes that matters were just re-
ferred to them for information.
To start with, it must be pointed out that
the Corporation itself holds no freehold title
to any of the land sites developed or otherwise
dealt with by it. The 'witness Erinosho in the
course of his evidence testified that up to the
moment the Corporation had not acquired any
land direct from original owners although the
Law which created the Corporation empowers
the Corporation to do so. The witness told us,
however, how the Corporation becomes possess-
ed of the lands on which it operates as follows: 12
'Bodija Estate and Ikeja Estate were ac-
quired by the Government who owns the
freehold title to the land and conveys 99 years
head-leases to the Housing Corporation who
in turn conveys to sub-leases depending on
the residue of the time when the leases are
The witness also told us that right from the
inception of the Corporation a policy of allocat-
ing one plot of land to one man was formulated
and adhered to and that indeed that policy had
9 Exhibit AO.7 memorandum submitted by Corporation.
o Day 90, p.110
1 Exhibits FAE 28 34 and 47.
1 Day 86, p.27.

been regularly observed until 1960 when Mr.
Rewane, one time Chairman of the Western
Nigeria Development Corporation, applied for
four plots of land for himself. Although the
witness Erinosho stated that the policy of one
person, one plot was employed as a guiding
principle of the Corporation in the allocation
of plots, he was not able to refer us to any
Minutes of the Corporation where such a policy
was laid down and indeed the Chairman of the
Corporation at the time of dissolution, Chief
Okusaga, in the course of his evidence stated
that such a policy was nowhere laid down by
the Corporation at any meeting of the Corpora-
tion. In the course of his evidence he stated
'There was no Ministerial directive to the
Housing Corporation about one man one
house one land, what have you. There is
nothing of that sort existing. At any rate
when I took over the papers given to me the
existing policy did not contain this one.'
The origin of this policy seems to be founded
in the Minutes of the Chief Executive Officer of
the Corporation to the General Manager on the
9th February, 1960, after Mr Rewane had put in
his application for the plots of land as stated by
the witness Erinosho. It seems that the General
Manager thereafter recommended the suggestion
to the then Chairman and afterwards minuted as
follows : "
'The policy should be one person and one
plot, but we should be able to give two plots
where an applicant intends to build only one
big house in the middle of the plots.'
We are, however, satisfied that beyond this
the Ministry of Lands and Housing in charge
of the Housing Corporation has given its tacit
approval to this policy for in a letter dated the
31st October, 1962, from the Ministry to the
Corporation'1 the Ministry stated that the
Government had approved that policy and also
that Government had "given wide publicity" to
the same policy.
We have examined the various lists carrying
the names of persons to whom plots have been
awarded by the Corporation and to whom loans
by way of mortgages had been granted or suppli-
ed "' and we are satisfied that by and large the
Corporation has adhered to this principle. In-
deed the witness Okusaga who was unaware of
the taking of any such decisions at Corporation
level indicated in his evidence that that policy
accorded with his own views.
The procedure for obtaining plots is described
in some detail by the witness Okusaga in the
course of his evidence as follows : 1
'Well, any member of the public can walk
into the office of the Corporation and go
straight to the Chief Estate Officer and say I
want a parcel of land 100 ft. by 100 ft. or if he
wants a bigger one an acre or so and the map
is there. He will be told to fill a form -appli-
cation for land, and so on. He will state what
he wants to do and whether he could build
houses of a particular value on that land.
Now, there and then, he could point out the
site on the map and he could go. Usually, the
Estate Officer will say, very well, let us have
a look round. They go round and look at the
area. It is not easy because there is no plot
marking on it, but you would see exactly what
8 Day 91, p.28.
14 Exhibit FAE. 2.
1. Exhibit FAE.14.
Exhibits FAE.16 AO.14 and AO.15.
l' Day 91, p.73.

the locality looks like and they will go back
and the Estate Officer would say, you have seen
the place, that is the locality, that is the street.
There are about 14, 18, or 20 plots and so on.
He will say, Yes. I think this will be alright
and he will turn his back ... At that level it
will be sent up, after all the enquiries have
been made, and sent up to the Chairman, to
say whether he is agreeable to that man taking
that plot, and if he says "yes", that is the end
of the business. Then the matter will go
before.. .He will be told to pay the rent, or
if he wants to buy outright the whole of our
interest in the land, he will pay the money. If
it is an acre land, it is 1,600 in cash and I
think a 100 ft by 100 ft and 80 ft by 100 ft
is 360. Alternatively, if he wants to pay rent
on the leasehold for unexpired residue for the
time, then he would be told what to pay and
that is all.'
Thereafter all the papers are referred to the
Finance Committee for purposes of ratification
or, as Chief Okusaga says, are ratified by him
the Chairman if there was no impending meeting
of the Finances Committee of the Corporation.
The witness Erinosho does not agree with this,
and stated in effect that the Chairman had no
powers to approve any allocation for any person.
Both of them agreed, however, that eventually
all the papers found their way to the meeting of
the Corporation where the allocations are noti-
fied to the Corporation for information. It seems
to us that this procedure was followed in most
cases and that the cases of departure were those
in which either the Chairman (as in the case of
Mrs. Salako or the Minister (as in the case
of Mr Koleosho) "' are directly interested.
We are also told that the Housing Corpora-
tion was being financed by the Regional Go-
vernment by way of direct grants or loans. The
Corporation borrows money for the operations
which are carried on by it. Monies loaned to the
Corporation by the Government carry interest at
the rate of 5 and we are told that loans made
by the Corporation to members of the public
for the erection of dwelling houses carry interest
at the rate of 7% p.a. We are also informed that
such loans to the public are repayable within 15
years by monthly payments and that members
of the staff are entitled to borrow money at the
rate of 6 p.a. and that members, of the Cor-
poration borrow at the rate of 5 p.a. i.e the
rate at which loans were granted to the Cor-
poration by the Government. Up to the time of
our investigation the Corporation has received a
total amount of 1,594,248 from various sources
as follows :
From Government as equity capital 500,000
As a long term loan policy from
Government 1,000,000
From members of the public as
Savings deposits 86,585
From other sources 7,663
We are also informed that quite apart from its
other activities with respect to the development
of sites the Corporation also maintains a sinking
fund in order to meet the repayments of the
loans received from the Government and the
interests at maturity. 20 We have already men-
tioned with respect to the business operations of
the Corporation that the chief function was the
allocation of sites for the erection of building
thereon by either the Corporation itself or by
18 See page 20 post.
xO See page 20 post.
20 See page 20 post.

members of the public. We are also informed
that the Corporation undertakes the granting of
loans to persons for such purposes. This section
of the Corporation's activities is presumably
handled by the Mortgage Committee of the Cor-
poration. We are not informed of any specific
procedure for the granting of loans, but in the
case of an irregularity2' concerning a Mrs.
Shogbesan, we learn that she had applied for a
loan of over 4,000 (which pre-supposes that the
maximum amount of loan allowed was 4,000
and also that the loan 'was approved subject to
guarantee and also subject to satisfactory sur-
veyor's report and valuation,' 2 which pre-
supposes that these conditions must be satisfied
before loans were granted to the applicants.)
Finally on this point we have been shown the
letter from the Ministry Exhibit FAE. 19 which
reads inter-alia as follows : :
'I am directed to refer to your letter... and
to inform you that the Minister has ruled that
in no case should the maximum of 4,000 be
exceeded in future in respect of any mortgage
advance given by the Housing Corporation.
This maximum is based on regulation 5 (1) of
the Western Region Government Staff Hous-
ing Scheme regulations which has been appro-
ved by the Government.'
We are of the view that this was a wise policy
and that the limits imposed on the amount of
loans granted being commensurate with the vo-
lume of the buildings that are likely to be involv-
ed should be strictly adhered to. With respect
to financing these projects, we were told that
the Corporation itself relies on loans obtained
from the Government and which carry interest
at the rate of 5%. With regards to the granting
of these loans to the customers of the Corpora-
tion the witness Erinosho described the rate
interest as follows :-
'There are three different interest rates pay-
able by mortgagors who receive loans from
the Corporation. The normal rates to members
of the public in general is 7%; to the staff of
the Corporation 6% is payable because the
Corporation receives loans at 5% and we
allow 1% to cover working expenses... but
in the case of Chairman and members of the
Corporation they receive their own loan with
interest at the same rate at which the Corpora-
tion obtains loans from Government which
is 5 .' 2'
We are informed that this was a resolution of
the Board of the Corporation but we are without
information as to the reason or reasons that
prompted the resolution. It seems to us unfair
at least to the staff of the Corporation to require
them to pay interest at the rate of 6 when the
members of the Board who, in most cases, are
l 0!'. to be financially better off would be re-
quired to pay interest at the rate of 5%. It seems
to us in addition that for the reasons given by
the witness Erinosho that 1% of the interest is
allowed for in order to cover working expenses
with regard to loans granted to members of the
Board, no allowances are made in respect of
working expenses.

SECTION 2. Management including Staff
Matters and Staff Relations.
We are informed that all recruitment with the

21 Day 87, p.6.
as Exhibit FAE.20, also Day 91, p.36.
28 See also Board's Minutes Exhibit FAE.34, pp.2-3
24 Day 87, p50.

exception of daily paid labour is carried out by
advertisement in local, and where necessary, in
overseas newspapers followed by interview and
selection of the candidate. By the resolution of
a meeting of the Corporation held on Friday,
29th May, 1959 the powers of recruitment were
especially delegated by the Corporation to the
General Manager and the Chairman who were
the two Executive Officers of the Corporation.
We have already pointed out that the General
Manager, Mr Fitchett, was appointed as far
back as January, 1958. The Chairman is a full
time officer of the Corporation and was appoint-
ed by the Minister pursuant to powers vested
in him by Section 5(2) of the Law. There is evi-
dence before us involving the advertisement for
and the recruitment of a few officers of the Cor-
poration like Secretary, Senior Accountant, etc.
There does not seem to be any written down
policy governing the conditions of service of the
members of the staff. We read, however, in the
advertisement for the post of Secretary that the
conditions of service are as follows :
'The appointment is on provident fund
terms in accordance with the Corporation's
Provident Fund Scheme otherwise the Corpor-
ation follows the general conditions of service
for Government officers of corresponding
grade including leave arrangements.'
The witnesses Erinosho and Okusaga seemed
to agree with respect to these conditions of ser-
vice and indeed in the course of his evidence the
witness Okusaga stated :
... our Corporation adopts the Civil Service
scales of salary and all the other rules apply
to the Corporation except where we went to
make a special digression ... if anybody adopts
the spirit of Civil Service in a trading organi-
sation he is lost before he starts it.' 2
The witness Okusaga informed us that on his
appointment as the Chairman of the Corporation
he was counselled by Chief Akintola to be wary
of his conduct in the Corporation as he was in
fact going into a 'bed of intrigues'. 3 He also
stated that the General Manager, Mr. Fitchett,
gave him the impression that:
'Chief Adewusi was a very clever man and
a good man and until very very late in our
association there he did not discover the true
type of person Chief Adewusi was... He
thought the Chief Accountant could be ... we
could continue with the Chief Accountant
even though we knew that his main fault was
pomposity and arrogance but when it comes
to money matters he is very finicky and there-
fore that more than offset his pomposity and
arrogance.' 4
The witness Okusaga testifying before us
stated that his impression on the assumption of
duty was that the staff in the establishment
were roughly divided into two warring camps
and one group was 'being master minded by
Chief Adewusi.' The strength of the staff in
the headquarters was about 30 not counting
the labourers, messengers and other subordi-
nate positions. 5 The administration of the
staff seems to be more or less centred in the
hands of the General Manager and eventually
and Chairman himself. The Chairman, of course,
is not necessarily a member of the panels inter-
viewing prospective applicants for employment

I Exhibit AO.2.
2 Day 91, p.107.
'Day 90, p.103.
'Day 91, pp. 2-3.
'Witness Erinosho thought the strength was 60.

for the evidence relating to the interview and
appointment of Legal Assistants e Accountant
do not reveal that he was a member of the
investigating panel. The witness Erinosho in his
evidence referred to certain cases of irregulari-
ties in the appointment of staff and instanced
the appointment of Mr. Okuwa as Legal Secre-
tary, Daniel Akintade as Senior Clerical Officer,
Mr. Adekoya as Senior Accountant and conten-
ded that all these appointments were irregularly
made by or with the active connivance of the
Chairman, Chief Okusaga. With respect to the
appointment of Daniel Akintade, we think that
the Chairman, Chief Okusaga played a most
prominent part. The Minutes of the Corporation,
Exhibit FAE. 28 relating to the appointment of
a Senior Clerical Officer were produced and it is
clear that all the Minutes recorded was as
follows :
'Staff Matters.
(a) One post of Senior Clerical Officer in scale
D3(4) in addition to those under Administra-
tion Department is approved for the Chair-
man's office.'
Following on that Minute on the 10th April,
1962, the Assistant Secretary minuted to the
Chairman 8 asking him if he had anybody in
mind for the appointment to the post. The
Chairman minuted in answer to the Assistant
Secretary through whom the Minute was passed
as follows :
'Let Mr. Akintade Daniel take the job, but
please discuss entry point with me.'
This was on the 28th April, 1962. At that time
the man Daniel, had neither been appointed nor
indeed sought for any appointment. His appli-
cation for appointment came in only on the
30th April, 1962. It appears that on the same
day a letter offering appointment was despatched
to him and on 1st May, 1962, Mr. Daniel's letter
of acceptance, Exhibit FAE. 27 was recorded
in the Corporation. He was appointed to that
post on the 1st May, 1962 and thereafter pro-
cured advances for the purchase of an autocycle
and also for allowances with respect to the run-
ning of the vehicle. The Chairman, Chief Oku-
saga denied suggestions made to him that Mr.
Daniel was formerly his law clerk, but stated
that Mr. Daniel had commercial experience be-
cause he had worked with a commercial firm
before and that in any case he was the man
suitable to him for appointment to that post
which is primarily concerned with his own office.
With respect to the appointment of Mr.
Okuwa, the witness Erinosho stated that he is
at present the Legal Assistant to the Corporation.
The evidence reveals that pursuant to an adver-
tisement in the papers an interview panel was
set up consisting of the Acting General Manager,
the Legal Officer and the Assistant Secretary.
Various candidates were interviewed and it was
decided that one Mrs. Ogbemi was the best and
so was accordingly recommended for that post.
The Chairman of that panel Mr. Falase minuted
to the Chairman 1' to the effect that:
'Academically Mr. Okuwa was the best
candidate but he did not satisfy the require-
ments as in the advertisement...'
The Chairman however discussed the matter,
apparently with the Acting General Manager,
and decided that Mr. Okuwa should be appoint-
ed because:
Exhibit FAE.39.
Exhibit FAE.40.
8 Exhibit FAE.25.
9 Exhibit FAE.26.
10 Exhibit FAE.39.

'With qualifications in both law and eco-
nomics will help us solve the problem of
relief during the period of A.S. or whoever
may be in charge of the Administrative Divi-
We take the view that considering all the
circumstances of the case, the Chairman was
right in coming to the conclusion that Mr.
Okuwa should be appointed instead of the other
candidate who was interviewed by that panel.
It is sufficient to point out that in any panels
interviewing members of a profession for ap-
pointment it is essential that a fellow member
of the profession should, where possible, be
included. The findings of the interviewing panel
as recorded in the Minutes, Exhibit FAE.39
show clearly that the candidate Okuwa had the
necessary post call experience (this was not
discovered by any member of the interviewing
With respect to Mr. Adekoya, it appears as if
there was an interview with this candidate on
the 8th January, 1962, and a record of that inter-
view was supplied to us." It appears as if
this man Adekoya was recommended to the
Chairman by that panel. What surprises us is
that Mr. Adekoya definitely sent in his appli-
cation after the closing date for applications and
indeed after the interview panel had met and
decided to offer the post to a Mr. Adewunmi
who, however, rejected the offer. In his evidence
before us the witness Okusaga stated that he
did not know how the man Adekoya got to
know that there was a vacancy but he thought
that he might have collected this information
from his colleagues in the profession. Apart
from the general statement of the Chairman to
the Corporation to the effect that the Cor-
poration with regards to the staff "is a hot bed
of intrigues" we find no evidence whatsoever
to any general discontent among the staff and
the impression that we gathered from a study of
the evidence and especially of the Annual
Reports produced in evidence before us, is that
the staff is properly organised and that this has
resulted in the achievement of considerable suc-
cess by the Corporation. We do not accept the
suggestion made by the witness Okusaga, that
the Housing Corporation was a "hot bed of
intrigues" and we are satisfied that he had his
differences with Mr. Adewusi and with the
Chief Accountant, Mr. Erinosho. These diffe-
rences are widely demonstrated by the conduct
of the two parties before us, by the nature of
the questions addressed by way of cross-exami-
nation and by the manner in which questions
relating to each other were answered by both of

SECTION 3. Observations on Business Opera-
tions and Management
The view was expressed elsewhere in this
report that the Housing Corporation had set
before itself a very laudable task a task
which involves the satisfaction of the very great
need in this country. We are however mindful
of the fact that if the business operations of the
Corporation are not properly organised it might
be impossible to realise any appreciable progress
in this direction. The Chairman of the Corpo-
ration before its dissolution, Mr. Okusaga, told
us that with respect to the land sites which
are being developed by the Corporation three
types of development were envisaged as follows:-
1 Exhibit FAE.40.

(a) Low Density housing;
(b) Medium Density housing; and
(c) High Density housing.
These all relate to residential buildings
and development in that direction. We have no
evidence of the way in which priorities as bet-
ween applicants for plots were worked out but
in a question addressed to Mr. Okusaga, as to
whether or not any member of the public who
has got no house of his' own should be given
priority when applying for houses under the
Corporation, the witness testified that the forms
which were filled by applicants did not contain
any questionnaires in that respect but that he
himself would regard it as fair that such mem-
bers of the public who had no houses at all
should be given preference over those who
already had one. He stated further as follows :-
"If there is cash money and there are so
many applicants naturally a fair minded person
would consider the principle of need and say,
very well, let this one have it. I think that is
fair . because his need is greater.'1
There is, however, no policy of the Housing
Corporation with respect to this matter and it
seems to us that a policy should be enunciated
in those terms in order to alert the Corporation
to a situation which in our view from the steady
progress now being made by that Corporation
will be inevitable in the near future when
demands will far out-reach supply. We are, how-
ever, gratified by the statement of the witness
to the effect that there is no single case where
a needy person who satisfied the conditions for
loan was refused and somebody who already
had a house somewhere is preferred.
The records which we have of allocations of
plots show in many cases that plots have been
awarded separately to married persons in their
individual capacities. This obviously suggests
that some, if not many, of those houses were let
out to tenants and that the actual allotees were
not in occupation. We do not condemn this
situation and as the witness Okusaga himself
said it was not impossible for residents at Ibadan
to apply for lands at Ikeja and vice versa, and
in any case where an officer is shifted from one
part of the Region, where he had acquired a
residential plot, to another, it is not possible
to escape the necessity of letting out that build-
ing. We are of the view however that if it was
desired to protect the Housing Estate from being
turned into a commercial venture the Corpo-
ration would be well advised right from now to
be on its guard against the acquisition of plots
merely for commercial purposes. Such was the
case of the four applications originally produced
by Alfred Rewane to the Corporation when it
was brought home to him that he could not, by
himself, get the plots in his name. We are told
and indeed this was substantiated, that he
thereafter applied still for four plots in his name
for one and in the names of three other persons
for the three other plots. We take the view
that the respective applicants should have been
asked to make the respective applications stand-
ing in their own names. This course, we are
of the view, would have obviated the situation
which in fact has now arisen to the effect that
these supposed applicants have failed to turn
up to execute the necessary contracts, whereas
the sites to which applications referred have
already been developed.
We endeavoured to ascertain the nature of
SDay 91, p. 44
2 Exhibits FAE. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

the buildings which are offered by the Corpo-
ration and the witness Erinosho told us as
follows :
'We have a three-roomed house, a four-
roomed house, a two-storey house for one
family having a lounge, dining, kitchen, study
room on the ground floor and three bedrooms
with bathroom and toilet on the first floor ....
in addition we have an H.C. 15 type which
contains four living rooms on the ground floor
and four living rooms on the first floor and
each apartment is self-contained and this type
is intended for two families.'
This witness was further asked by us for the
prices at which the respective types were sold.
He gave a very long answer covering every type
of residential building erected by the Corpo-
ration and the answer is so important that we
reproduce same here entirely:
'The three-roomed house was in the first
instance sold for 1,000 but the Corporation
sustained loss and the price of the remaining
unsold houses was raised to 1,100. The next
one is the four-roomed house which we call
H.C.14. At Bodija, it was sold for 1,580 and
as a result of loss sustained the price was
raised to 1,650 at Ibadan and 1,670 at Ikeja
owing to the higher cost of land at Ikeja.
The H.C.12 house which is a self-contained
house had two different prices. Where the
ground floor was laid with terrazo tiles the
price was 3,625 and where it was cemented
with colourcrete it was sold for 3,350. The
Corporation sustained losses on all these buil-
dings and the new sets of buildings were sold
for 4,000 where there was terrazo tiles.
H.C.12 was then revised to H.C.11. H.C.12
had only one boys' room but H.C.11 had two
boys' rooms and the price was raised to 4,000
with garage built outside the main building.
The H.C.11 has now been revised to H.C.11A
having the garage detached but all other con-
struction remained unaltered and the price is
4,100 at Bodija and 4,200 at Ikeja.'

In all cases we are told the title conveyed
to the purchaser or allottee is a leasehold title
in as much as the Corporation itself is a lessee
of the land and can convey no more interest in
the land than it has itself. The procedure invol-
ves the payment of a large premium to start
with which the witness has described as pur-
chase price and thereafter uneconomic ground
rents of very little value. From the year 1958
to date we are told the Corporation approved
585 mortgage loans involving a total amount of
about 1,310,000. The Corporation also ap-
proved 245 loans by way of subsidy to people
who were building their own houses involving a
total amount of about 485,000. In view of the
statements contained in Exhibit FAE.16 espe-
cially when related to these figures of outstand-
ing monies the Corporation had with it roughly
an amount of 10,598 11. 7d as outstanding prin-
cipal to collect.
The evidence before us reveals that the Board
members appointed by the Minister for Lands
and Housing are all members of the Action
Group.5 As stated before no particular refe-
rence was made, in the course of the proceed-
ings, to any particular member of the Board of
Directors. It seems to us that with a Chairman
of the type of Mr. Okusaga exercising along with
Mr. Fitchett, all the executive powers of the
SDay 87, p. 58
Day 91, p. 45

Corporation there was little or nothing lett for
the members of the Board of Directors to do
themselves. We think it desirable that in a Cor-
poration like the Western Region Housing Cor-
poration, the membership of the Board should
be somewhat diversified. We are also concerned
with the fact that preferential treatment has
been given to members of the Board of the West-
ern Region Housing Corporation with respect
to the rates of interest which they were supposed
to pay in respect of their holdings on lands be-
longing to the Corporation.
According to the Annual Report for the year
ended 1961 the members of the Board were:-
Chief F. O. Awosika Chairman
Mr. B. F. Adinlewa
Mr. M. F. Agidee
Dr. E. O. Awduche
Mr. Ajayi Akerele
Mr. J. Ola Oyewole
Mr. M. O. Onayemi
That is a total of seven members including
the Chairman. Of these members, we are told
that Chief Awosika, Mr. Onayemi, Mr. Adinlewa
and Mr. Oyewole got loans from the Corporation
at the preferential rate of 5% to build houses.
We are also told that in the present regime Mr.
Okusaga himself, the Chairman, also got loans
at that rate We take the view that such
irregularities should not have happened in the
operations of the Corporation, especially when
the rates for members of the staff were regulated
at 6 This definitely calls for greater care in
the appointment of Board members by the Minis-
ter concerned. The Housing Corporation with
facilities made available by it to members of
the public offers a rather tempting situation for
persons who are prepared to exploit the situ-
ation to their own advantage. During the debate
on the passing of the Bill which became the
Housing Corporation Law assurance was
given by the Minister that the facilities of the
Housing Corporation would be thrown open to
members of the public generally and not to a
special sector of the community. In keeping
with the assurance then given, it is only right
that members of the Board should apply them-
selves to the principles involved. The irregular-
ities described with respect to staff appointments
and establishments seemed to us to have been
overstated. We take the view that except in a
few instances to which we will refer shortly, the
Chairman, Mr. Okusaga, has a complete answer
to the allegations made against him in this res-
pect. We are satisfied, as stated before, that his
decision to appoint Mr.Okuwa as Legal Assistant
was justified. We have not sufficient evidence
on which to come to the conclusion that he had
interfered wrongly with respect to the appoint-
ment of the Accountant Adekoya. It is signifi-
cant however that the man Adekoya had to leave
the establishment after such a short stay. With
respect to the officers by name Akintade Daniel
who was engaged as a Senior Clerical Assistant
we observe that the Minutes of the Corporation
9 only give general approval for the appointment
of an officer of that designation. We do not un-
derstand why the Assistant Secretary came to
ask the Chairman to suggest a name. Nor are
we satisfied that the Chairman in the appoint-
ment of that officer has taken into consideration
the usefulness of that officer to the Corporation
in any capacity. The letters of application of Mr.
Daniel are Exhibits FAE. 26 and 27 and from

Day 87, p. 101.
Exhibit AOO. 1.
8 Day 87, p. 64.
Exhibit FAE. 28.

the circumstances of his appointment, it is mani-
fest that the Chairman, Mr. Okusaga, spoke the
truth when he said in effect that those docu-
ments were only organised in the office for the
purposes of record because they were all written
after Mr. Daniel had commenced employment
with the corporation. We take the view that this
is entirely unsatisfactory and we are not prepared
to accept the suggestions of Mr. Okusaga to the
effect that the man Daniel never worked for him
before for we would be left with no premises to
ground his earlier suggestion of having been ac-
quainted with this officer and finding him
suitable for that post.
Similar observations apply to the appointment
of the driver, Olatunji, and we say generally that
with respect to this employee we have no evi-
dence of any impropriety on the part of anyone.
We are satisfied that the Chairman rightly
exercised his discretion in refusing to appoint
a Secretary to the Corporation after he had
assumed office. As he himself said that the
present set-up of the Corporation involving:
'A General Manager on 2,700 or there-
abouts, a Secretary on 2,496 or something
more than that, quite apart from the Head of
Division, I thought it was an intolerable waste of
public revenue.' 10
This did not take care of the Executive Chair-
man of the Corporation and as the Chairman
said :
'It will be just passing of files from one to
the other no work being done except merely
to pass files 'To see please'. 'What do you
think ?' and so on.'
It seems to us that an Executive General
Manager pro tanto combines in himself the
duties of both a Manager and an Executive Sec-
retary and we do not see any justification for
the duplication of those assignments.
On this point we wish to refer to a point made
by the witness Okusaga with respect to the Chief
Accountant of the Corporation, Mr. Erinosho,
and the conditions of his appointment n Mr.
Okusaga has referred us to Exhibit AO.16, a
circular letter emanating from the Ministry of
Finance to all Permanent Secretaries and Heads
of Departments and purporting to deal with
salaries of re-engaged pensioners. Mr. Okusaga
s ta t e d in evidence 12 that the appointment of
Mr. Erinosho on the salary he was getting was
improper. We need only to say that the evidence
before us is abundant to the effect that Erinosho
was appointed on a contract which stipulated
the terms of his appointment. Specific conditions
in general circulars will not apply to him. The
answer, in our view, is contained in the following
extract from the records (13):
'Chairman : The letter of offer, did not con-
tain the terms of contract ?
Mr. Okusaga : It contained the salary being
offered to him."
SECTION 4. Recommendations.
The foregoing sections contain many matters
which should have come under this section of
our Report. With respect to the interest rates on
loans granted we take the view that a fairer
method of dealing with it is that either a basic
uniform rate is approved for everybody who
comes to the Corporation for loans, or that at
least a uniform rate of interest is allowed for
10 Day 90, p. 109.
SDay 91, p. 107.
12 Ibidem.
1 Day 91, page 108.

both Board members and members of the pub-
lic. We are of the considered opinion, that apart
from providing working expenses for the Corpo-
ration the institution of such a uniformed rate
will go a long way to offset any suggestions of
discontent or discrimination among members of
the staff. There has been a considerable body of
evidence with regard to the housing allowances
paid to the Chairman of the Board and also to
the other allowances in connection with their
appointments. The evidence reveals that where
a Chairman does not keep his own house he is
entitled to a housing allowance of 360 per an-
num, and that where he occupies quarters be-
longing to the Corporation he is still entitled to
a house up-keep allowance of the same amount.
1 It is manifest from the proceedings that Chief
Okusaga was wrongly paid one of these allow-
ances to which he was not entitled at the time
when he first assumed office and was unable to
move into quarters provided for the Chairman.
The evidence is to the effect that Chief Okusaga
has not repaid this amount. We think that if the
Chairman had not by himself instructed the pay-
ment to himself of these allowances, the mistake
that occurred would have been avoided.
With regard to the allocation of plots we have
come to the conclusion that the procedure out-
lined by the witness Okusaga himself is satisfac-
tory. That procedure is contained in his own evi-
dence at Day 91 page 74 to more or less the same
effect as the witness Erinosho had earlier on des-
cribed. This involves that final approval of allo-
cation rested with the Finance Committee. We
think that even if the Chairman were to approve
of a reservation ultimate approval of such alloca-
tion should be vested in a Committee of the Cor-
poration if not the Corporation itself. This will
have the effect of avoiding the mix-up which had
arisen with respect to the allocation of plots Nos.
13 and 14 in the Ikeja layout and the unpleasant-
ness which surrounded the application for those
plots of Mr. Onasanya 2, Mr. M. A. Ogun
and the Chairman Chief Okusaga ".
To advert again to the payment of allowances
in respect of the Chairman's house we wish to
spot-light the policy by which those officers are
given quarters which are described as furnished.
To most of us the degree of furnishing to which
the Corporation goes cannot find comparison in
any other Corporation. We take the view that
the position was clearly described in the notes
of evidence where it was revealed that the
Housing Corporation was prepared to supply
every article of furniture down to a tooth pick.
We are satisfied that this practice is undesirable
because furnished quarters in other establish-
ments simply means that both hard and soft
furniture would be provided and certainly not
thin-. like ladles, plates, foot-mats for which
the Local Purchase Orders produced in evidence
as Exs. FAE. 23 and FAE. 24 had been employed.
The witness Erinosho did testify that he was
asked to sign blank Local Purchase Orders to en-
able the wife of the Chairman to make purchases
of the articles listed on those Orders. In the
course of his evidence he tried to exclude
those articles which should not be properly
chargeable to the accounts of the Housing Cor-
poration. We take the view that this was a very
difficult exercise which in any case would be
destitute of any results as far as the present
1 Day 87, pp. 40-41.
2 Exhibit AO. 9.
3 Day 91, p. 37.
Exhibit FAE. 35 see also Exhibits AO. 9, FAE. 36.
"Day 91, p. 20.
Day 91, p. 14.

policy of the Housing Corporation continues to
operate. We recommend that a specific list of
furniture to be provided for the Chairman's
house should be settled (and this to include only
hard and soft furniture as are known to be sup-
plied elsewhere and that only those things should
be provided by the Corporation). We do not
agree with the Chairman, Chief Okusaga that be-
cause the outgoing Chairman had, according to
him, denuded the Chairman's house he could
then by virtue of Local Purchase Orders embark
upon a buying spree for the purpose of filling his
quarters with the articles covered by the Local
Purchase Orders. Indeed the inevitable result of
that exercise which, in our view should have
been anticipated by him, was that he had spent
quite a lot more money than could possibly be
expected to be covered by the house upkeep
allowance of 360 to which he was entitled.
The Chief Accountant, Mr. Erinosho, appears
to us to be a rather diligent and consistent civil
service type. We understand that he was a re-
tired civil servant having served the Cotl Cor-
poration in Eastern Nigeria for many years. He
had put in 30 years service in that Region be-
fore he retired and took up the present appoint,
ment. He was, at the time of retirement on a
salary of 1,500 p.a. although he had not yet run
three years on that salary before he retired.7
Two matters were brought against him as fol-
lows :
1. The appointment of one Mr. Badiru as
Inspector of Works, and
2. The sale of the materials of the tempo-
rary offices of the Corporation to a Mrs.
The witness denied irregularities in respect of
both transactions and no further evidence was
adduced to support the charges. With respect to
the first, the witness denied having recruited
straight from the Yaba Technical College and
appointed him as Inspector of Works in the Cor-
poration. We take the view that if the charge had
any substance at all, it should have been further
pursued especially in view of the suggestion to
the witness of that irregular appointment, and,
for him a very severe censure from the former
Chairman of the Corporation, Chief Awosika 8.
Concerning the sale of the material of the demo-
lished temporary buildings of the Corporation to
Mrs. Odebiyi (wife of Mr. Odebiyi, the Minister
of Finance in the suspended Government). The
witness indicated that all he did was to approve
the sale to her for about 100. The cost of the
building to the Corporation was about 400. His
explanation is as follows :9
'When the Bodija Estate was about to open
up, a temporary building was erected for the
use of the Engineering staff. When the main
buildings, head office building was completed
the temporary building was of no further use.
And the technical staff stated that they want-
ed to build two storey flat buildings on the
particular site and they had to demolish it. So,
they suggested that the building should be
demolished and treated as a scrap and the sal-
vage disposed of. How Mrs. Odebiyi and Mrs.
Karunwi, that is the wife of the Director of
Audit, Western Nigeria, got to know I do not
know. And I did not know the time the discus-
sion was going on until I saw the application
and minutes by the Chief Estates Officer. Then
I referred it to the Chief Engineer who con-
Day 88, p. 37
8 Day 88, p. 38.
Day 88, pp. 39-40.

firmed it and I acted on the joint recommenda-
tion of these two heads of departments.'
We do not share the view that he was per-
sonally averse to the appointment of qualified
accountants to the services of the Corporation
although we are of the opinion that owing to the
nature of his background he is rather prone to
adhere to methods and principles which new
training technique have revised and which find
no favour with newly qualified professionals in
the related field. This is demonstrated by what
has been suggested as his affection for one Mr.
Uyeri who is not professionally qualified as an
accountant, but who he described as possessing
'superior practical experience.' 0 We are in-
formed that other qualified accountants like Mr.
Ekundayo and Mr. Adekoya could not work with
him and so had to leave the services of the Cor-
poration. He thought they were no good and they
lacked practical experience; it is our view how-
ever that he had not given these men the chances
to which they were entitled of putting forward
new days of approach to the accounting business
of the Corporation.
The evidence reveals that he is not staying
much longer with the Corporation as he himself
stated that he was only wanting to complete the
education abroad of some of his children. "
We see nothing wrong with his retention in the
Corporation and also are satisfied that he has
justified his appointment in the Corporation.
With regard to the General Manager, Mr. Fit-
chett, very little evidence was given about him
and he was not called as a witness. The evidence
discloses that he was appointed as an Executive
Officer for the services of the Corporation be-
fore the creation of the Corporation. We wish
to record that the only adverse evidence against
him was the allegation put forward by the wit-
ness Okusaga in the following passages : 2
'The first group thought that I should do my
best to send Mr. Fitchett out as soon as possi-
ble, that is, Chief Erinosho and Chief Adewusi
on the ground that they suspected that Mr.
Fitchett was collecting bribes from industria-
lists who wanted to take plots in the Housing
Corporation's estate at Ikeja.'
".. he merely warned me against being
pocketed by Mr. Fitchett. He said, Mr. Fit-
chett would fawn on me; would lick my boots
and if I fell into that sort of thing he would
literally rule the place and would shut me up
from knowing what the other Heads of Divi-
sions were thinking and therefore, I thought
that at an early stage, I should make a direct
contact with the Heads of Divisions so that I
could know exactly what was going on in that
These statements were not developed any fur-
ther and the witness Okusaga was only reporting
what some other people had told him about Mr.
Fitchett. He himself decided to give Mr. Fitchett
a trial and to trust him. Besides the witness
seemed to have placed greater reliance on Chief
Awosika's opinion of Mr. Fitchett to the effect
that he was 'essentially an honest and hard
worker.' Besides this, we have no further evi-
dence as to the administrative activities of Mr.
Fitchett and are, therefore, not in a position to
express any views either way in this Report. We
call to mind however, that the witness Okusaga
did say that he had a high regard for Mr. Fit,
10 Day 88, p. 33
1Day 87, p. 100.
12 Day 90, pp. 107-108.

chett's ability and industry. "
It baffles us however why he should fail to re-
cord the minutes for the reason or reasons why
he wrote the letter dated 6th October, 1960, to
the Minister of Lands and Housing requesting
the Minister to acquire Moba for the Housing
Corporation. No instructions appear what-
soever in the files as to why he should make this
request especially in the face of his own perform-
ances on the panel of investigators commission-
ed by the Government to examine the possibi-
lities of Moba. We do not, however, think
that Mr. Fitchett would have, by himself, taken
this on by himself for the letter Exhibit JOA. 16
clearly stated that he was directed to write same
and when a reply was sent to that letter the
Chairman of the Housing Corporation, Chief
Awosika minuted under the reply as follows
- 'good job.'
In fairness to Mr. Fitchett, Chief Okusaga has
defended him in a classic passage which reads as
follows :'7
'Actually, if I may say so, Mr. Fitchett has
a civil servant's mentality. You tell him to do
something he will do it. He may tell you in a
very polished way, but he will not tell you 'this
is no good, do not go ahead.' But he will say,
'don't you think it is difficult ?' And.if you say
no, it is not difficult, that is finished; he will
go ahead with it with as much enthusiasm as
you push him to do; that is all. So, when he
wrote that letter I had no doubt myself from
the discussion that I had, that it was simply
because Government had taken a decision to
go ahead with Moba; that was why Mr. Fit-
chett acting on the instruction of his Chairman
wrote the letter. But when I came there as a
new man he certainly told me of all the diffi-
culties that would be encountered in Moba...'
This passage occurred when the witness was
questioned about the apparently strange course
of conduct of Mr. Fitchett. If the description of
the witness in connection with that situation and
Mr. Fitchett is correct, then we are not certain
that he had discharged creditably the duties of
his office in not placing on record his own appa-
rently continuing disagreement with the Moba
scheme as a whole. If only he had done that, he
would have completely dis-associated himself
from an infamous arrangement which had cost
the Government at least an amount of 850,000
involving the suggested project completely de-
void of any realities and indeed of any genuine
intentions. The witness Erinosho in this connec-
tion described him as :
'filtering away the revenues of the Region'
and stated that he had in fact submitted a me-
morandum to the Chairman of the Housing Cor-
poration in which he had spelt out all his com-
plaints against Mr. Fitchett.
We had elsewhere in this Report, expressed
our observations concerning the first Chairman
of the Corporation, Chief Awosika. '1
With respect to Chief Okusaga, there is a large
body of evidence touching almost all facets of
his activities in the Housing Corporation. Much
of our knowledge about him came from the ques-
tions and answers exchanged between him and
the witness Erinosho. We also gathered quite a
13 Day 90, p. 78.
"4 Exhibit JOA. 16.
15 Exhibit FAE. 18 see also Ch. 5 post.
16 Exhibit FAE. 48.
"Day 91, p. 5.
See Part I Ch. I, Sec. 3.

substantial amount of information about him
from his own evidence from the witness box. No
doubt exists about his competency for the post
of Chairman of the Housing Corporation to
which he was appointed. He is by training a law-
yer and has considerable experience and was in
fact before appointment as Chairman of the
Housing Corporation, the Minister of Education
in the Western Nigeria Government. He be-
came the second Chairman of the Housing Cor-
poration on the 1st February 1961.
In his evidence he gave us the impression that
he assumed his duties in the Corporation with
the prepared mind of a man who was going into
'a hot bed of intrigues' and indeed stated that
at the time he took over 'the whole of the Hous-
ing Corporation was literally ridden with intri-
gues and quarrels.' We can find no evidence of
this situation and as stated before, his own diffi-
culties arose substantially as a result of his diffe-
rences with the witness Erinosho and the man
Adewusi. We were told that this character who
used to be the Legal Officer of the Corporation
has now been dismissed from the services of the
Corporation on account of allegations of dis-
honesty against him. We share the views of
Chief Okusaga, however, as to the advisability
of deferring the appointment of a full time Exe-
cutive Secretary to the Corporation for the rea-
sons stated by him and especially in view of the
fact that the man Adewusi had applied for the
post and he could (and justifiably so) not see his
way through to offering the post to him. 2 He
himself had summarised the position in the
Housing Corporation at the time he left as fol-
lows :
'I think till I left we had got a total of 1.8
million from Government since 1958, and I
believe myself that the Housing Corporation
has succeeded magnificently in the work that
it was set up to do by Government in accord-
ance with the Law setting up the Corporation.'
There are, however, a few matters on which
we take the view that he has either given no ex-
planations or that the explanations given by him
were not satisfactory.
We refer first to the appointment of Mr. Akin-
tade Daniel, reference to whom we have made
before. The letters of application of this man,
Exhibits, FAE. 26 and 27 demonstrate quite
clearly that the writer of the letters is all but qua-
lified for a post of the category described in the
Minutes of the Corporation, Exhibit FAE. 28,
page 168. Only a little understanding of the
English language is exhibited in the letters and
it is our view that had the Corporation been
apprised of the nature of the duties which the
senior clerical assistant would have to perform
(they were not so informed) 2 the Corporation
would certainly not have given its approval at
any rate for the salary attaching to that post.
The bulk of the evidence in this connection came
from the witness Okusaga himself : and we
cannot accept his explanation of it all and he
himself did not even appear to have known that
the man Daniel ever wrote the application for
employment to the Housing Corporation. This
is so because according to him 'it was after he
had been appointed that he was told by some-
body to write this application.' 2 Chief Oku-
saga himself described the post as follows :
'He was serving in a personal capacity and
"' Day 90, pp. 99 and 108.
'o Day 90, p. 112.
22 Day 91, p. 63.
2a Day 91, pp. 62 ff.
24 Day 91, pp. 65-66.

it is up to the Chairman if he does not like
him to send him away.' 25
It occurs to us that the members of the Cor-
poration, as shown in the relevant minutes 26
did not contemplate any appointment of such a
precarious nature.
Similarly we are not satisfied with his explana-
tions with regard to the allocation of plots in
Ikeja layout to one Mrs. Salako, described as his
former wife. The evidence is abundant to the
effect that on his instructions Mrs. Salako was
let into possession of one of the Corporation's
houses as far back as 2nd April, 1962 long before
she had put in the correct application upon
which the allocation was in fact founded, and
ever before she paid any of the fees required to
be pre-paid in respect of such allocations. 27
The files Exhibits AO. 12 and AO. 13 show quite
clearly that the lady in question went into pos-
session of the Corporation's house without pay-
ing a penny after it was demonstrated, according
to the witness Okusaga, that her first application
dated 27th January, 1962, for a house was irre-
gular as there did not appear to be any male gua-
rantor specified on that application. We do
not accept the explanation of Chief Okusaga with
respect to this transaction and still less do we
accept his denials of being aware of the real state
of circumstances. We take the view that he
spoke the truth unwittingly when he said that
'the only compelling situation at that time was
that she had been given notice to quit where she
was living and she had to move into something.'
2 It is certain, in our view, within the com-
petence of the Chairman of the Housing Corpo-
ration in exceptional cases (as this should be if
the circumstances described by the witness in
the last quotation were true) to take exceptional
steps and then report later to the Corporation,
but in such circumstances the Chairman owes a
'.L.t to the Corporation to put all the facts before
them so that it might be established and under-
stood by them as an exceptional situation and
nothing upon which a precedent should be based.
We have examined the two files, Exhibits AO. 12
and AO. 13 very carefully and we are satisfied
that almost all the steps taken in those files to
remedy the situation to put things right and pay
the necessary fees and execute the necessary
documents by Mrs. Salako took place after the
appointment of this Commission of Inquiry and
we take the view that Chief Okusaga should have
insisted on this being carried through at as an
early a date as possible after the lady in ques-
tion had got into possession.
We do not wish to blame Chief Okusaga per-

25 Day 91, p. 67.
2 Exhibit FAE. 28, p. 168
Minutes on page 22 of File produced as Exhibit AO. 12.
'* Day 88, p. 30.
s Day 91, p. 81.

sonally for the confusion that had occurred with
respect to the allocations of plots Nos. 13 and 14
at the Ikeja layout and in any case we propose
to put forward our observations on this matter
in another chapter of this Report. We would
also point out that the witness Okusaga had
endeavoured to defend the matter of his tele-
phone bills but has been singularly unsuccessful
in doing so, He was himself conscious of the irre-
gularities involved and the necessity for him to
settle the bills and so he took a belated step by
writing the letter of 7th September, 1962, long
after the announcement of this Inquiry. (31) We
only hope that the matters contained in that
letter will be brought to a conclusion as expedi-
tiously as possible.
Finally on the Western Region Housing Cor-
poration, we comment on the Minister for Lands
and Housing at the time of the suspension of
the Western Region Government, Chief James
O. Adigun. He gave evidence before us and
although we are satisfied that he was a witness
of truth, we are not satisfied that he had dis-
charged the duties of his office as Minister of
Lands and Housing with the degree of respon-
sibility which the post demands. He had no
satisfactory explanation to give us as to why he
should give instructions for the acquisition of
Moba N llI.: except that he was prompted by
Chief Awolowo to proceed with the acquisition.
We realism how difficult it is in such a political
situation to resist the persuasions of the Leader
of the Party but all the same we feel that having
in mind the responsibility which he has to the
people of Western Nigeria he should have exer.
cised some caution in dealing with that matter.
We pointed out that even when the matter of
compensation went to the Executive Council
for approval he did not do his part in advising
his colleagues as to the details of the Report,
Exhibit AM.23 and consequently the Executive
Council approved the payment of 850,000 for
a project when it was and still remains a figment
of the imagination of some people. All the per-
manent officials of the Ministry of Lands and
Housing advised him on all the various steps
taken by him in respect of this matter including
the valuation, but despite these he went ahead
with the acquisition. With respect to the issue
of Crown Lands we observe that he had no
policy whatsoever either written or unwritten
and he went so far as to tell us that when Chief
Adebiyi wanted some Crown Lands in Ikeja he
simply entered upon the land without any formal
authorisation whatsoever. We take the view that
in his capacity as a Minister of State he should
have been much more vigilant in this respect.

0 Chapter 5 post.
31 Exhibit FAE. 33.


The Western Region Housing Corporation, we
are told, is developing about 400 acres of land at
Bodija in Ibadan which are being developed as a
residential estate with about 1,200 houses. Both in
this Estate and the Ikcja Estate we are told that the
principle of allocation, especially in respect of the
residential plots, has always been one plot to one
man. The evidence clearly reveals that this position
was more or less consistently followed except in
certain cases concerning Mr Alfred Rewane and
the evidence contained in the documents Exhibits
FAE. 1 to FAE. 11.
We are of the considered opinion that no allocations
should have been made on the subsequent appli-
cations in different names made by Mr Rewane, it
being manifest from the circumstances that the same
man was then applying for the same number of plots
in different names. This situation is confirmed by the
fact that although the initial deposits in all the cases
were paid by Mr Rewane, the concluding payments
were made by one cheque issued by a Mr Lanlehin.
We have also dealt with the man Lanlehin elsewhere
in this Report1 and it is sufficient to say here that he
was at all material times the Treasurer of the Action
Group party.2 The Chairman of the Western Region
Housing Corporation, Chief Okusaga, repudiated
the suggestion by Mr Erinosho that in the lbadan
layout the demand was more than the supply but we
take the view that it should have been obvious to the
former Chairman, Awosika, who approved the alloca-
tions that the policy of the Corporation enunciated
by himself was being seriously disregarded. It is
significant that the application forms, were all signed
by Mr A. O. Rewane for the respective nominees
whose names appeared thereon and also that Exhibits
FAE. 5 and FAE. 7 were not, in fact, dated.
The Chairman himself, Chief Okusaga, had on the
24th July applied for allocation to himself of a plot at
Bodija.3 It seems clear that the normal procedure for
allocation of plots was not followed but this allocation
seems to have been approved by the Finance Com-
mittee of the Western Region Housing Corporation.4
He obviously had, at the same time, a mortgage
account with the Housing Corporation since 1961,
and the receipts Exhibits FAE. 30, FAE. 31, FAE.
31A and FAE. 31c/are evidence of this other transac-
tion. By letter dated 7th August, 1962,6 the Chief
Estate Officer requested the erstwhile Chairman of
the Western Region Housing Corporation to indicate
his plans with respect to this plot and by the letter of
8th August, 1962,6 Chief Okusaga replied that he
was no longer interested in this allocation. It is
doubtful whether, at the time that the letter was
written by Chief Okusaga, he was aware of the steps
being taken with respect to plots Nos. 13 and 14 on
the Ikeja layout, one of which (i.e. No. 14) he had
belatedly applied for on 14th June, 1962.7
In the accounts for the Bodija Estate produced
to us8 the Auditors, Messrs. Z. O. Ososanya and
Company observed as follows:
'As it will be observed from the general revenue
account only the mid-west branch had a deficit
of 2,169 whilst Ibadan (Bodija) and Ikeja showed
surpluses amounting to 16,071 and 47,629
respectively. This was mainly due to the fact that
there were no sales of developed lands as well as the
absence of houses constructed by the Corporation
SPart I, Chapter 2, Section 4.
2Day 86, pp. 30-31.
3 Exhibits FAE.1, FAE.4, FAE.5, FAE.6, and FAE.7
SSee Minutes Exhibit FAE.15.
5 See Minutes in Minute Book Exhibit FAE.34
6 Exhibit FAE.37.
7 Exhibit FAE.38.
s Exhibit FAE.35 and Minutes Exhibit FAE 34. p. 152)

for sale to those who prefer to move into their own
homes as soon as they can afford the required
deposit. The Corporation may therefore wish to
consider a special programme regarding Mid-west
branch in order to prevent the branch from be-
coming a perpetual source of annual deficit which
may create a serious inroad into the aggregate
surpluses of the other branches.'

As we do not propose to write another chapter on
the activities of the Mid-west branch, we comment
shortly here that we entirely agree with the observa-
tion of the Auditors in this Report. The major part
of the activities of the Western Region Housing
Corporation in the Mid-west branch has been the
granting of loans to members of the public for
erection of their own houses on their own lands.
We have no evidence of how those were spent and we
are of the considered opinion that no organised
system of checking or supervision exists and on a
close investigation, it would be manifest that most of
the monies so loaned have not been employed for the
purposes of the loan.
In conclusion of this part we would suggest that
the volume of work being handled with respect to
these Estates, i.e., Bodija Estates as clearly shown by
several exhibits shown to us dictate that a separate
internal audit section be provided whereby close
supervision can be effected internally with respect to
the financial aspects of the activities of the Housing
Corporation in this section.
We have examined the accounts of the Corporation
for the year ended 31st March, 1961,10 and have
adverted to certain observations made by the auditors
with respect to some of the lands at Bodija in language
which suggests some irregularities. The auditors
maintain, in paragraph 4 of Exhibit FAE.17, that
a profit of 5,214 was lost to the Western Region
Housing Corporation as a result of the fact:
'that certain portions of Bodija residential lands
were sold by the Corporation to the Western
Nigeria Government for erecting the quarters for
the Deputy United Kingdom High Commissioner
and the residence of the Head of the Civil Service.'

We learn that about seven acres of land were involved
and that these were sold to the Government for
1,414 less than what the area would have normally
fetched in the open market. We are without further
information about this matter except that the witness
Erinosho in the course of his evidence11 stated that
the matter was still being pursued and that it was
expected that the Regional Government would make
good the loss of the Housing Corporation. The
contention of the witness is that there is provision
in the Western Region Housing Corporation Law
empowering the Corporation to sell lands to the
Government and especially so at a discount. We do
not propose to say much more on this matter as we
gather from the explanation given that the matter
might be eventually put straight. The auditors to the
Corporation also thought that the prices of the same
types of houses should vary according to the locality,
because in their view the uniformity in prices could
not be consistent where houses of the same type are
built in different localities which possess different
types of amenities. We are of the view ourselves that
this is a proposal which is worth consideration and
that any disparity which results from an operation of
this principle would be justified by the increased
Demand which would obviously attend the execution
of that principle.
10 Exhibit FAE.17.
Day 87. o. 19. ff.


We are informed that the Western Region Housing
Corporation has an area of about 750 acres at Ikeja
which is being developed partly as a residential
estate and partly as an industrial estate. With respect
to the acquisition of this land and the organisation of
the operations of the Western Region Housing
Corporation thereon, the witness Erinosho stated as
follows :
'Bodija Estate and Ikeja Estate were acquired
by the Government who owns the freehold title to
the land and conveys ninety-nine years head-
leases to the Housing Corporation who in turn
conveys to sub-leases depending on the residue of
the time when the leases are executed.'1
This involves a steady decrease in the number of
years to which successive assignees are entitled with a
corresponding decrease in their rent liability. The
principle of allocation is the same as with the Bodija
Estate. The list of allottees shown to us bears this
We are not, however, satisfied with the practice of
the last Chairman, Mr Okusaga, in approving
allocation of plots without prior reference to the
Corporation. Our aversion to this procedure arises
from the factual result which attended the allocations
of plots numbers 13 and 14. Briefly the facts were that
plot number 14 was indicated to have been approved
for one MrM. A. Ogun whilst plot number 13 was
indicated to have been approved foroneMr Onasanya.2
We are aware of the explanation of the witness
Okusaga that the approval granted by him with
respect to Mr Ogun's application was in respect of
plot number 13, that plot number having been
struck out on his original Minutes by the Chief
Estates Officer of the Corporation who thought that
it was a mistake for number 143. The mix-up, we
are informed, has now been cleared up by the
Corporation and plot number 14 had been confirmed
to Mr Ogun and plot number 13 to Mr Onasanya.
We only hope that the practice which we have
adverted to earlier on of requiring the final approval
to be indicated by the Corporation would be insisted
upon and that any such approval by the Finance
Committee or the Corporation itself should be
secured before such approval is communicated to the
We have also expressed our views with regards to
the allocation of a plot to Mrs Salako and in such case
we thought that if the prior approval of the Corpora-
tion or of the Finance Committee were insisted upon
before communication to the applicant, this incident
would, at any rate, have not assumed the dimensions
of irregularity shown by the evidence.
There is very little evidence regarding the indus-
trial section of the development at Ikeja although the
annual reports of the Western Region Housing

Day 86, page 27.
SExhibits FAE.13., AO.9 and FAE.36.
3 Day 91, pages 33 ff.
4 Exhibit AO.6, page 4; also exhibit AO.7, page 15.

Corporation did contain expressions of a rapidly
growing amount of industrial development in this
area4. With respect to the allocation of industrial
plots we are informed that :

'a copy of the proforma application is sent to the
Ministry of Trade and Industry and until this
Ministry has given its clearance the Corporation
is not able to take any further action'.5

We are able, from the various data at our disposal, to
prepare a schedule of lands allocated at Ikeja for
industrial purposes and the same is attached as
Appendix Forty-Three. It will be seen from this that
the average cost of development in the industrial
layout is 2,420 per acre. In the case of the Asbestos
Cement Products Limited, however, we are informed
that the land was leased out at a rent of 150 per
acre per annum. We are without information as to the
circumstances leading to the sub-lease of this land
at 150 per acre when, in fact, the Western Region
Housing Corporation itself pays for the land 600
per acre. Apart from this, we have no reasons to doubt
that the Industrial Estate site at Ikeja is being pro-
gressively and satisfactorily operated and that the
hopes expressed about this project in the various
Annual Reports would be realized.

We gather from the Report of the Auditors to the
Western Region Housing Corporation that a net loss
of 33,467-14s-2d was carried from the General
Revenue Account at the 31st March, 1961 to the
Appropriation Account. This loss, we are also told,
was mainly due to the sale of 38.2 acres of industrial
land to the Asbestos Cement Products Limited at the
rate of 876-19s-3d per acre instead of the normal
rate of 2,750 per acre applied to all other sales. On
this point, the Auditors' Report further states:

'There were other contributory factors to the
overall net loss of 33,467-14s-2d and these were
the charging of ground rents on the industrial area
occupied by the Asbestos Cement Company
Limited at the rate of only forty pounds per acre
instead of the rate of 300 per acre charged and
actually paid by three other companies and 500
per acre actually paid by one other company.'

The witness Erinosho thought that the General
Manager, Mr Fitchett, the Chief Estates Officer,
and the Branch Manager of the Corporation 'mis-
handled this particular transaction'7 but stated that
he had taken up the matter with the Ministry of Trade
and Industry and that they were still expecting results
in connection with the meeting summoned in Novem-
ber 1961 and held between the representatives of the
Western Region Housing Corporation, the Ministry
of Trade and Industry and the Western Nigeria
Development Corporation.8

4Exhibit AO.7, page 6.
6Exhibit FAE. 17.
'Day 87, page 22
8 Day 87 page 22


We are aware that strictly speaking our terms of
reference do not extend to the allocation of Crown
Lands by the Western Nigeria Government. In the
course of his evidence, the witness Erinosho stated
clearly that the Housing Corporation had nothing
whatsoever to do with Crown Lands.1 In the course
of his evidence, however, the witness did say that with
respect of the Ikeja layout the demand for plot alloca-
tion is not as great as the supply. This necessarily
creates a situation which calls for inquiry and which
the witness was asked to explain. Now the witness
explained as follows:2
'The trouble is due to the fact that when the
Board of the Corporation decided that only one
acre or not more than two plots should be allocated
to Industrialists, the expatriate officer in charge
violated the policy of the Corporation by allowing
industries to have more than one plot. In conse-
quence of which, the Nigerians who bought houses,
were not able to get them leased out to their
expatriate workers.'
The Commissioners have therefore come to the con-
clusion to put in this short chapter on Crown Lands,
because quite apart from explanations given by the
witness Erinosho we are convinced ourselves, that
the operation of Crown Lands by methods of alloca-
tion for development and indeed the availability of
monies by way of loans (provided by the Housing
Corporation) must inevitably affect the destinies of
the operations of the Housing Corporation. We have
evidence before us that Crown Lands are spread over
all parts of the Region and the list supplied to us3
shows that such Crown Lands exist in almost all large
provinces into which Western Nigeria could be
geographically divided. This list contains hundreds
of names and as we have ourselves examined the list,
we do not think it necessary to include the list as such
in this Report. We would however make references
to such parts as are necessarily involved in the course
of our discussions in this chapter.
The witness Chief James Oladejo Adigun became
Minister of Land and Housing in Western Nigeria
in August 1960 after the Regional elections. Before
then and apparently in the previous Government he
was Minister of Health and Social Services. He
seemed, at any rate according to his evidence, to
have come into the operation of allocating Crown
Lands when he first assumed office as a Minister of
Lands and Housing. In answer to a question put to
him by Counsel with respect to the policy of the
Western Nigeria Government in the allocation of
plots on Crown Land, he stated that there was no
policy stated in black and white of allotting to one
man only one plot. Each application, according to
him, is usually considered on its merits. He defended
the policy by stating that many other circumstances,
apart from the availability of the land, should be
considered including the type of building proposed
to be erected on the land and the ability of the allottee
at any rate financially to develop the site, and such
matters. He admitted himself that at one time he
had allocated to himself a total of three plots of
Crown Land but that he had surrendered one of them
and had retained two." He also admitted that a Crown
Land was allocated to his wife who is a housewife and
does petty trading.6 He denied suggestions put to
him that he had four Crown Lands and stated that
at no time did he have four plots and that a Mr B. O.
Adigun shown as having a Crown Land in Exhibit
1 Day 87, p.7
2 Day 87, p.2
3 Exhibit JOA.25
Day 62, p.1l
6 Day 62, p.12

JOA.25 is not a relation of his.
We are concerned however, with the way in which
Ministers of State have employed the facilities of
their office for allocation to themselves of Crown
Lands. We had already ir;lio.' out that Crown
Lands exist in all parts of the Region including
Abeokuta, Benin, Mushin, Ikeja, Sapele, Warri,
Ibadan, Ijebu area or provinces and the records
made available to us shew clearly that there is some
considerable amount of activity with respect to the
allocation of those Lands. The allocation of Crown
Lands substantially started in the year 1960 and it
was sought by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the course
of his cross-examination of Chief Adigun to establish
that all throughout the period of his regime he had
insisted that Ministers should stay away from Crown
Lands which are supposed to be made available to
members of the public. The witness stated inter alia
as follows :
'I said in 1959 when perhaps you realized some
were allocated plots, you spoke to us and you said
it was not advisable. That was after the allocations
had been made.'7

We are however clear on the point that these lands
were substantially only ready for allocation at the
beginning of 1960 or the end of 1959.8 That this was
so is clearly shown by the dates appearing on Exhibit
JOA.25 with regards to the time that the allocations
were made. This observation, of course, does not
apply to the times at which leases of Crown Lands
were first made to the Commercial Houses or Govern-
ment undertakings or agencies as shown on the list.
We know from the evidence available that the
Premier, Chief S. L. Akintola, realized that the
allocation of Crown Lands in the Western Region
had assumed scandalous proportions and had decided
to intervene in the matter. It is significant that his
own wife, Mrs Akintola, was allotted two plots of
Crown Lands at the time, although it is stated in
evidence that she eventually surrendered one of the
plots and retained one. The intervention of the
Premier, Chief Akintola, called for the writing of
the letter admitted in evidence as Exhibit JOA.22
dated llth December, 1961. That letter enjoins
upon the Minister of Lands and Housing, Chief
Adigun to see to it that no one Minister and indeed
no person
by himself may possess more than one
plot of Crown Land in the Region.
'I should like you to examine the list which you
have sent to me and to invite all the Ministers,
Parliamentary Secretaries and Senior Civil Servants
to whom more than one plot has been allocated to
surrender the excess plots to you within one
month for re-allocation to other people'.
The letter continued to suggest that with respect to
sites which were then undeveloped the surrender
should be immediate but with respect to sites which
had already been developed, arrangements should be
made for the transfer of these sites by mutual bargain-
ing between the transferor and the transferee.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the course of his cross-
examination of the witness had suggested to him the
principle which he pursued with respect to the
allocation of Crown Lands during his term of office
6 Day 62, p.56
SDay 63, p. 34.
SDay 63, p. 12
9 Exhibit JOA. 22
10 Day 63, p. 20.

'You remember the principle which governed
the policy, namely that we being Ministers in
charge of these Crown Lands, should not allocate
them to ourselves under any circumstances, but if
we are out of office then we can; is that not so?
That was the principle of the policy. Is that not so,
Mr Adigun?'

The witness stated that he did not remember the
principle and also repudiated the suggestion that that
policy was put forward by Chief Awolowo as far back
as 1958 stating that there was no cause for that'
statement at that time." The witness however stated
that during Chief Akintola's regime all Chief Akin-
tola said was that no one Minister or such person
might hold more than one Crown Land. In view
of the instructions of the Premier contained in the
letter of 1lth December, 1961 1 the Minister issued
circulars in the form of letters on 14th and 15th
December, 1961 to Ministers, Parliamentary Secre-
taries and Civil Servants requesting them to comply
with the instructions of the Premier. The witness
Adigun further testified that as a result of these letters
the documents contained in the file admitted in
evidence as Exhibit JOA.27 were received by him.
These were letters from:

1. J. O. Oshuntokun, Minister of Health and
Social Welfare.
2. E. A. Anuku, Ministry of Economic Planning.

3. Ayo Akinsanya, Executive Director, Western
Nigeria Development Corporation.
4. Chief B. O. Olusola, Western Nigeria Develop-
ment Corporation.
5. Dr S. 0. Biobaku, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Uni-
versity of Ife.
6. Chief T. A. Oni.
7. Chief E. A. Babalola, Chairman, Western
Region Finance Corporation.
8. Chief F. R. A. Williams.
9. Chief A. Coker, Agent-General for Western
Nigeria in the United Kingdom.
10. M. 0. Abiosc, Ministry of Lands and Housing.
11. Magnus A. Macauley, Permanent Secretary,
Il,/:,,.'y of Works.
12. Chief S. O. Adebo, Chief Secretary, Western
Nigeria Government.
13. N. O. A. Akinyemi, Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Lands and IH ,..
14. Chief S. O. Sogbein, Minister of Works and
15. B. 0. E. Osagie, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Mid-West. I .i, .
16. Dr S. Franklin, Ministrylof Health and Social
17. Alhaji D. S. Adegbenro, Mlinister of Local
18. Chief J. O. Adigun, Minister of Lands and
19. Mrs M. A. Adigun.
20. Ade Thanni, Ministry of Information.

1I Day 63, p. 20.
12 Exhibit JOA.22.

21. Chief E. A. Fadayiro, Minister of Information.
22. K. S. Y. Momoh, .liAl,, of Trade and
23. J. A. Odeku.
24. J. T. Caxton Idowu, Ministry of Trade and
25. A. O. Rewane, Chairman, Western Ni;::u,' ,
Development Corporation.

26. Mrs F. A. Akintola.
27. Chief S. L. Durosaro, National Bank of
Nigeria Limited.
28. Chief Akin Deko, Food and Agriculture 0, 'i a;-
sation Regional Representative for Africa--United'

By all these letters the various allottees of Crown
lands concerned agreed to and did surrender one
each of the Crown Lands allocated to them. There
is evidence that Chief J. A. O. Odebiyi refused to
surrender any of the Crown Lands which had been
allocated to him and which, in the majority of cases,
he had already developed. At this juncture it is
apposite to discuss Chief Odebiyi's views on this
matter. '"

He was certainly aware of Chief Awolowo's views
about allocation of Crown Lands to Ministers. Chief
Awolowo did not like Ministers to allocate Crown
Lands to themselves and indeed warned Ministers
against such allocations." When he was asked by
Chief Awolowo whether or not he surrendered his
own Crown Lands, he replied as follows:

'I wasn't prepared. I was even prepared to resign
instead of surrendering the whole thing.'1"

In the course of his evidence, however, Chief Odebiyi
pointed out that none of the Ministers ever agreed to
the principle that no Minister should get Crown
Lands at all and a compromise was eventually reached
to the effect that only one Crown Land should be
given to one Minister. He stated that as a result of
this, a letter was written by the Minister of Lands
and Housing and signed by Chief Adigun. This letter
was apparently addressed to Ministers of State,
Parliamentary and Permanent Secretaries and so on.
No letters other than those dated 14th and 15th
December, 1961" were produced in evidence before
us and these the witness Adigun had stated, were
written by him at the instance of Chief Akintola and
in pursuance of Chief Akintola's instructions con-
tained in the letter of 1lth December, 1961"

Be that as it may, the records clearly establish the
views of Chief Odebiyi as to the possession of Crown
Lands. That view can be summarised briefly in his
own answer to a question put to him by Counsel as
follows: I

'That was in connection with the idea of one
man retaining only one Crown Land. I did say
that since there was no standing instructions as
such, that a Minister or a member of the public
of the Western Region for that matter should
only have one Crown Land. If I was pressed to

1a Day24,pp.59-60.
4 Day 24, p.59.
1LDay 24, p.60.
1" Exhibits JOA23 and 24.
Exhibit JOA 22.
1i Day 25, pp.5-6.

leave my Crown Land over and above the one to
which I was entitled, then I would have had to
resign, because I have already got loans to improve
the plots, and I could not afford to lose them.'
In the course of his evidence Chief Odebiyi expressed
the view that Chief Awolowo's statement about
Crown Lands related to the allocation of Crown
Lands by Ministers to themselves and so, although
he would consider the Lagos Executive Development
Board's lands in Lagos to be Crown Lands, he would
see no violation of the principle if Chief Awolowo
were to own Lagos Executive Development Board
plots in Lagos where he was not a Minister of State.19
In this context he had pointed out that whilst Chief
S. L. Akintola was a Minister of State in Lagos he
had obtained allocations to himself of Crown Lands.
Whilst we are in agreement with the witness Adigun
that it was difficult to formulate any clear cut policy
with regard to the allocation of Crown Lands, we
cannot agree that it was impossible to do so. It is
more difficult when it is consideredthat althoughthe
Housing Corporation deals with the development of
low density, medium density and high density areas20
the scope of the operations of that Corporation must
be necessarily circumscribed with respect to low
density development. This is due to the maximum of
4,000 loan as stipulated by the Corporation and the
policy of one man, one plot, pursued by the Corpora-
tion. Necessary allowances must be made for major
development of low density areas, involving consider-
able amounts of money and expert knowledge. We
consider that the availability of Crown Lands pro-
vides an answer to this aspect of development. Never-
theless, we are in agreement with the policy of the
Western Nigeria Premiers, in their times Chief
Awolowo and Chief S. L. Akintola, that no Minister
of State or other such official or member of the
Government could have allocated to himself more
than one plot of Crown Land.
We have endeavoured to examine the possibilities
with regards to Chief Awolowo's enunciation of his
own first policy to the effect that Ministers of State
should not allocate Crown Lands to themselves. The
19 Day 25, p.7.
al"1 Day 90. p. 114.

evidence reveals that no Minister ever complied with
this and it is relevant to point out that his own
wife, Mrs Awolowo, had a plot allocated to her which
eventually she surrendered.21 A list showing some of
the allottees of Crown Lands is attached to this
Report and marked Appendix Forty-Four.
It is appropriate at this juncture to refer to Chief
Odebiyi, the Minister of Finance in the Western
Nigeria Government before the crisis. He gave
evidence before us and quite apart from the fact that
we do not accept most of his evidence we come to the
conclusion that he was an indecisive Minister of
State who has exhibited the same attitude in the
performance of his duties.
We refer again briefly to his possession of Crown
Lands. Perhaps of all the Ministers of State in the
Western Region he had more Crown Lands than
anyone else and not only did he refuse to accept
Chief Awolowo's suggestion to surrender the Crown
Lands or Chief Adigun's instructions that he should
do so, he told us that if that be the case he would be
prepared to give up his portfolio as he was making
arrangements for the 'rainy day'. Whatever this may
mean we take the view that as a Minister of State he
should realise the desirability of limiting the number
of Crown Lands acquired by him if only to demon-
strate to the people of the country that he was not
taking over for himself the lands which the Govern-
ment has made available to all the peoples of the
He failed to handle satisfactorily the matter of
the Agbonmagbe Bank with respect to the representa-
tion of the Western Region Marketing Board on the
Board of Directors of that Bank and his performance
at the meeting of the 10th January, 1962 where it
was decided that some properties of the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited should
be earmarked to offset the loans of that company
was all but satisfactory. We take the view that he
should have acted with greater responsibility in the
discharge of these functions and we are convinced
that had he done so much of the unpleasantness
which now ranges round those two matters would
have been avoided.

Section 1.--History of the National Investment and Properties Company
connection with Moba

Perhaps of all the matters which had been investi-
gated by this Commission the most obscure is that
of Moba. The origins of the arrangements and indeed
planning which culminated in the acquisition of
Moba by the Western Nigeria Government in June
1961 are completely lost in mystery. Moba village is
situate on the northern portion of the lagoon side of
Victoria Island by the north end of Five Cowrie
Creek and is geographically located opposite the
north-east end of Ikoyi Island. From the acquisition
notice, which was at one time published by the
Western Nigeria Government for the acquisition of
the entire island1 it appears that the total area of land
involved is about 3,315 acres. We also learned that
the total area in which the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited was interested is
approximately 552 acres.2 Indeed Mr M. O. Owo-
dunni, solicitor to the National Investment and
Properties Company in a letter dated the 2nd Decem-
ber, 1960 addressed to the Commission for Lands,
Ibadan, stated that his clients' interests in Moba are
limited to 552.508 acres. We confess that not one of
the Commissioners had heard the name 'MOBA' or
knew of the existence of an island by that name
before the proceedings of this Inquiry.
The earliest recorded information as far as this
Ihquiry is concerned, will be found in the letter
emanating from the National Bank of Nigeria to the
Minister of Finance dated the 30th June, 19563 in
which the National Bank of Nigeria Limited was
inviting the Government to assist in its develop-
mental projects concerned with some properties,
including Moba. That letter carries an attachment
described in the letter as a list of the properties of the
National Bank of Nigeria which it was proposed, by
the Bank, to develop and item No. 29 on that list is
'600 acres of land at Moba, Ikoyi'. It appears that in
consequence of the events that happened, the Minis-
try of Finance was not in a position to finance the
scheme as envisaged and that in any case the National
Bank of Nigeria was not in any position either to
execute the projects because in the meantime the
Banking Ordinance (Cap. 19 of the Federal Laws of
Nigeria) had come into operation.
The evidence which was put before us discloses
that the National Bank of Nigeria never had any
documents of title to this property. The witness,
Dr Maja, however, gave some explanation of what
happened in the interval as follows:
'What I know about Moba was he (Chief
Doherty) told me we would acquire this Moba on
account but in the meantime the account was to
be put in the Suspense Account in our names as
owing the Bank and when we were ready to pay
for the amount we will pay the Bank and the
Chieftaincy will convey to us.'

* *

a *

'What happened was that Gbadamosi and
Shonibare got Allison and we went to Doherty
about Moba according to what Doherty himself
told me they wanted him to make a conveyance
for 300,000 because they wanted to help the Party
and Doherty said no because that account is too
high and he said that the highest he could do was
to give the conveyance for 150,000 that was the
explanation he gave me later on.'4
SExhibit FGG.3.
2 Exhibit AOI.23.
SAttachment to SLD.31.
SDay 78, pages 37 and 38

From this explanation it appears as if although Dr
Maja and Chief T. A. Doherty had negotiated with
the original owners of the land called 'Moba' for the
purchase of that land not one penny had been paid by
either or both of them to the original owners although
they had held out themselves as owners of the land
and opened a Suspense Account in the National
Bank of Nigeria for payment to the owners of the
purchase price. We reach the stage then, at which
the land Moba was described according to the letter of
June 1956 as the property of the National Bank of
Nigeria Limited. The first instrument of Title to
which our attention has been drawn is the Conveyance
executed between the Onikoyi Family of Lagos as the
original owners of this land under Native Law and
SCustoms to Dr Akinola Maja and Chief Doherty and
dated the 10th October, 19585. This Conveyance
purports to transfer the interest of the sellers in the
land to the two purchasers named therein for a sum
of 11,000 and carries the plan showing the acreage
of land in Moba Island to which, as stated before, the
National Investment and Properties Company laid
claims of ownership. Barely a month thereafter
another instrument of Conveyance, this time trans-
ferring the same land from the two purchasers named
above, Dr Maja and Chief Doherty to one Rabiu A.
Allison occurred6. This purported to transfer the
ownership of the same land to the purchaser named
therein, Mr Allison, for the price of 150,000.
The next document of Title shown to us with respect
to Moba is an instrument of transfer of that property
executed by Mr Allison in favour of the National
Investment and Properties Company and dated the
4th July, 1959 for a consideration of 718,260-8s-0d.
This involved that the land bought by Dr Maja and
Chief Doherty by virtue of the Conveyance dated
the 10th October, 1958 for 11,000 was six weeks
thereafter sold, by virtue of the Conveyance dated the
23rd November, 1958, to Mr R. A. Allison for
150,000 and subsequently within eight months
thereafter by virtue of Conveyance dated the 4th
July, 1959, sold to the National Investment and
Properties Company for over 718,000.
Without adverting to the other matters that
affected the history of Moha we point out that before
that time in 1958 a firm of Chartered Valuers in
Lagos by the name of Messrs. Gleave and Fox had
been commissioned by the National Investment and
Properties Company and had indeed prepared for the
National Investment and Properties Company a
scheme of development on Moba Island embodying
a project costing several million pounds7. There-
after we hear no more of this land until by letter
dated the 6th October, 19608 the General Manager
of the Western Region Housing Corporation wrote to
the Ministry of Lands and Housing as follows:
'I am directed to write to you and to request
you to put in hand acquisition measures on behalf
of this Corporation for the whole of the area
envisaged for development in the report entitled
'Viability and Feasibility of the Moba village
housing project', prepared by Mr F. Gleave and
submitted to the National Investment and Pro-
perties Company Limited.'
Thereafter we were informed that the Ministry
proceeded by means of acquisition notice produced
Exhibit AM.1.
6 Exhibit AM.2. dated 23rd November, 1968.
Exhibit AM.23.
8 Exhibit JOA.16.

in evidence before us9 to acquire firstly the entire
land known as Moba village and lastly and even-
tually the National Investment and Properties
Company interest of just over 550 acres. Before
the expiration of the term stipulated in the acquisi-
tion notice for lodgment of claims we are informed
that several claimants had lodged claims with the
Ministry with respect to various interests in Moba
Islandlo. but that these claims and the claimants
were not dealt with and indeed have not been
dealt with up to today over one year since the
Western Nigeria Government had decided to
acquire the interest of the National Investment and
Properties Company in Moba and had indeed paid
a total amount of 850,000 for the land to the
National Investment and Properties Company.
We also learn that in arriving at the figure at which
the National Investment and Properties Company
interest in Moba should be purchased, the Ministry of
Lands and Housing commissioned Messers. Gleave
and Fox (the same valuers who had promulgated the
Moba scheme of the National Investment and
Properties Company11 to value the interests of the
National Investment and Properties Company in that
land. The letter address by the Ministry to Messrs
Gleave and Fox reads in part as follows:
'Following various discussions and meetings held
on the scheme at various levels, this Government
decided to acquire the whole Moba Site as well as
adjacent areas by a notice in the Gazette. This
acquisition was duly completed and necessary legal
instruments have been passed. It has now become
necessary to determine the value of the interests
of that Section of Moba owned by N.I.P.C. in
relation to the comprehensive Development Report
prepared by Plan Group. I shall be pleased if
your Company will undertake to do this valuation
for the Government as early as possible.'12
The letter was signed by the Minister himself. As a
result of this Messrs Gleave and Fox produced a
valuation admitted in evidence by us and which stated
that considering all the circumstances to which they
had adverted, the value of the interests of the National
Investment and Properties Company in Moba Island
was 850,000.13 The valuation of 850,000 was
expressly stated at page six of the Report to be subject
to the following conditions:
1. That The National Investment and Properties
Company is in a position to produce at least
one million pounds in fluid available funds
either from its own resources or otherwise to
cover the total and initial cost of reclamation
preliminary engineering services and on the
assumption that the residual cost of 500,000
of such engineering services could be serviced
from sales of houses on the site.
2. That the issue of a bridge connecting Moba
Island with the north-eastern end of Ikoyi was
settled and that the necessary consent of the
relevant Federal Authorities had been obtained
for that project.
3. That all necessary authorities, that is the
Government of Western Region and in
particular the Government of the Federal area
of Lagos have approved the plan laid out and
the type of engineering services that would be
involved in the entire Moba project.
4. That water can be supplied from existing
services thereby rendering it unnecessary for
a separate construction for water supply for
Exhibits FGG.3 and FGG.4.
1t Exhibit JOA.13 and attachments.
x Exhibit AM.23.
12 Exhibit FGG.2.
13 Exhibit MOO.26.

5. That the general political climate of Nigeria
as a whole remains at a point where the volume
of new commercial and business entrants
remains at least at its present level. This is
necessary because a decrease in the quantity
of influx due to political circumstances will
necessarily compel a decrease in the demand
for purchase of houses in that locality by
members of the public. The valuers observed
that that was a factor not within their compe-
tence to evaluate but had assumed a period of
three years as a minimum period of stability to
ensure the projection of that scheme at all.
6. The availability, after the initial period of
two years of funds abroad to make up a total
amount of about five million which was
estimated roughly as the tentative costs of the
entire project.
We are also informed that without any proof or
evidence of the existence of these circumstances or the
performance of these conditions the Western Nigeria
Government proceeded after acquiring the interest of
the National Investment and Properties Company to
pay to the National Investment and Properties
Company the sum of 850,000 for that land. This
payment was made pursuant to a Resolution of the
Executive Council dated the 6th June, 1961 to the
following effect approving:
1. The acquisition in the first instance of 552,508
acres in extent of the lands to Araromi and
Moba for the Western Region Housing
2. Payment of 850,000 to the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company.
3. Fees of 2,263 to Messrs Gleave and Fox.
4. An instruction to the effect that the National
Investment and Properties Company should
be required to prove the expenditure incurred
by them in developing the property so far.
The evidence before us reveals that in pursuance of
this acquisition of the National Investment and
Properties Company on the 14th June, 1961 a
Treasury payable order for the amount of 850,000
was handed to Mr Shonibare14 but without his being
requested at that time to submit any proof of the
expenditure incurred and indeed without requiring
him to produce documents of title to the property.
This aspect of the transaction was apparently handled
by the Treasury and indeed the evidence before us
reveals"' that although the Ministry of Lands and
Housing was supposed to handle the affairs payment
was made direct by the Treasury to the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited. An
examination of the accounts of the Western Region
Housing Corporation, which is within the portfolio
of the Ministry of Lands and Housing, demonstrated
that the amount of 850,000 (to the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company) and 2,263 (to
Messrs Gleave and Fox) have been appropriated
against the accounts of the Western Region Housing
Corporation vis-a-vis the Regional Government.
Several requests were made to the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company or to their Solicitors
to prove the expenditure incurred by them in respect
of Moba and ultimately by letter dated 12th Decem-
ber, 1961 addressed by the National Investment and
Properties Company to the Ministry of Lands and
Housing it became obvious that the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company was not prepared to
perform this part of the arrangement. That letter"1
reads, in part, as follows:
'I think it is enough to say that the compensation
which has been paid by Government in respect of
1 Exhibit JOA.10.
15 Exhibits JOA.8 and 10.
Exhibit JOA.14.

the acquisition in respect of the above site barely
covers the cost of this Company and as for giving
you the details of this cost, this is a confidential
record of this Company with which I do not think
the Government is concerned.'
This letter was signed by the Managing Director,
Chief S. O. Shonibare and obviously was a reply to a
letter of the 10th November, 196117 written to the
solicitor of the National Investment and Properties
Company. This solicitor, Mr Owodunni in the course
of his evidence before us repudiated any knowledge
of the reply and stated that after he had seen the
letter to the Managing Director of the National
Investment and Properties Company, Chief Shoni-
bare, he heard no more of that letter.
Finally with regards to the history of Moba the
evidence reveals that after the payment to Chief
Shonibare on the 14th June, 1961 of the amount of
850,000, that amount was deposited in the accounts
of the National Investment and Properties Com-
pany on the 15th June, 1961 and was more or less
immediately withdrawn in instalments of 250,000,
250,000, 150,000 and 230,000 between the 20th
June 1961 and the 24th July, 1961 in the form of
payments to Chief Lanlehin, described as Treasurer
of the Action Group". It is easy to identify this
transaction because the Bank Statement of the
National Investment and Properties Company shows
that immediately before the amount of 850,000 was
credited to the account, the account was overdrawn
to the extent of 120,970-10s-9d.
After the letter of the 25th April, 195919 was sent
to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, it
appears that the Regional Government set up a
Committee of Civil Servants to investigate the possi-
bilities of the Moba scheme. We are without infor-
mation about the activities of this Committee for the
period intervening between the 25th April, 1959 and
the time when their report was submitted to Govern-
ment. Such a Report was however submitted to the
Government and was dated the 24th May, 1960.
The evidence reveals that by letter dated the 13th
April, 196120 a copy of that Report was forwarded
to the Ministry of Lands and Housing for the attention
of the Permanent Secretary. It is correct to point out
that the Report of the Government Committee
strongly recommended against involvement in the
scheme and warned among other things that Govern-
ment should not acquire the land because the project
is an expensive scheme which will yield poor divi-
dends because the development of the Estate as a
separate entity may cause lowering of standards in
development and cost if Moba is given autonomy
which will cut across the responsibilities of the Ikeja
Town Planning Authority. It is easy to infer that the
subsequent conduct of the Government in acquiring
Moba at the moment stated above clearly ignores the
warning and views given not only in that report
but also in previous Minutes of officials of the
Ministry of Lands and Housing21.
It is also important to point out that the letter of
instructions to Messrs Gleave and Fox'2 represen-
ted inter alia that:
1. Government was scheduled to play a part in
the scheme;
2. Government decided to acquire the whole
Moba site as well as adjacent areas;
3. Necessary legal instruments have been passed.
The evidence before us establishes abundantly that
no one of these representations was true at the date of
that letter (14th June, 1961) and up till today the
first representation remains as untrue as it ever was.
7 Exhibit JOA.14..
18 Exhibit AAOD.17.
1' Exhibits JAO.1 and MOO.19.
2o Exhibit FGG.23.
"Exhibits JOA.2., 3, 5 and 6.
22 Exhibit FGG.2.

Section 2. The Gleave Reports
In this Section we propose to comment on the two
reports on Moba emanating from the firm of Messrs
Gleave and Fox, Chartered Surveyors and Valuers
of Lagos, who have played a most prominent part in
the valuations of the various properties of the Nation-
al Investment and Properties Company Limited
including Moba village. It will be remembered that
earlier on in this part, we referred to a project report
by the above named firm on Moba village and the
valuation of the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited interest in that village on behalf
of the Western Nigeria Government.' It appears
that the firm of Messrs. Gleave and Fox were comp-
rised, at any rate locally, of a Mr F.G. Gleave, who
gave evidence before us, and a Mr Fox, and the letter
headings employed by the said firm reveals the
qualifications of the two partners as follows:
1. Fergus G. Gleave, A.R.I.C.S. A.A.I., and
2. John P. Fox, B.sc. (Eng.) B.sc. (Est. Man.)
A.R.I.C.S., A.A.I.
Mr Gleave himself in the course of his evidence
described himself as a Chartered Surveyor by
profession." It is difficult, if not impossible, to
determine precisely from the available evidence the
first date of Mr Gleave's contact with the Directors
of the National Investment and Properties Company
Limited. This is because although the firm of Messrs
Gleave and Fox was officially responsible for the
report being discussed in this Section, the member of
that firm that actually made the contacts is Mr
Fergus G. Gleave. He stated in his evidence that he
first worked for the Directors of the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company Limited in January
1959 in the following circumstances.3:
'The position was that I was given to understand
that, in about November 1958 an Italian Architect
had been brought out by the National Investment
and Properties Company Limited to give them
some advice as to the possible development of
Moba. In December 1958, I was consulted by
Cappa & D'Alberto who were associated with
this Architect and this resulted in my meeting
Chief Shonibare, and since we had our consultant
out here at the time we went into the possibility of
preparing a report and as a result of our preliminary
investigation we were commissioned to fully
investigate what could and should be done with the
We now know that the instructions referred to by Mr
Gleave is the letter from the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited dated llth February,
19594 Mr Gleave's view in this context of the asso-
ciation assumes that he had been connected with
Moba since December 1958. The instructions given
to Messrs Gleave and Fox are long and only by
reproducing them here could we do some justice to
the exercise eventually performed by that firm. These
instructions were to the following effect :6
(a) To forthwith establish contact with the Federal
Government and to open negotiations for rights
of access to the land known as Moba village
lying to the East of Ikoyi Island.
(b) To maintain close liaison with us on the above
matter and to seek our co-operation on any point
involving policy.
(c) To establish contact with the Electricity Cor-
poration of Nigeria and the authorities con-
cerned with the supply of water and to ascertain
whether our land can be supplied with the
necessary services.
1 See pages 25.
2 Day 56, p.80.
SDay 56, pp. 80-81.
4 Exhibit FGG.1.
5 Day 56, pp. 82-83.

(d) To prepare a financial appreciation of the most
profitable use to which the land can be put
and the best manner in which it may be develo-
ped. You are to indicate fully all matters relative
to the eventual value of the development, the
speed of construction, its cost, and to express an
opinion as to its desirability, and the margin
available for reclamation and eventual profit.
In doing so you are to allow for interest on
capital during formation and construction periods
at the rate of 71 per cent and interest on capital
left invested at ten per cent in perpetuity, but
at the same time redemption of capital under
amortisation over fifty years at 31 per cent.
(e) To instruct a competent organisation to
survey the land in detail and calculate the
amount of reclamation required and the cost of
so doing.
(f) To establish contact with the organisation
known as Plan Group of West Africa and
satisfy yourself that this body are capable of
providing all necessary technical services for
implementation of your Report.
(g) To establish contact with the Finance and
Contracting Organisation known as Group
One London and satisfy yourself that this
Organisation is capable:
(i) of providing short term constructional fina-
nce of 4,000,000 at reasonable charge;
(ii) of providing the necessary constructional
skills to bring the scheme to completion at
costs lower than are available from present
resources within Nigeria, and at greater
speed. It is understood local contractor co-
operation will be obtained by this group.
(h) To report to us on the overall feasibility and
profitability of the scheme, as outlined in your
financial appreciation.
The witness was sure that both Dr. Maja and Chief
Shonibare gave him these instructions. Indeed
although Exhibit FGG. 1 was written and signed by
Chief Shonibare, as the Managing Director of the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted it appears that copies of it were sent to Dr. Maja
and Alhaji Gbadamosi.6 The evidence is to the effect
that at that point of time the witness Gleave was
given the impression that the National Investment
and Properties Company Limited were the beneficial
owners of Moba land and indeed his report assumed
that position7. It is fair to point out as well that the
very first part of the instructions to Messrs Gleave
and Fox contains a reference to Moba as 'our land
known as Moba village lying to the north of Ikoyi
Island.' The witness Gleave did say that although
the instructions referred to by him were contained in
the letter of the llth February, 1959, it was possible
that there was another and previous letter of in-
struction in which he was specially instructed to
establish contact in this connection with the Finance
or Contracting Organisation in London known as
Group One. He, however, had no inkling whatsoever
that the Western Nigeria Government would be
acquiring the land in question at any future date.
As a result of the instructions, we know that in
March, 1959, Messrs. Gleave and Fox prepared and
produced the report entitled 'Moba Village Housing
Project-Viability and Feasibility.'8 The entire report
comprises of twenty Sections, the last and 20th
Section being devoted to the appendices. We have
attempted as far as we are able, to read and study
this report. We do not claim to have understood
6 The four Directors of National Investment & Properties
Co.Ltd.are DrMaja, Chief Shonibare, Alhaji Gbadamosi
and Alfred Rewane.
SDay 56, p. 85.
Exhibit AM.23.

it as a Chartered Surveyor or Valuer, or indeed as an
Engineer would, but we are of the view that we have
done enough research on it to appreciate some of its
most important features. Section 1 of the Report deals
with the summary of the conclusions contained in the
entire Report and we reproduce in full those con-
'1. Moba Estate should be developed as an integral
urban unit supplied by its own water works
and all ancillary services including water borne
2. The main emphasis should be placed on the
provision of well designed houses at a size to
meet the requirements of the middle income
family group.
3. Secondary emphasis should be placed on
commercial exploitation of the consumer demand
created by the purchasing power of a new
concentration of middle income families combined
with present unsatisfied consumer demand from
nearby high income groups.
4. Good planning demands that the new urban
community should be provided with sites for
Schools, Hospitals, Fire Station, Post Offices,
Churches, community centres, open spaces,
recreational and entertainment facilities, but
viability can only be satisfied provided the
responsible organizations:
(a) agree location and size of their requirements
prior to commencement;
(b) purchase the selected sites immediately they
are available
(c) pay the full market price for land required.
5. That employment of new techniques in recla-
mation, design, layout, provision of services,
construction and management can produce a
better and more economical urban unit than if
outdated methods are repeated.
6. That notwithstanding costly reclamation and
provision of water supplies, the venture can be
regarded as viable and should produce an
ultimate profit to the sponsors of 1,000,000
or more after payment of interest on borrowed
money and redemption of all loans.
7. That the scheme as proposed is physically
feasible, but that co-operation from Regional and
Federal Governments is essential and that with-
out willing assistance, the project can be
must be in a position to satisfy United Kingdom
financiers (Messrs. Rothschilds) that they are in
a position to command liquid funds at the rate
of 1 million per annum for three years and
subject to this condition being met and also
subject to formal approval by the appropriate
Department of Her Majesty's Government to
the loan being made, the sum of 2,000,000 can
be made available to the project from United
Kingdom sources.
9. In technical form the loan may have to be
expressed as being 4,000,000. The first
2,000,000 being redeemed by the first two
instalments of Nigerian money.
10. For Nigerians of limited income to be made
capable of purchasing houses, generous mortgage
facilities must be available. There is no reason to
believe that these facilities will not be forth-
coming, but any decision to implement the
project must be subject to an unqualified assur-
ance that mortgages can be given. It is under-
stood that immediately such a provisional decision
is made that present negotiations with the
Nigeria Housing Society and a group of other
companies can be brought to satisfactory

completion. A further report will eventually be
needed on this issue.
11. The developers, through the medium of their
appointed advisers, must become a byelaw
and planning authority. A project of this kind
would become strangulated unless such powers
were given.
These powers should be transferred back to a
duly accredited local Authority under Govern-
ment, as soon as practicable.
12. Due to the length of time necessary completely
to develop the Estate, there will be a period
during which the sponsors must derive an
income for maintenance of roads, refuse disposal
and other outgoings normally met by a local
13. To control such activities and (inter alia) to
collect water rate, and deal with the commercial
activities of the Estate, Management will present
a problem for a period of some years, the cost of
which will have to be met from income.
14. Regional Government assistance is needed
(inter alia) to ensure economical acquisition of
land needed for a main water works and storage
near the Ogun River, together with pumping
stations and wayleaves for pipe laying.
15. A clear title to the Estate must be established
by a special machinery.
16. During preparation of this report some doubt
has emerged as to the actual area and boundaries
of the land owned by N.I.P.C. and additional
areas in the vicinity may have to be obtained in
order that the calculations presented herein may
be verified.
17. On the basis of estimated acreage and locality,
it appears about 3,500 houses can be built on
medium sized plots together with allocation of
land to civic, social, and commercial purposes.
18. It is estimated that costs can be so controlled as
to make each house available for sale at a sale
price of 2,850 subject to any increased costs
created by higher rates, higher cost of materials,
cost of transport or unforeseen factors.
19. In any event, assessment of market demand
indicates that sale price freehold should not be
permitted to exceed 3,000 per house unit
20. Present estimates suggest a total expenditure of
as much as 11,000,000 may be involved in total
construction of the Estate, including commercial
areas, water supplies, fees, and all other ex-
penditures necessary to bring the project to
21. N.I.P.C. would be well advised to safeguard its
investment by the purchase of as much neigh-
bouring land as possible.
22. It is pointed out that the survey in our posses-
sion does not show ownership by N.I.P.C. up to
the natural boundaries,, viz. creeks, lagoons, etc.
It has been assumed that your title shows clear
ownership of these marginal lands and if not,
this must be rectified.
It is further assumed (for practical reasons)
that neither the Attorney-General's Department
nor any other Government Authority in the
Western Region will obstruct a reasonable
straightening of the natural boundaries during
process of reclamation.
23. I can find no reasons why the project should
not proceed along the general lines indicated in
my report, nor can Mr Borys who has closely
examined the technological problems, and
considers the solutions proposed practicable.'
Section 2 deals with the history of the association of

Messrs Gleave and Fox with the National Investment
and Properties Company Limited, a reproduction of
the instructions on which the report was founded,
accounts of the various meetings and conferences
held with the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited at which some of the engineering
and financial pre-requisites of the project like lighting,
water supply, finance, etc., were discussed. Section 3
deals with the geography of Moba with special
reference to its advantage of meeting population
overflow from Lagos Island which 'forms the most
dense accumulation of commercial premises in
Nigeria surrounded by a concentration of high density
dwelling areas.' Section 4 epitomises the nature.of
development of which Moba was capable. These
were considered in the light of previous attempts
of development round the area in question, and an
appraisal of existing Government's methods of
acquisition of land and subsequent disposal for
Commercial and residential interests. Section 5 lists
the nature of contractors and professional services
involved in the scheme and Section 6 deals with the
availability of such services. Section 7 deals with the
terms of reference of the civil engineers engaged on
the laying out of this area and plan the town to be
known as Moba Town. This section also described
the way and manner in which the town planning
would be done and also the facilities which should
be provided for the inhabitants of that town. Section 8
deals with the architecture of the layout including the
method of design which is envisaged will be compat-
ible with the entire scheme when ultimately laid out.
This section also deals with the methods of evacuating
refuse and sewage in the town and the possible
opportunities for 'establishing new standards for
producing housing suitable climatically within econo-
mic bounds.' Section 9 deals with the engineering
works involved and indeed with the engineering
aspects of the planning. It elaborates on the provision
of roads, culverts, methods of drainage and sewage
disposal and the supply of water and electricity and
the provisions of bridges and access roads showing in
particular the various positions and the advantages of
these positions on the Island. Section 10 deals with
the estimation of the cost to the consumers i.e. the
ultimate purchasers of the houses, especially on the
commercial basis and in comparison with the prices
obtained in central Lagos and the commercial areas
around Moba. Section 11 deals with the Quantity
Surveyors estimates of the entire project and in
particular with the approximate costs of the engineer-
ing aspects of the total scheme involving also the
constructions of the houses and suchlike matters.
Section 11b deals (with a rather commercial attitude)
with the assessment of market demands and attempts
to give a forecast of the sales which are also described
in paragraph lle. Sections lid and lie deal with
mortgage financing for the prospective purchasers
of houses on the Estate and with lettings of commer-
cial and residential accommodation in circumstances
to be considered in fixing prices, for the various
locations on the Estate. Sections 11f, 1lg, llh, 11i,
deal with market areas, petty trading, cafes and places
of recreation and cinemas on the Island and Sections
llj, llk and 111 deal with public transport, lorry
parks and petrol filling stations and the provision of
these facilities on the Island. Section 11m deals with
valuations and carries statements of accounts depict-
ing the estimated cost of the water supply and houses
involved in the scheme as well as a forecast of the
possible total profits. Section 12 deals with the figures
of capital required for investment and on loan.
Section 13 dealswith the financing and the contract-
ing organizations of the project. Section 14 deals with
financial control of the scheme stating that the firm
of Messrs Gleave and Fox will be accountable as an
intermediary between the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited on one hand and the

overseas financiers on the other. Section 15, in like
manner, deals with administrative and professional
control suggesting the institution of a Controller
vested with full powers of administrative control over
the whole project and emphasising that the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited must
retain a certain amount of responsibility 'to the
political direction of the Western Region and to a
lesser degree the Federal area.' Section 16 suggests
that the area involved in the scheme must be consti-
tuted more or less with a local authority of its own
and payment of water rates and electricity bills
should be localised. This section also suggests the
establishment of bye-laws and similar regulations for
enforcement within the area of the village. Section
17 deals with matters which must be cleared up with
either the Western Region Government or the
Federal Government including reclamation and
such like engineering works. The exemption of the
area from the Recovery of Premises Ordinance and
the Land Reconstruction Ordinance. Section 19 deals
with the opinions and recommendations of the
writers on the entire scheme.
On the 26th March, 1959, pursuant to the instruc-
tions contained in the letter, Exhibit FGG. 1 a letter
was addressed to Messrs Gleave and Fox which
probably summarises the entire financial involvements
of the entire scheme.9 This letter was written by the
firm of Merchant Bankers, Messrs N. M. Rothschild
and Sons of London and states as follows:
'We refer to the conversations which we have
had the pleasure of conducting with you and with
Mr Stanton of Group One Limited in the last few
days with regard to a reclamation and development
project in the vicinity of Moba village near Lagos,
Nigeria. You have explained to us that you have
taken part in these conversations in your capacity
as agent of the National Investment and Property
Company Limited Lagos.
It is our understanding that the whole project
involves an expenditure of roughly 11,000,000
of which approximately 4,000,000 will be ex-
pended on goods and services in the United
Kingdom. You have informed us that the National
Investment and Property Company Limited will
be in a position to provide 1,000,000 in cash on
signature of contract with Group One Limited
and a further 2,000,000 in cash payable as to
1,000,000 at the end of twelve months and
1,000,000 at the end of twenty-four months
after signature of contract. It is expected that as a
result of these cash payments and as a result of the
sale of houses and other properties which are to be
built by the contractors on the reclaimed land, the
total amount of external finance which will be
required at any time in connection with the project
will not exceed 2,000,000 sterling, and that it will
be possible to repay this sum in equal six monthly
instalments beginning at the expiry of 51 years
after the signature of the contract.
We write to confirm to you the view that we have
'already expressed verbally, that, subject to the
approval of the appropriate United Kingdom
Government Department, and to such amend-
ments in the details of the arrangement as may be
required, including possible changes in the rate at
which repayment takes place, we believe that it
should be possible for Group One Limited to
arrange to procure the necessary finance to enable
the project to proceed.
The rate of interest applicable to such finance
would as far as can be foreseen be at the rate of one
per cent over United Kingdom Bank Rate with a
minimum of five per cent per annum. There will
be additional charges in connection with the
9 Exhibit FGG.5

arrangement of finance but these will fall on Group
One Limited.
It must be understood that the financial terms of
any contract between your clients and Group One
Limited must be subject to our prior approval.
We should like to make it clear that while the
above is written in good faith and in the light of
conditions as they now exist there can be no
commitment on our part at this stage.
We shall be happy to pursue the matter further
as soon as you are in a position to produce to us
satisfactory evidence that your principals command
such liquid funds as will enable them to make the
cash payments referred to above.'
Similar uncommitting letters were written to Messrs
Gleave and Fox by the Colonial Development Cor-
poration and the Development Corporation (West
Africa) Limited10 but Messrs Garfield Hillman and
Company Limited of London wrote to the effect that
they had 'on tap' an amount of 2,000,000 which
would be advanced on Moba in conjunction with
the Colonial Development Corporation advance.
Here again there was a 'tie up' with the Colonial
Development Corporation-the premise of which has
not yet been cleared. It is correct to state that Messrs
Gleave and Fox made various other contacts with the
authorities of the Federal Government for the
creation of a bridge access to Moba from Ikoyi, the
provision of lighting and water supply and so on.11
In the letter of the 20th April, 195912 we learn for the
first time that Messrs Gleave and Fox had advised
the National Investment and Properties Company
Limited, about Moba as long ago as February, 1958.
It is apposite to point out that at this date even Dr
Maja had had no conveyance for Moba in his own
We heard from Mr Gleave himself, that for this
report and all the involvements he was paid an
amount of 10,000 for expenses and 20,000 on
account of fees, the total scale fees involved being an
amount of 200,000.13
After the discharge of this assignment the firm
of Messrs Gleave and Fox were naturally interested
in the outcome of their labours and were rather
anxious in noting the progress made by the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited about
it all. It would be remembered that the last section
in the Report had impressed on the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company Limited the necessity
for the Western Nigeria Government to acquire the
land in the following terms:14
'(f) That it will, at a date to be arranged, com-
pulsorily acquire the land known as Moba village
from National Investment and Property Company
at a nominal amount and re-convey the said land
in order to establish clarity of title beyond any
doubt whatsoever.'
By the letter dated the 25th April, 1959, the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited, invited
the Western Nigeria Government, in short, the
Ministry of Finance, to participate in this scheme
by way of loan finance, establishment of necessary
contracts and an insurance of the title by compulsory
acquisition 'the land known as Moba village includ-
ing the half portion already acquired by the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited at a
nominal amount and recovering the same land to the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted.'1 With the further fortunes of this project with
the Government this section of our Report is not
concerned16 but Messrs Gleave and Fox were
apprised of the fact that the civil servants of the
1o Exhibits FGG.7 and 8.
"Exhibits FGG.10-15 and FGG.18.
12 Exhibit FGG.10.
18 Day 57, pp. 74-77.
14 Exhibit AM.23.
16 Exhibit JOA.1
16 See Sections 3 & 4 post.

Government were rather hesitant to advise the
Government to get involved in the whole project17
and they were in fact informed that the Government
was expecting some official reports about the project. 8
We have in another section of this chapter referred
to the letter dated the 6th October, 1960 from the
General Manager19 of the Housing Corporation
requesting the Ministry of Lands and Housing to
put in hand immediately the acquisition of Moba
village on behalf of that Corporation. The evidence
reveals that after the letter was received by the
Ministry of Lands and Housing such acquisition
measures were put in hand.20 After expiration of
the period prescribed in the acquisition notices
for lodgment of claims the question arose as to
determination of the amount of compensation that
should be paid for the land that was acquired.
This matter evinced a considerable amount of
correspondence in the Ministry starting with the
letter dated 2nd December, 196021 by Mr Owo-
dunni, solicitor to the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited in which a claim
was lodged on behalf of the company for an amount
of 3000 per acre 'and in addition a sum of 500,000
for the crops and valuable trees on the land.' Various
Minutes wpre exchanged in the Ministry22 and
according to the witness Adigun he was approached
by Chief Shonibare who then complained that the
Civil Service were offering ridiculous prices for Moba
land and that in any case the amounts being offered
were not acceptable to his company. As a result of
this the Executive Council Memorandum prepared
by him2" was withdrawn and another one24 was
substituted and presented to the Executive Council.
Before then, however and indeed before the com-
ments by the civil servants as to the price at which
Moba should be taken over by the Government
another report or valuation had been submitted by
Messrs Gleave and Fox. It is very difficult to know
exactly how this further report or valuation origi-
nated. The witness Adigun in the course of his
evidence stated that it was Chief Shonibare who
suggested to him in the course of conversation that
Messrs Gleave and Fox should be commissioned to
value Moba and that at that time he did not advert
to the fact that it was the same Messrs Gleave and
Fox wvho had earlier prepared a report on the same
land for the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited25 On the other hand, Chief
Shonibare denied this and stated that all that hap-
pened was that the solicitors of the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company Limited claimed the
amount shown in Exhibit JOA.4 and Government
was thereafter left with the choice of deciding what
to pay.26 We take the view that the evidence of the
witness Adigun on this point27 is correct because we
are satisfied that it was Shonibare who knew Gleave
very well before this point of time and no other
reasons or circumstances exist on the records by
which we can come to the conclusion that Adigun
knew anything about Messrs Gleave and Fox. By
letter dated 14th April, 196128 Messrs Gleave and
Fox were commissioned by the Western Nigeria
Government to
'value the interests of that Section of Moba
owned by the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited in relation to the comprehensive
development report prepared by Plan Group.'
I i. -i Gleave and Fox executed this assignment
and as a result produced the further report and
valuation which was forwarded to the Ministry of
7 Exhibit FGG.19.
18 Exhibit FGG.20-also Day 57 pp.58-63.
1" Exhibit JOA.16.
20 See Acquisition Notices Exhibits FGG. 3 and FGG.4
21 Exhibit JOA.4
*2 Exhibits JOA.S and 6.
1 Exhibit JOA.18.
24 Exhibit JOA.21.

Lands and Housing on the 18th May, 1961.29 and
so much of our comments on the Moba Scheme will
depend upon this latter report, we have decided to
include in this Report the whole text of the report
and this is subjoined to this reports Appendix 45.
To start with we point out that Messrs Gleave
and Fox in their report of the 18th May, 1961 point
out that their valuation is predicated by the six
conditions to which we have made some reference
in another part of this Report.
The Report started off by assuming that 'under
normal circumstances' the duty of valuers is to
submit a report 'covering the nature and description
of the land....
the method and cost of its development and all
other factors relative to the physical characteristics
of the land and its scheme of development.'
The report thereafter proceeded to show how that
'in the case under review, the latent value of the
area has been discovered at the effort and cost of
the owners and must be taken into account rather
than its mere patent value.'
At page 3 of the report it is suggested therefore that a
calculation of the value of the National Investment
and Properties Company Limited interest depends on:
(a) a close scrutiny of the scheme of develop-
ment to assess the feasibility of the scheme
(b) the accuracy of the forecast relating to
(c) at what date development can commence and
(d) at what date the developers are likely to enter
into their profits.
With this formula in mind the report proceeds to
suggest that after making allowances for roads
'400 acres of land (in Moba) could be split up
into plots of one acre or half acre and sold at a
premium of 6,000 per acre (or premium plus
ground rental) giving a final sale value of land at
2,400,000. On the basis of the assumption and
working on the formula enunciated the financial
interest of the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited in the scheme is described as
'how much profit is likely to be derived from the
scheme as proposed and at what time the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited or
its successors are likely to come into possession of
that profit.'
The report spotlights other facilities like assets and
positions of advantage in bargaining which may or
may not be exploited by the Western Nigeria Govern-
ment, but which in equity should be accounted for in
valuing the interest of the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited. Eventually the report
concluded as follows:
'Bearing all matters in mind with particular
reference to the gain likely to be derived by
Government from enhancement of the value of land
now in your possession and not the subject of the
present report, it seems to us that a fair and
equitable purchase price of the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company Limited's interest
would be about 850,000.... in our opinion the
more equitable value appears to lie in the sum of
In his evidence the witness Chief Adigun stated that
the Moba valuation was placed by him before the
Executive Council and that he supported it at the
Executive Council.2" This is in furtherance of his
own Minutes of the 39th May, 1961 in which he
had stated that the report should be recommended
to Government for acceptance and that an Executive
Council memorandum should be prepared accord-
ingly, stressing
26 Day 61, pp.37-39.
Day 75, pp.107-110.
2 Day 61, p.41.
28 Exhibit FGG.2.
20 Exhibit MOO.26.

'that at least the value of the said land should be
double that of Ikeja and Ilupeju and hence the
respective pay should be in the neighbourhood of
1,200 per acre.'
We know from the evidence available that the purport
of this report, Exhibit M0026 was placed before the
Executive Council and the evidence reveals the
various ways in which the Members of Cabinet
present at the discussions reacted to or at least
understood the subject matter of discussion in the
Section 3. National Investment and Properties
Company and Moba
It is absolutely impossible to determine the time
when the National Investment and Properties
Company first became possessed of Moba village
without a close study of all the relevant evidence in
this connection. We learn from a letter written by the
witness Gleave to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry
of Lagos Affairs, Mines and Power, dated the 20th
April, 19591 that 'as long ago as February 1958' he
was advising the owners of Moba village that should
they wish to carry out any sizeable development
extensive reclamations would be required, together
with provision of certain services which were essential
to an urban development. We have already stated
that by a letter dated the 18th August, 19562 the
National Bank of Nigeria Limited in inviting the
Minister of Finance to participate in a scheme of land
development of the properties owned by the National
Bank of Nigeria Limited had claimed that Moba vil-
lage or at any rate an area of about 600 acres in Moba
village was the property of the Bank. We have also
referred to Dr Maja's explanation of this claim of
ownership. In section 1 of this chapter the history of
acquisition of Moba was described and it will be seen
that the very first conveyance on the land in favour of
Dr Maja3 was stated to be executed on the 10th Octo-
ber, 1958. In the accounts of the National Investment
and Properties Company for the years ended the 30th
June, 19594 and 30th June, 19605 entries appeared
showing Moba village development as part of the
fixed assets of the National Investment and Properties
Company at 719,498-14s-2d and 731,181-9s-2d
respectively. This presumes that at any rate during the
year ended the 30th June, 1959 the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company had paid for and
purchased the land known as Moba village. It is
relevant to point out here that the conveyance of the
land from Allison to the National Investment and
Properties Company is dated the 4th July, 1959.
The witness Allison in the course of his evidence
stated that the conveyance" dated the 23rd Novem-
ber, 1958 was the document by which he bought the
property from Dr Maja and Chief Doherty(7). He
stated further that although it was not contemplated
at the time of purchase by him that the National
Investment and Properties Company would be
buying the property he agreed to pay Dr Maja and
Chief Doherty by instalments. Dr Maja himself had
stated in the course of his evidence that when the
property was sold to Mr Allison no monies were paid
to him and to Chief Doherty that the negotiations
were handled by Chief Doherty and that as a result of
this only an amount of 20,000 was paid to both of
them out of which an amount of 11,000 was paid to
the original owners of this land. When Dr Maja was
recalled his evidence on this point is substantially
different and is as follows:
'What I know about Moba was, he told me we
would acquire this Moba on account but in the
meantime the account was to be put in the Suspense
account in our names as owing the Bank and when
1 Exhibit FGG.10.
2 Exhibit SLD.22.
Exhibit AM.1.
4 Exhibit SOL.12.
Exhibit SOL. 13.
6 Exhibit AM.2.
Day 32, page 101.

we were ready to pay for the amount we will pay
the Bank and the Chieftaincy will convey to us.'8
Dr Maja was referring to what Chief T. A. Doherty,
the Managing Director of the National Bank of
Nigeria Limited had told him. Allison, however,
testified that:
'What actually happened was that after re-selling
the land to the National Investment and Properties
Company I simply gave instructions to Dr Maja
that he should deduct his own amount which is
150,000 and then pay the rest into the account of
the Action Group.'9
There is the evidence of Chief Shonibare'o and
Alfred Rewane1l where we get a completely different
story about the acquisition of Moba. According to
these two witnesses, around the 27th June, 1958,
Dr Maja and another person (it is not clear whether
he was accompanied by Alhaji Gbadamosi or Chief
T. A. Doherty) went to the Western Region Market-
ing Board at Ibadan and collected an order for the
payment of 750,000 which was the very first loan
granted to the National Investment and Properties
Company by the Marketing Board and on their
return to Lagos had appropriated or, as expressed
by the witness Rewane had mis-appropriated an
amount of 660,498-14s-2d for the payment of the
various accounts shown in the memorandum presen-
ted to us by the Managing Director of the National
Bank of Nigeria Limited12. According to Rewane
this action on the part of Dr Maja evoked severe
censures from the other co-Directors of the National
Investment and Properties Company and as a result
all the Directors of the National Investment and
Properties Company resorted to a caucus meeting of
the Action Group Party at Ibadan at which Chief
Awolowo presided and at which it was decided that
a compromise should be effected whereby an amount
of 660,498-14s-2d should be charged against Dr
Maja in exchange for Moba village which Dr Maja
offered to the National Investment and Properties
Company and that an amount of 50,000 should be
paid by the National Investment and Properties Com-
pany to Chief T. A. Doherty for the purchase of his
own interest13. That, it was suggested by the witnesses
Rewane and Shonibare, accounted for the appearance
of the figures relating to the acquisition of Moba in
the accounts of the National Investment and Proper-
ties Company long before a conveyance of that land
in favour of the National Investment and Properties
Company came into existence. A study of the National
Investment and Properties Company's Minute Book
reveals the following notes of a meeting of the Board
of Directors held on the 27th January, 1960:
A report of the Moba project was made and the
history of the acquisition of it by the National
Investment and Properties Company was given.
Negotiation had been completed for the transfer
of these assets to the Action Group Trustees at
book cost of 731,181-9s-2d which money had
been made available by the Transferees, but it was
agreed that legal document should be held over
pending the appointment of the Action Group
Trustees which would hold the legal title on behalf
of the party. The Board then approved the sale
of Moba project for the book value of 731,181-
9s-2d and authorised the Managing Director to
complete all the legal documents necessary accord-
Not one of the four Directors of the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company was able to give us any
satisfactory explanation of this minute or to place the
minute in its proper context in the scheme of events.
8 Day 78. page 37.
SDay 32, page 101.
10 Day 73, pages 21-24.
11 Day 67, pages 24-34.
12 Exhibit AAOD.20.
13 Day 67, page 33.
1' Exhibit SOL.2. page 24.
11 Day 56, page 58.

It seems to us therefore that Dr Maja's account on
his recall to the effect that the National Investment
and Properties Company had always been interested
in the land Moba from a date anterior to any of the
dates appearing in the conveyances1' is the only
reconcilable piece of evidence with all the cir-
cumstances under consideration. We advert in
particular in this connection to the statement of
Gleave's association of Moba with the National
Investment and Properties Company as far back as
February 1958. Be that as it may no explanation has
been given to us of the apparent rise in the value of
land in Moba between the 10th October, 195817 and
the 23rd November, 195818 when Allison purported
to have bought from Dr Maja and Chief Doherty for
the sum of 150,000. Allison frankly admitted that
he did not pay a penny for the land and eventually
testified that he instructed Dr :\1, to deduct
150,000 from whatever he obtained from the
National Investment and Properties Company and
'then pay the rest into the account of the Action
Group.'19 Allison gave us no satisfactory account
of the negotiations with the National Investment and
Properties Company and although he testified that
he instructed Alhaji Gbadamosi to represent him in
the negotiations20 the witness Gbadamosi in the
course of his evidence denied taking any part in the
We observe at this stage that no written evidence
was given to us about the deliberations of the Direc-
tors of the National Investment and Properties
Company over the fortunes of Moba. The witness
Maja in the course of his evidence21 stated that he was
unaware of the details of the acquisition of Moba by
the Western Nigeria Government and evidence
similar in nature was given by the witness Gbadamosi
who also testified that the details of that matter were
left in the hands of Chief Shonibare, the Managing
Director of the National Investment and Properties
Company. In his own evidence Chief Shonibare
denied having contacted officials of the Ministry or
the Minister of Lands and Housing himself although
Chief Adigun in the course of his evidence had stated
'I first knew about the project through Chief
Shonibare. It was after the discussion that I called
for the file and discovered that there was a letter
from the Corporation which the Permanent
Secretary was dealing with. They never came to
discuss it with me that they wanted to develop
Moba but the letter was received in the Ministry.'22
It is not easy to unravel the mystery that surrounded
the acquisition and eventual disposal of the property
known as Moba by the National Investment and
Properties Company and it is left to the Commis-
sioners from their own study of the exhibits and
relevant evidence to draw the inferences which to
them seem proper and reasonable upon the fairest
evaluation of those circumstances in favour of the
persons concerned. We have already pointed out that
the entire amount paid by the Western Nigeria
Government for the acquisition of Moba found its
way into the accounts of the Action Group within
the time described by Exhibit AAOD.17. The
evidence also disclosed that an amount of about
98,000 shown in the books of the National Invest-
ment and Properties Company as representing their
profits on Moba that is the difference between the
book values shown in the accounts of the National
Investment and Properties Company23 and the actual
amount paid by the Government was also paid to the
accounts of the Action Group.
't Exhibits AM.1 and AM.2. and AM.3.
7 Exhibit AM.1.
Exhibit AM.2.
o Day 32 page 101.
21 Day 78, page 37.
22 Day 61, page 84; also see Day 61, page 28.
Exhibit SOL.13.

Section 4. Observations and Recommendations

We cannot close this chapter on Moba without
putting forward our own observations and recom-
mendations with respect to the entire scheme of
Moba, bearing in mind that the recorded history of
that scheme started from a purchase for 11,000
on 10th October, 1958, from the original owners of
the land and ended up with acquisition by the
Western Nigeria Government in June, 1961, for
which compensation in the amount of 850,000 was
paid to National Investment and Properties Com-
pany Limited. We have dealt sufficiently with the
history of the land and we are now in a position to say
that at no time were we satisfied with any of the
explanations on the various points concerning the
history of Moba. Almost at every stage the directors
seriously contradicted themselves and indeed the
evidence of Dr. Maja about the origin of Moba which
we eventually accepted only came after he was
recalled into the witness box to give evidence con-
cerning the cheque for 660,498. 14s. 2d.1 issued by
him. Did he tell us what actually happened? His
evidence involves that right from the onset the
proprietors of Moba had schemed to employ Moba
as a means of making money for the Action Group.
Dr Maja pointed out that he was told by Chief T. A.
Doherty that he was in fact requested to execute a
conveyance for 300,000 but he told the proprietors
of Moba that he could not because the amount was
too large and that all he could do to assist was to
execute the conveyance for 120,000. We have no
doubt whatsoever in our minds that the witness
Allison was telling lies when he said that he bought
Moba from Dr. Maja and Chief Doherty for 150,000
and indeed when he said that he made a donation of
the difference between the amount paid by the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted to Dr. Maja and the sale price of 150,000 to the
Action Group. No other witness of the many witnesses
who testified before us. including Alhaji Gbadamosi,
Chief Sohnibare, Chief S. L. Akintola, Chief S. O.
Lanlehin, Alfred Rewane and others knew of such
donation and one would expect that a donation of the
magnitude described by Allison would be given some
announcement in the Party. One would then ask
why did the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited buy Moba or invest in it at all.
The answer seems to be clear on the evidence that
the National Investment and Properties Company
Limited had always envisaged a scheme in which
Moba would be employed for the purpose of raising
funds and for the Action Group. As far back as
February 1958, Mr Gleave was contacted with a view
to establishing contacts with overseas interests for
the preparation of a scheme of development for that
Island. At that time no conveyance existed in the name
of the National Investment and Properties Company
Limited although it is inferrible from the evidence of
Dr. Maja2 and from the claims of ownership by the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted about that land3 that at that time the property had
been earmarked for the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited. That takes us to the
next position in the scheme of things and that is the
relationship between the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited and the Action Group
and we take the view that Dr. Maja precisely describes
the position when, in the course of his evidence, he
stated as follows:4
'I know right from the beginning that the
National Investment and Properties Company
SExhibit AM.21.
2 Day 78, pp.37-39.
3 Exhibit FGG.1.
4 Day 78, p.46.

Limited is Action Group and Action Group is
National Investment and Properties Company
Limited-right from the beginning. I have never
seen a private business in which none of the
directors paid anything to start the business.'
We take the view that for 'anything' the word 'nothing'
should be read, this clearly representing the intention
of the speaker at the time he made the statement
because the question addressed to him was whether
or not he was just being aware of the fact that the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted was owned by the Action Group. As has been
shown before indeed, National Investment and
Properties Company Limited belongs to the Action
Group and was created for the purpose of financing
the Action Group in the way already described
That, however, is not all to the Moba scheme.
It seems clear to us on the evidence that the sale of
Moba to the Western Nigeria Government at the
price of 850,000 is a most elaborate and criminal
conspiracy to obtain that amount of money from the
Government for the benefit of the Action Group. To
start with we point out that Chief Obafemi Awolowo
who was and is at all material times the Federal
President and Leader of the Party knew all about the
scheme and in fact, in our view, actually engineered
it. It is significant that in the letter to Messrs. Gleave
and Fox written by the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited on the 23rd, September,
19596 it was indicated that at a meeting with the
Regional Premier and other Ministers the whole of
the Moba scheme was discussed and Government
had accepted the scheme in principle.6
Whatever way we look at the matter it seems to us
entirely impossible that as the Federal President of
the Party and as the evidence abundantly establishes
the man in charge of and in absolute control of the
Party funds he should be unaware of the whole plan
and purpose. The witness Adigun in the course of
evidence testified that it was Chief Awolowo who
spoke to him about Moba before he went to see
Chief Akintola, then Premier, with regards to the
acquisition of Moba.7 He stated that Chief Awolowo
mentioned to him that according to the reports
submitted to him relating to Moba, the scheme would
be a profitable proposition and-
'If we were slow about it the Federal Govern-
ment might acquire the land and it would be a loss
to the Regional Government, both in land and
He thereafter went to Chief Akintola, who was the
Premier at the time of acquisition of Moba and Chief
Akintola told him that Chief Awolowo and Chief
Shonibare had already discussed the matter with him.
As a result of this, he issued the instructions for the
acquisition of Moba as a matter of urgency on 4th
November, 1960.9 The purpose for which Moba was
ever purchased by the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited is clearly demonstrated
by the purpose for which the realisations from its
transfer to the Government was employed.
Then one would ask how was this conspiracy execu-
ted? We were not in a position to examine this
matter as would be done in a Court of Law and any
listing by us of the persons involved in the conspiracy
would naturally involve some persons who could,
strictly speaking, be regarded as innocent agents in this
matter. We have already talked about Chief Obafemi
Awolowo. We have already expressed our views that
Chief Adigun consulted Chief Akintola about the
matter after he had been interviewed by Chief

6 Exhibit FGG.20.
6 At that time Regional Premier was Chief Obafemi
Day 61, p. 29.
Day 61, p.29.
Exhibit JOA.2.

Shonibare and Chief Awolowo. We are satisfied thatk
the witnesses Alhaji Gbadamosi and Dr. Ainolad
Maja knew the details of the arrangements and indeed
we are of the firm view that the whole plot was exe-
cuted by Chief Shonibare.
It is difficult to place Messrs. Gleave and Fox but
we have no doubt that they themselves were involved
in this vicious conspiracy of getting money by such
sinister means off the Western Region Government.
We refer in particular to the monstrous document
placed in the hands of the Government of Western
Nigeria by Messrs. Gleave and Fox, Exhibit MOO. 26.
It is true that in that document' 0 the writers did show
six grounds upon which the entire report was predica-
ted but we point out that not a single one of those
conditions existed at the time Messrs. Gleave and Fox
were requested to value the interest of the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited in
Moba and there were no instructions whatsoever
to them to make any assumptions of their existence.
We are of the view that the assumption was a clear
devise to wriggle out of the consequences which, (and
this was certainly obvious to the writers of the report)
would arise as a result of the acceptance and employ-
ment by the Government of that report in the sub-
sequent payment to the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited.
We are satisfied that the value placed upon Moba
by Messrs. Gleave and Fox is entirely unrealistic
and indeed cannot be sustained by any logical argu-
ments whatsoever. Our study of the report of valuation
for the Western Nigeria Government shows that all
the bases were hypothetical-that they have no
reference at all to the assignment entrusted to Messrs.
Gleave and Fox and the figure eventually placed by
Messrs. Gleave and Fox on the value of the National
Investment and Property Company Limited's interest
seems clearly to re-echo what the proprietors of the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted themselves had stated in their letter of the 24th
April, 1959 addressedto the Ministry of Finance to the
following effect:
9. 'the amount of research which has gone into
this project is of immense order and more than
60,000 has been spent in time and research, apart
from the value of the Moba land already acquired
by this company... on the whole the aggregate
value of investment by this company in the Moba
project will be in the region of L million represen-
ted by the land value, expenses of investigations,
research etc.'11
When they were commissioned by the Western
Nigeria Government to value the properties of the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted for the purposes of appropriating some of them to
the debts of that company to the Marketing Board
Messrs. Gleave and Fox did not disclose to the
Government that at one time or the other they had
valued the properties of Lapal Properties Limited for
Chief Shonibare. Indeed as far back as the 1lth
February, 1961, they had valued those properties for
the National Investment and Properties Company
Limited12 and yet he accepted the instructions from
the Government to value the properties.
On this point again Mr Gleave produced a book
entitled 'Professional charges-the Royal Institute
of Chartered Surveyors'13 and read out a passage
therefrom to the following effect:
'Where one valuer acts between parties the charge
shall be scale and a half divisible between the
10 Appendix 45.
"1 Exhibit MOO.19 also Gleave's evidence Day 57, p.10
12 Exhibit JOIL.19.
13 Exhibit FGG.33.
14 Ibid page 2.

We need hardly say that this passage does not support
the point which the witness was trying to make and
we agree entirely with the statement in the book but
disagree with the use the witness has purported to
make of that statement. The reference clearly is to a
situation where the valuer acts 'between parties'.
This involves a situation in which both parties knew
at the same time that the same man was acting for
both of them and clearly excludes a position like the
one in question. Mr Gleave also produced a journal
of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, April
1962,15 and referred us to page 530 thereof to a
write-up under the heading 'Nigeria' the essential
part of which reads as follows:
'Nigeria is an emerging country where there is
strong nationalism but also a strong association that
this country forged in its development from the
primitive to its present state there is one firm
of Chartered Surveyors of British birth who
practice in Lagos and who advise a large number
of local and expatriate interests. It seemed to me
that one of their greatest difficulties is there is
no-one to act for the other side.'
In our view this passage supports the attitude which
we take towards the conduct of Messrs. Gleave and
Fox for it presupposes that in the absence of 'any-
body to act for the other side' the firm of Messrs.
Gleave and Fox would be in 'one of their greatest
difficulties.' We know that the National Investment
and Properties Company Limited, paid no more than
50,000 for Moba apart from the amount they paid
to Gleave and Fox16 and perhaps solicitors charges
for the preparation of several conveyances including
that of Allison.17 We also know that it was Messrs.
Gleave and Fox who suggested in section 19 of the
Report, Exhibit AM. 23 that at a future date the
Western Nigeria Government should acquire the land
from the National Investment and Properties Com-
pany Limited at a nominal value and recovery to the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted. The witness Owodunni, in the course of his
evidence testified that by no means could the amount
eventually paid to the National Investment and Pro-
perties Company Limited be regarded as nominal8.
Quite apart from all this we take the view that
Messrs. Gleave and Fox should not have acted
for the Western Nigeria Government in the valuation
of Moba for the purposes of Government compensa-
tion it being clear that they had worked on the
planning and costing of the Moba village scheme for
the National Investment and Properties Company
Limited. When this point was taken up with Mr
Gleave in the course of his evidence, he took the
view that there was nothing wrong professionally in
his acting as he did in the matter. He stated:
'I acted in respect of the valuation for the
Government and I acted in respect of the scheme or
the properties for the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited. I was not acting
jointly for them.'19
We are certain in our view that the view taken by
the witness Gleave on this point was wrong nor are
we impressed by his further explanation to the effect
'This is a perfectly normal and proper thing to
do because valuation is a science even not an exact
one. Therefore the application of science does not
choose people, it is the application of the science
that matters not people.'20
It is manifest from the records that at the time he was
commissioned by the Government to do the
valuation he did not disclose to the Government
that he had already worked on the land for the
1" Exhibit FGG.41.
" Day 78, p. 41.
".Day 67, p. 31.
18 Day 56, pp.28-29.
19 Day 59, p.29.
20 Day 59, p. 30.
21 Day 59, p. 53

National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted. He knew that he had so worked for the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited. (I -.r,
Shonibare also knew this and we accept and prefer
the evidence of Chief Adigun to the effect that the
name of Messrs. Gleave and Fox was suggested to
him by Chief Shonibare. The records also show
that the amount of 20,000 paid to Messrs. Gleave
and Fox as part of their fees in respect of the Moba
village project report was only paid after the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited had
been paid the amount of 850,000 by the Western
Region Government. When the witness Gleave was
further pressed as to what he would consider fair to
pay to the owners of adjoining lands in Moba he
answered as follows:
'The other portions must be acquired at their
existing use value because they have nothing more
than their existing use value until Moba is reclaimed.
The value that they have is an ancillary value to
Moba. It does not exist per se.'21
It is manifest that this answer overlooks the factthat
at the time of the valuation in Exhibit AM. 23 Moba
itself had not yet been reclaimed and according to
Gleave himself the surrounding lands are better lands.
It occurs to us that apart from the expenses legiti-
mately incurred by the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited on Moba their own
portion of Moba had 'nothing more than their
existing use value until Moba is reclaimed.'22
In fairness to Messrs Gleave and Fox, it should
be pointed out that the witness Gleave stated that
he did not refer at all to the conveyance of Moba
land to the National Investment and Properties
Company Limited and that indeed without the
scheme on Moba the land is more or less valueless.23
We are not sure that Mr Gleave or his company did
not at any time before completion of their report
see the conveyance of the National Investment and
Properties Company Limited covering the land
where the amount of 718,260-8s-Od was shown as
the purchase price on Moba and we cannot under-
stand why, after the report was finalised, it was sent
to the Western Nigeria Government through Chief
Shonibare. The witness Gleave did state that quite
apart from the written instructions, his firm received
telephone instructions to forward the report to
Western Nigeria Government through Chief Shoni-
bare24 Chief Adigun, the Minister of Lands and
Housing denied ever having given such instructions.
The report of Messrs Gleave and Fox described
Moba scheme as a profitable and indeed glorious
proposition and indeed on this point the witness
Okusaga, after reading the report thought the picture
was that of a 'dream land' with celestial possibilities
and so he took advantage of the first opportunity of
reading the file after the subject matter had been
suggested to him by his predecessor in office, Chief
Awosika25. Similar views were held by Chief Adigun,
Minister of Lands and Housing and Chief S. L.
Akintola. We did say that the value placed on Moba
by Messrs Gleave and Fox was not real and our
impression is vindicated by the various views on
that valuation which have been expressed in evidence
before us. The witness Erinosho would pay no
more than 5 per acre for Moba26. The witness
Rewane would pay no more' than 200 per acre
in the face of the fiercest competition. The witness
Okusaga would pay no more than 50 per acre
for Moba and Chief Shonibare himself would have
paid no more than 200 per acre.27 It seems to us
curious but certainly suggestive that the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited should
22 see Gleave's evidence Day 58, pp. 71-80
2" Day 57, p.77.
24 Day 57, p.28.
25 Day 91, pp. 95-96
26 Day 87, pp.27.
27 Day 75, p. 6.

have put in a claim.28 and that the solicitor to the
National Investment and Properties Company Limi-
ted should claim as compensation for Moba 3,000
per acre and 500,000 for crops and valuable trees
on Moba. No evidence whatsoever was adduced
before us of the nature of these crops to which refe-
rence has been made and we are at a loss to know
how the figure of claim had been arrived at in connec-
tion with the village described as more or less subject
to perennial over-flooding and most probably
infected for the best part of the year with crabs.
We cannot imagine the presence of crops and valuable
trees of any significance on such lands.29 The position
with regards to Moba at present is that although
the Regional Government had paid a total amount of
850,000 for the land and had purported to acquire
it on behalf of the Housing Corporation, no schemes
whatsoever existed in the records of that Corporation
for the development of Moba. We had tried to trace
the origin of the instruction to Mr Fitchett to demand
the immediate acquisition of Moba village but as
pointed out by us before there is no such record
although we take the view that Mr Fitchett would
not have written the letter without being directed to

E" Exhibit JOA.4.
"1 Exhibit JOA.4.

do so in view of the Report to which he himself had
subscribed.30 In his evidence before us the witness
Erinosho stated that there was no resolution of the
Corporation on this subject and that the new Board
of the Corporation 'has taken a resolution stating
that they have no interest in Moba acquisition.31
We are not at all certain as to what will be the future
attitude of the Government towards this scheme
but we are satisfied that the evidence clearly esta-
blished the conspiracy to which we have referred and
the vicious extortion from the Government of the
amount paid to the National Investment and Proper-
ties Company Limited by the Government. We do
not accept the evidence of Mr Allison to the effect
that he was not aware of the interest of the National
Investment and Properties Company Limited in the
land at the time he fraudulently subscribed to the
arrangement with regards to Moba and we take the
view that that was why he was brought in and
without the payment of a single penny falsely
claimed that he bought the land for 150,000 and
fraudulently and dishonestly gave us the impression
that he made a donation in the region of 600,000 to
the funds of the Action Group.

so Exhibit FGG.23.
al Day 87, p.25.


Western Nigeri


a Government



SECTION 1.-Business Operations .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 39

SECTION 2.-Management, including Staff Matters and Staff Relations .. .. .. .. 41

SECTION 3.-Observations on Business Operations and Management .. .. .. .. 43

SECTION 4.-Recommendations .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 45

Section 1. Business Operations

We had indicated in the Introduction that the
Western Nigeria Government Broadcasting Corpora-
tion came into existence as a result of the Western
Nigeria Government Broadcasting Law No. 48 of
1959 with effect from the 29th October, 1959. The
primary objection of the Corporation is to provide
television and other broadcasting services on behalf
of the* Government of the Region for so much of
the Region as may from time to time be reasonably
practicable. It seems to us that the framers of the Law
setting up the Corporation were previously aware of
the inability of the Corporation by itself to fulfil its
functions and so by the provisions of Law, Section
6(L) of the Law, the Corporation was expressly

'to form or participate in the formation of a
company limited by shares and incorporated in
Nigeria under the Companies Ordinance to
nominate persons (including any of their number)
to be Directors of any such company to provide
capital and other monies for any such company
out of their funds in accordance with the terms and
conditions attached to the grant of those funds and
to hold shares in the capital of any such company;
provided that the Memorandum of Association and
the Articles of Association of any such Company
shall be subject to the approval of the Minister.'
The evidence before us reveals that on the 9th June,
1959 the then Minister for Home Affairs in the
Regional Government, Chief Anthony Enahoro,
negotiated and executed an Agreement with an
overseas company by name Overseas Rediffusion
Limited and that as a result of this contract, a Nigerian
Company by the name of Western Nigeria Radio-
vision Services Limited was established.1

It seems that the first Chairman of the Corporation
was Chief M. S. Sowole who resigned his post on the
18th July, 1961. He was thereafter succeeded by
Chief T. T. Solaru who was Chairman at the time
of the dissolution of the Corporation in 1962. The
evidence does not spotlight any of the members of the
Corporation except Mr Lawrence Ibukun who was
at one time a General Manager of the Company and
a member of the Corporation, but is now the Tech-
nical Consultant to the company. He gave evidence
before us and his evidence is fully dealt with later on
in this chapter.

The Western Nigeria Radiovision Services Limited
seems to have taken over completely, the functions of
the Corporation from its inception as a public com-
pany in 1959 and that after the formation of the
company the functions of the Corporation were
rather unwittinly described by the witness Osinowo,
who was at one time Acting Secretary of the Cor-
poration, as follows:

'The function of the Corporation is just to
watch the interest of the Government in the venture
established both by the Corporation and the Over-
seas Rediffusion Limited which is Western Region
Radiovision Services Limited.'2

This witness, however, appears rather difficult and
shifty and not much reliance can be placed upon his
evidence. He, however, took the view, which is
abundantly demonstrated by the evidence that the
staff relationship in the Corporation was cordialbut
that in the company it was the other way round.3
'Exhibit 100.2.
2 Day 88, page 58.
3 Day 88, pages 70 FF.
4 Exhibit 1,01.1.

The authorised share capital of this company is
740,000 and shareholding was on an equal basis
between the Western Regional Government and the
overseas partners. The important provisions of the
Agreement' are as follows:

1. By the provisions of Section 3 the shares of
the respective parties in the new company shall be
equal to each other and subsection (a) expressly
provides that no one party may be required to pay
more than 300,000 towards the stock of the

2. Section 4 of the Agreement provides for repre-
sentation on the directorate on an equal basis
and also Section 4(2) provided in effect that
each of the partners shall in alternation with
the other produce the Chairman of the Board
of Directors yearly.

3. The provisions of Section 6 are related to the
appointments to be made by the company
Western Nigeria Radiovision Services Limited
to the Overseas Rediffusion Limited for the
provision of 'technical and other advice and
assistance' and consist of-

(a) on the gross revenue for each year up to
400,000--five per cent.

(b) on any excess of the gross revenue for any
year over 400,000 up to a further 200,000
-four per cent.
(c) on any excess of the gross revenue in any year
over 600,000-3 per cent
but financially the account of the Western
Nigeria Government Broadcasting Corporation
vis-a-vis the Overseas Rediffusion Limited
demonstrates quite clearly how singularly diffi-
cult it was for the company to bear this account.
The evidence reveals that in the execution of this
part of the Agreement it was discovered that films
supplied by the overseas partners and for which
payments were made under the provisions of
this Section were later employed by the company
in other parts of the country for profit which did
not enure to the benefit of the company.

4. Section 7 makes provision for the employment of
expatriate staff but expressly provides that in
accordance with the wishes of the Government
'the company shall train and use Nigerian
personnel where practicable in the service of
the company' but evidence is to the effect that
the overseas partners were not willing to abide
by the terms of this part of section 7, although
they were all too willing to comply with the other

5. Section 9 deals with the term or life of the
Agreement and Section 10 sets out elaborately
the conditions that will apply where either of the
parties decides to terminate the Agreement after
the initial period of 15 years. Section 9 on
account of its importance is set out hereafter
'This Agreement shall come into effect on the
date hereof and shall remain in effect for an
initial term expiring 15 years after the
date of the first public broadcast (which
date shall be published in the official
gazette of the Region) and will continue in

force thereafter for one or more further
terms of 5 years each unless or until deter-
mined at the end of the initial term or any
such further term by either party giving to
the other not less than one year's prior
notice in writing in that behalf.'
It will be seen therefore that no provisions
whatever exist for the termination of this Agree-
ment within 'the initial term expiring 15 years
after the date of the first public broadcast.' This
accounts for the almost insuperable difficulties to
which the Corporation was subjected when it was
decided later on, that is in 1961, to terminate the
6. This Agreement carries a Schedule pursuant to
the provisions of Section 6 setting out the terms
of a subsidiary Agreement entered into between
the company and the overseas partners for the
supply of films and matters for broadcasting
and technical advice and assistance. When it was
decided by the Government to determine the
Agreement the terminating Agreement5 dated
the 30th November, 1961 was signed. At that
time it is fair to assume that the provisions of the
supplemental Agreement6 dated the 2nd Septem-
ber, 1960 have been put in execution by the
partners. One of the most important provisions
and indeed the only important provision in that
Agreement is the provision concerning the issue
of 500,000 shares and the Agreement that such
shares should be paid for immediately. A most
casual study of the accounts reveals that although
monies have been put in from time to time by the
overseas partners into the company no shares
were subsequently taken up by the overseas
company and it was therefore easy for them any
time to withdraw their monies which were
put in the company merely in the form of loans.
We have no evidence from the solicitors who
prepared the agreement7 as to the nature of their
information on this point at the time when that
exhibit was prepared, but it seems to us that
they were aware of this point for one of the
recitals in Exhibit JOI.5 reads as follows:
'and whereas the operations of the company
have been jointly financed pursuant to the
Agreement of the Corporation and by
Overseas Rediffusion but save that such
sums have been provided on the basis of a
joint account and have not yet been formally
subscribed as the issued capital of the
company in manner contemplated by the
The Agreement of take over8 completely absolves
the Overseas Rediffusion against any monies or
debts owing by the company and completely
indemnifies them with respect to any demands
made or to be made on them with respect
to such debts.
In his evidence the witness Ibukun gave a vivid
summary of the causes leading to the termination of
the Agreement with the Overseas Rediffusion Limi-
ted. We had better quote in full his explanation
which reads as follows:
'I think there were three main reasons for that;
the first reason concerned the actual forecast of
estimate before the formation of the company
itself. The Government Broadcasting Corporation
being aware of the shortcomings in technical
know-how consulted the Overseas Rediffusion
Limited and therefore assumed that they
knew exactly how to run a broadcasting and
television organisation. So as to convince the
Broadcasting Corporation, they produced some
estimates as to expected. operating loss the first
year, the second year, the third year, and also to
predict when the company was to cease to run
at a loss, that is, the time of break even. Unfortu-

nately the figure of loss during the first year almost
trebled the prediction and there were certain signs
from auditors' report as to the wastages which
were being made by the Overseas Rediffusion who
were the main directors of the company; by
directors I mean people who manage the company.
The Government Broadcasting Corporation there-
fore thought that so as to also perform the duties
under the Broadcasting Law because of the 50/50
partnership which gave no initiative to the Chair-
man, the Chairman had no casting vote, it was
impossible for the Government Broadcasting
partners who were the 'A' shareholders to per-
form such functions, to use the W.N.B.S. and the
W.N.T.V. to perform such functions for the
people of Western Region as dictated by the
Western Region Broadcasting Law. It was therefore
thought necessary to take over control from the
overseas partners.'
In passing it should be noted that the Agreement
dated the 9th June, 1959 was supplemented by
another agreement with the Overseas Rediffusion
Limited dated 2nd September, 196010. By the provi-
sions of the latter and supplemental Agreement it was
decided inter alia that 500,000 share of the autho-
rised capital of 740,000 of the Western Nigeria
Radiovision Services should be issued immediately
and the balance should be issued at the discre-
tion of the Directors.
It is manifest from the way in which the Agreement
was executed that it could not have existed longer.
The overseas partners virtually took control of the
entire undertaking and indeed all the principal
administrative and operative posts were manned by
their nominees. In the month of April 1961 it was
thought that in order to ease the situation a Joint
General Manager should be appointed in the per-
son of a nominee of the Western Region Government
Broadcasting Corporation. This was done, but the
terms of his appointment were unequal and inade-
quately worked out and seriously placed the
nominee of the Corporation in a disadvantageous
position. The witnesses Ibukun and Ihonor described
in some details the various difficulties which emerged
in the execution of the Agreement with the
overseas partners.
We reached the stage then at which it was
decided to terminate the Agreement with the overseas
partners. The Premier of the Region, Chief S. L.
Akintola had in response to the situation called for
the abrogation of the Agreement not later than the
1st October, 1961. The Minutes from his Private
Secretary to the Honourable the Minister of Trade
and Industry dated 18th September, 1961, which
was exhibited before us11 suggested that further
association with the Overseas Rediffusion Limited was
also making it impossible for the Western Region
Government Broadcasting Corporation to obtain
outside financial aids from the United Kingdom
and America and enunciated some principles on
which the take-over should be founded. The Minutes
of the Meeting of the Corporation held on the same
day 18th September 196112 demonstrate quite clearly
the struggles of the Corporation to terminate the
Agreement and the very firm stand taken by the
Corporation in this respect. Before then the Premier,
in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Corpora-
tion, Chief T. T. Solaru, on the 17th August, 1961
13 had stated inter alia as follows:
'..... the only line open to us may be to forward
to our overseas partners a categorical statement that
Exhibit JOI.5.
6 Exhibit JOI.7.
7 Exhibit JOI.5.
8 Exhibit JOI.5.
SDay 88, pages 63 and 64.
0 Exhibit JOI.7.
Exhibit JOI.3.

we have decided to take over complete control
as from a given date. The date I suggest should
be the 1st October, 1961. Both of us should agree
to terminate the existing partnership on or before
the 30th September, 1961. We, on our side, should
set up immediately adequate machinery for the
take-over we envisage.'
We recall with satisfaction that after all the diffi-
culties of negotiating the take-over the Overseas
Rediffusion Limited eventually left. There were six
Directors on the Board of the company-three being
chosen by each of the partners. With the departure of
the overseas partners, the directorate is entirely in the
hands of the Corporation and we are told that the
situation was definitely easier. We gather from the
witness Ibukun that at Corporation level the negotia-
tions for determination were spear-headed by the
Chairman, Chief T. T. Solaru.14 We are also told that
the Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation paid
a total of 560,000 to the overseas partners for the
untimely determination of the contract as follows:
1. the contribution to capital share-

holding fund
2. refund of loans to company
3. reimbursement for bills paid
Overseas Rediffusion Limited

.. 120,000


In justifying this figure of payment to the Overseas
Rediffusion the witness Ibukun stated as follows:
'Yes, the reason for this My Lord, was because
there was a fifteen-year agreement which was
signed with the Overseas Rediffusion Limited, with
no provision for breaking the agreement, but as
there were obvious causes for complaint by the
Corporation, and the fact that it was the wish of the
Corporation to use the medium for the services
of the people. It was thought that the figure was
satisfactory. It was not put out on terms of the net
In May 1959 it appears that an Agreement was
concluded by the then Minister of Home Affairs,
,Chief Anthony Enahoro with a London firm of
Rayant Pictures Limited for the production and
supply of eighty films over a period of two years.
We were not supplied with any copy of the Agreement,
but the witness Ihonor did produce16 the Heads of
Agreement with respect to this contract. The impor-
tant provisions in the Agreement relate to the assign-
ment given to the Rayant Pictures Limited, London
to produce eighty 60 mm films over a period of
two years for the Corporation at a cost of 270,000-
40,000 of which was paid at the time of execution
of the contract. The conditions on which the contract
was founded were as follows:
'(a) not more than four of the eighty films may be
required by the Government to be in colour and the
Government shall not ask the company to make a
colour film during the first six months of the said
two-year period;
(b) the first twelve films shall be made by the
company in an order of priority of subjects to be
laid down by the Government, the first two films
shall be made and delivered to the Government by
the 1st November, 1959 and a further two films by
the 30th November, 1959;
(c) all eighty films shall contain a sound track in
(d) all eighty films shall be so made by the
company that they are suitable for television
14 Day 88, page 29.
'" Day 88, page 68.
"' Day 90, page 68

(e) the company undertakes to train and employ
a number of Nigerian technical staff in the opera-
tion of its services in Nigeria.'
The evidence before us is that the terms of the Agree-
ment were not fair to the Corporation and that the
whole arrangement is unsatisfactory. Now, that
Agreement, according to the witness Ihonor"1 did
not operate at all before Government decided to
terminate it. The Government, however, paid
68,000 as compensation to the Rayant Pictures
Limited for the termination of the contract. Not a
single film was produced. The contract, we are also
advised, was negotiated by Chief Enahoro without any
reference to his colleagues in the Cabinet at the time.
Although this matter was put as a direct question to
the witness Ihonor by Chief Akintola and although the
witness denied this as a fact, we are satisfied from the
contents of the letter from the Director of Audit to
the Ministry of Home Affairs dated the 6th July,
196017, reply thereto8s and the further letter from
the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury to the
Ministry of Home Affairs dated the 14th July, 196019
that prior consent of the members of the Cabinet was
neither sought nor obtained to the execution of the
contract. Indeed in the letter19 from the Permanent
Secretary to the Treasury, he did state:
'that the Treasury was given no opportunity to
examine the terms of the Heads of Agreement
until ten minutes to nine on the morning of the
12th August which was the day upon which Heads
of Agreement were in fact signed.'
We also have evidence to the effect that advice
was sought from the Director of the Federal Film
Unit with regards to the average cost of the type of
films which the Rayant Pictures Limited were
supposed to produce and that the Regional Govern-
ment was advised that such films could cost on the
average, for black and white about 1000 and for
coloured about 300 per cent more20. At that cost
seventy-six black and white films would have cost
approximately 76,000 and four coloured films
would have cost approximately 16,000 making a
total of 92,000 as against the contract price of
270,000 in the Agreement21. We are furnished
with a copy of the Executive Council Memorandum
prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs in connec-
tion with this transaction22. Paragraph 9 of that
Memorandum reads as follows:
'9. Paragraph 8 has given the prices with respect
to various quantities of such films. From these
figures it is obvious that it is uneconomical to
contract for less than one year's supply of films
i.e., forty films but I am advised that the demands
of television are so great that it would be a much
sounder policy and cheaper overall to order two
year's supply, i.e. eighty films.'
It is manifest from the evidence and indeed it was
abundantly proved that the views expressed in that
memorandum were not justified and accordingly the
Ministry of Justice was instructed to take steps to
determine the contract. The letter23 dated the 23rd
September, 1959, rightly determined the contract
as far as the Western Region Government was
Section 2.-Management including
Staff Matters and Staff Relations
We are informed that despite the completely
dominant character of the activities of the Western
Nigeria Radiovision Services the Corporation still
retained a staff of its own. There is hardly any
evidence about this staff and we are of the opinion
that such staff must be very small indeed. By far
the bulk of the staff to be reckoned with are engaged

17 Exhibit JOI.8.
"8 Exhibit JOI.9.
1s Exhibit JOI.9.
"1 Exhibit JOI.10.
"e Day 90, page 80.

21 Exhibit JOI.6.
1" Exhibit JOI 9.
" Exhibit JOI.11.
" Exhibit JOI.12.

by the company which, to all intents and purposes,
represents the Corporation in the performance of its
S functions. The witness Osinowo in his memorandum
Exhibit 100.1 described the administrative structure
of the Corporation as consisting of one Secretary,
one Executive Officer (Accounts), one Assistant
Chief Clerk, one Stenographer, one Clerical Officer,
two Clerical Assistants, two messengers and one
night watchman. The witness Osinowo testified to
the effect that staff relationship in the Corporation
was cordial1 at any rate before the take over of the
company by the Corporation.
Staff relationship in the company before the take-
over and in the Corporation after the take-over
remains the greatest enigma of the Corporation.
The evidence reveals a totally unsatisfactory position
which, if not properly handled and indeed arrested
forthwith, is likely to deteriorate rapidly within the
very near future. With regards to staff relationship
in the company before the take over which took
place in November 19612 and certainly in the
Corporation since the take over we have abundant
evidence from the witness Ibukun. In his own
evidence the witness has stated that staff relationship
in the Corporation since the take over could not be
described as cordial. The witness attributed the
strain in the relationship firstly to the action of some
section of the workers in getting their complaints in
to the press and on radio before the management
could deal with the complaints. This led to the
suspension of about eleven of them with the resultant
effect that most of the staff became dissatisfied with
the action of the management.3 The witness also
thought that the strain in the relationship was
caused by the fact that there was no written down
policy governing the appointment and conditions of
service of members of the staff. The evidence dis-
closes that at any rate since the witness Ibukun came
into the Corporation and into the company the staff
affairs had been rather unhealthy.
The witness Ibukun has satisfied us by his evidence
that there were no written conditions of service
available for the staff of the company. Despite this we
are of the considered opinion that most of the com-
plaints of the workers are germane to their complete
distrust of the administration of the witness Ibukun.
Later, in the course of his evidence, the same witness
Ibukun, did produce a document purporting to be the
conditions of service and salary ranges of the staff
of the Western Nigeria Radiovision Services Limited
as approved by the Board of Directors at a meeting
held on 4th September, 1961. Most of the com-
plaints of the members of the staff, as pointed out
before, arose as a result of the personal relationship of
Mr Ibukun himself who was at one time the Acting
General Manager of the company.
The evidence clearly establishes that Mr Ibukun
has shown favouritism to a few members of the staff
at the expense of the others and has clearly rendered
ridiculous the existence and performance of the
Establishment Committee by the way in which he
has handled the staff affairs. That such course of
conduct by a General Manager is bound to provoke
unwelcome reactions within the staff of the organisa-
tion is manifest from the Report and findings of the
Establishment Committee which were admitted in
evidence as Exhibit LOI.10. The appointments of
certain officers, like Mr Steve Rhodes, Miss V. Y.
Laniyonu, Miss Baiyewu, Mr Banjo Solaru (a son of
the Chairman of the Corporation) Mr T. A. Odubanjo
and the various 'lifts' given to these employees by the
1 Day 88, pp.56-57.
2 See page 41.
3 Day 88, page 71.
Exhibits LOI. 9; LOI.10 LOI. 11 LOI. 12 and LOI 13
'Day 90, p.12.

witness Ibukun were matters of severe criticisms by
the Radiovision Services Workers' Union.4
The witness Ibukun took upon himself to award
bonuses to a few members of the staff and then in
our view, did nothing to make it clear to the outside
world that he had granted the bonuses on his own
without reference to the relevant heads of depart-
ments. Needless to say the publication in the press
with regards to the bonuses granted associating the
names of heads of departments of the grantees,
provoked the documents which were admitted in
evidence as Exhibits LOI.16, LOI.17, and LOI.18,
by which those heads of departments repudiated any
knowledge of the grants. Indeed, the witness Bom-
ford in the course of his evidence stated quite clearly
that he wrote Exhibit LOI.18 because he was not
consulted before the bonus was granted to a member
of his staff and certainly not with respect to the
publications.6 The witness Ibukun had said earlier
that the heads of departments were consulted before
the granting of bonuses. It is also clear that the
Corporation must have given false information to
Chief A. Fadayiro, the Minister of Information,
when he was preparing and making a speech in the
Western House of Assembly denying the allegations
that bonuses had been paid to a few favoured mem-
bers of the staff of the Corporation. Indeed, Chief
Fadayiro went to the extent of saying in Parliament
that another Member of Parliament 'deliberately
told lies when he said that bonuses had been paid'.6
It is at this time relevant to consider in some detail
the activities of the witness Ibukun himself in con-
nection with the affairs of the Corporation.
He was a lecturer at the University College, Ibadan,
before he was appointed into the Corporation. The
letter of appointment is dated 24th February, 1961.7
He admitted that he was at one time a Member of
Parliament for the Action Group, but stated that he
was no more an active Member at the time of his
appointment. It was, however, clear to us by his
performance after his appointment and other circum-
stances of such appointment that he remained a
politician throughout the time of his appointment
with the Corporation. To start with it was suggested
to him by one of the Counsel as follows:
'Q. Now before we go further I put the sugges-
tion to you and will try to expand it that you are
in the services and you owe your appointment to
the Action Group in that venture?
'A. I think this is completely untrue, my Lord.'
Immediately thereafter it was suggested to the
witness and indeed admitted that he was of the
privileged few who had attended the historic meeting
of the Action Group on the 19th May, 19628. He had
an invitation to attend and stated that he sat with
other observers and was not, as suggested to him, one
of the judges on that occasion. He did not know who
sent the invitation for this meeting to him and
according to him 'there was no name. My name was
put on it.' We find it difficult to appreciate the
difficulty which the witness had created for himself
with regard to this incident and we take the view that
he was definitely trying to hide some matters from
this Inquiry. He waited throughout the speech of
Chief Obafemi Awolowo but as he stated he left
before Chief Akintola made his defence. He stated
himself as follows:
'. .immediately I came out I got all the news-
boys and I told them a little bit of what should be
done which other broadcasting organizations did
not have the opportunity to do. That was the
6 Exhibit LOI.23.
7 Exhibit LOI.20.
8 Day 89 p.67

Then again this witness was the author of the letter
admitted as Exhibit LOI.19 dated 22nd May, 1962
written from his sick bed. In that letter he stated
inter alia as follows:
'I feel that it should have been realized by the
News Department that it is not in our place to
present the present position to other parts of the
Federation and the outside world much worse than
it is. There should, therefore, have been no
reference to deteriorating conditions even if this
had been taken from a release. Similarly His
Excellency the Governor is the recognized Head of
State in Western Nigeria and since he has deposed
Chief Akintola there should be no further reference
to Chief Akintola as Premier of the Region. Any
reference to him should be plain 'Chief S. L.
Akintola', and any releases which proclaim a dispute
of the position should not be put out on our
Alhaji Adegbenro is the Premier of the Region
and the acceptance of this appointment must be
reflected in our news bulletin.'
By the provisions of Section 7(b) and (c) of Western
Nigeria Government Broadcasting Corporation Law
it shall be the duty of the Corporation to satisfy
itself that its programmes maintain a proper balance
in their subject matter and that 'any news given in the
programmes (in whatever form) is presented with due
accuracy, impartiality and objectivity' and Section
7(d) and (e) expressly provide as follows:
'7(d) that due impartiality is preserved as
responsible matters of political or industrial con-
troversy or relating to current public policy.
'7(e) subject as hereinafter provided in this sub-
section that no matter designed to serve the interest
of any political party is included in the programme.'
The witness himself admitted in the box before us that
there was in fact a dispute as to the Premiership
between Chief S. L. Akintola and Alhaji Adegbenro
and any news stating that there was such a
dispute would be a fair one'. The performance of
the witness, and especially his attempts to explain
away this letter do not make satisfactory reading10
and we are satisfied that his conduct with respect to
the handling of that situation left much to be desired.
Similar justifiable criticisms were levelled against him
with respect to his handling of the visit of the
Administrator to Ibadan after the declaration of the
State of Emergency in Western Nigeria. We have
read his explanation"1 and we are left in no doubt
as to the inadequacy of such explanation and are
confirmed in our view that he as usual played
politics with that situation.
Besides his political affiliations, we have already
referred to the many disturbances which had occurred
in the staff relationships since he took over. We are
also in a position to say that his appointment having
regard to the conditions prescribed in the attachment
to the letter LOI.20 justified the inference that his
appointment was of a political nature. The witness
Ihonor, in answer to a question put by one of the
Counsel, admitted that the appointment of Mr
Ibukun was a political appointment". Mr Ihonor
was an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Infor-
mation, Western Nigeria. Mr Ibukun succeeded in
the post held by a Mr Apofure who was appointed
clearly because he belonged to the Government
party in the Region. The witness Ihonor tried to
explain that there was a difference when Mr Ibukun
was being asked to take over the post vacated by
Mr Apofure and indeed Mr Ibukun himself testified
that he asked for some clarification on that issue,
9 Day 89, p. 73.
1" Day 89, pp.73-75.
"' Day 89, p. 76 FF.
12 Day 90, pp. 85-89.

because he always wanted a Civil Service appointment
as distinct from a political one. We are however
satisfied, quite apart from many other reasons,
from the fact that no reply was ever sent by the
Ministry of Information to Mr Ibukun's letter of the
3rd March, 1961,13 that when he assumed duties
at the Corporation he did so by virtue of the condition
set out in LOI.20-conditions which were admitted
by the witness Ihonor to belong to the category of
political appointments.
Allegations were made against him with respect to
the use made by him of some tyres belonging to the
Corporation and issued to him in circumstances des-
cribed by Mr Bomford the Chief Accountant, as
'I am just casting my mind back My Lord. I
do not think it is so. In fact I do not think it is so
at all to issue stores through a requisition form, but
from an Accounting point of view, there is nothing
wrong with it providing the company gets its
money back which is the value of the stores issued.
The stores are not under my control.'
The evidence reveals that although these tyres were
supplied to Ibukun in pursuance of requisition forms
admitted in evidence as Exhibits LOI. 5 and LOI. 6
dated 10th January, 1962 and the 9th March, 1962
respectively, no payments whatsoever were made for
these tyres until some time in June 1962. We are
informed that on 15th June, 1962 a Miss Laniyonu
purporting to act on behalf of Mr Ibukun 'Managing
Director' wrote the minutes admitted in evidence as
Exhibit LOI. 7 which read as follows:
'I remember that some time ago two tyres were
put on temporarily on the Consul Car WA. 7195
belonging to me.
The car has now been sold and I have been
waiting to receive a bill for the two tyres put on
the car. Could you please clarify for payment
against my personal account.'
That minute seems to have been dealt with by the
Chief Accountant on the 16th June, 1962 when he
directed that a debit note should be issued against Mr
Ibukun to cover the tyres.
In fairness to the witness Ibukun, we must point
out that he explained that he did not personally
handle the tyres, but that another employee of the
Corporation did so on his behalf. It was also stated,
we think by witness Bomford, that delay in debiting
the recipient's account with the value of the tyres was
an oversight.

Section 3. Observations on Business Operations
and Management

In the preceding sections the Business operations
and Management of the Broadcasting Corporation
and, incidentally, of the company which took over the
performance of its functions were elaborately dealt
with. It is easy to see right away that the affairs of the
Western Nigerian Government Broadcasting Cor-
poration are not in capable hands. The financial
information about the affairs of the Corporation as
supplied to us by our Accountants, is attached as
Appendix 46 to this Report.
First and foremost, we wish to point out that
although the Agreement Exhibit LOI. 1 supplemen-
ted by Exhibit JOI. 7 clearly dictated that of the total
amount of 750,000 shares in company Western
Nigeria Radiovision Services an amount of 500,000
should be issued yet the Corporation allowed itself
to be manoeuvred into a situation in which no such
11 Exhibit JOI.13.

shares were issued, at any rate in respect of the
proportionate shares of the overseas partners. We
point out that this placed the Corporation in an unfair
position during the negotiations which culminated in
the termination of the Agreement with the overseas
partners. We are not oblivious of the fact that with
the investments remaining in the form of loans, it was
easier to compel the overseas partners to accept a
repayment, but we are equally certain that if the
investment had been by way of shares, such shares
would be entitled to no more compensation than
would have been their ultimate value at the time of
take over. The evidence abundantly establishes that at
that time in the history of the Corporation the business
was being run at considerable loss and the shares
could not, therefore, be sold at par, let alone at
premium. Although the witness Ihonor, who was
the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Informa-
tion, charged with the responsibility for the affairs
of the Corporation, was insistent that shares had
been issued and taken up by the Overseas Rediffusion
Limited, we are satisfied that the evidence of the
Accountant Bomford was correct to the effect that
the books of the accounts for 31st December, 1961
show that the interest of the overseas partners was
more in form of a loan than share capital' and this
witness went further to say that it was for this reason
that no question arose about valuing the shares at the
time of the take over.

We feel sure in our views that if proper supervision
had taken place by the Board of the Corporation with
respect to the .1 ._ ..1 .'.., of the affairs of the
company, such a situation would not have arisen.
We are not certain of the cause or causes responsible
for this omission but we are not surprised that this
happened when the Assistant Secretary charged with
the responsibility for this matter was not, himself,
aware of this fact. If the Corporation was to take over
on the basis of shares taking into consideration the
many and unauthorised breaches of the contract be-
tween the overseas partners and the Western Nigeria
Government resulting in colossal losses to the com-
pany, the value of the shares would have indicated to
the overseas partners that no useful purpose would be
served by their insisting on very high values. We
are also told that at the time in question, the entire
Management of the company was in the hands of the
overseas partners and it seems clear on that basis that
they should at least have borne some part of the
losses. As it turned out eventually, however, no part of
the loss was taken up by the overseas partners and che
Corporation, which had all the time been pushed to
the background by the overseas partners, has been
made the beast of burden to carry the liabilities.
We are satisfied that the staff position has evinced
justifiable criticism from the members of the staff and
our observations with respect to the performance of
Mr Ibukun led us to the conclusion that his manager-
ial experience and conduct are entirely unsatisfactory.
We are of the considered opinion that his handling of
staff matters, taken in conjunction with his studied
preference for some members of the Il' over others
without any just cause or excuse puts him in a singu-
larly unfriendly relationship with the staff. The
witness Bomford' in the course of his evidence stated
that at a meeting with Mr Eke, one time Commis-
sioner for Information in Western Nigeria, Ibukun
was rebuked by the Commissioner and that on that
occasion the Commissioner 'seemed to be a little
unfriendly towards him.'2 But quite apart from the
conduct of Mr Ibukun, we still think that a great deal
more should be done in improving staff relationship
in the Corporation. The witness Bomford in the
course of his evidence did say that there was some

confusion in the conditions of service of the staff and
also that 'it was extremely difficult to get any recom-
mendation acted upon.'a The witness was at this time
answering questions to the effect that the General
Manager, Mr Ibukun was in the habit of suppressing
recommendations made to him for transmission to the
Establishment Committee of the company.

We have evidence that it was at a later stage in the
relationship between the Corporation and the
Overseas Rediffusion Limited that it was discovered
that most of the affairs of the Corporation were being
mishandled. It was indeed revealed by the witness
Bomford that it was discovered at that time that the
Company was being charged by the overseas partners
for films which were not supplied and indeed for other
matter for which the company should not have been
charged. The evidence before us also revealed that
the Board members and senior members of the staff
were supplied free of charge with television sets and
radiograms. The relevant minutes of the Corporation
as reflected in Exhibit LOI.24 stated that the mem-
bers of the Board should be supplied with television
sets and transistor radios. At least the Chairman had
been supplied with a television set and a radiogram.
We are informed without having an opportunity of
checking on this, that these sets were deemed to be
the property of the Company and were so treated in
the relevant accounts. We were informed by the
witness Ibukun that senior members of the staff are
supposed to have those sets handy so that they might
know for themselves as soon as any matters arose
which might require their attention at the Station.
Whilst this argument is forceful with respect to those
officials we see no justification whatsoever for the
supply of these sets to the members of the Board,
and none has been reflected by the evidence before us.

We have examined the document entitled 'Rough
Guide for future operation of the Western Nigeria
Radiovision Services Limited' by Olu Ibukun and
dated 15th October, 1961.4 This document carries a
chart of rough estimates for the Western Nigeria
Radiovision Service operations and depicts a situation
by which in 1965 the company would have reached.
break-even point in respect of sound broadcasting
and in 1966 would also have reached break-even point
in respect of television. Thereafter profits would start
to manifest themselves, reaching a figure of approxi-
mately 120,000 by 1970. (see Appendix 47 to this
Report). We are not quite sure that the reasons for
such an optimistic view are realistic. The question
was addressed to the witness Bomford in this con-
nection and he preferred to deal with the matters as

'Well I am not perhaps quite so optimistic.
But I see that this projection anticipated a break
even at the end of 1965, and television in 1966,
before starting to make profits. It is very difficult
to forecast what may happen in a venture of this
nature with so little better to go on. We have only
got just two years results and how it i, going this
year. But the indications are that the gap is narrow-
ing all the time. Quite definitely it is not getting
bigger. But it is a very big gap to start with and
I would not like to go quite so far as to say it will
break even in 1965. It is quite possible but I would
not commit myself.'

A close examination of Exhibit LOI. 21 reveals that
the inferences contained therein were based on quite
a number of assumptions which at least failed to take
1 Day 90, p. 20.
2 Day 90, p. 30.
SDay 90, p.27.
Exhibit LOI.21.

good care of the multitude of competing interests now
existing and which may come into existence between
now and the various periods envisaged. That this is
so is demonstrated by a reference to paragraph 9 on
uage 6 of Exhibit LOI. 21 where the writer stated:
'9. With the operation as it stands at the moment,
there is very little doubt that as from 1967 and
onwards the Radiovision Service in the Region
may become a source of revenue. It should be
emphasized however that this conclusion has been
arrived at with a number of fundamental assump-
tions, the most important being:
(i) That any finances for the extension of the
service have to be found separately;
(ii) That the company be allowed to run as a
commercial enterprise in which case the
Management of the Company would have
primarily to take account of ways and means by
which their revenue budget must be made.
If however, Public Service requirements are
made to draw too much on the commercial interests
of the services, these figures would then be taken as
being over-optimistic.
It is easy to see that the assumptions clearly overlook
some basic realities like the increasing difficulty of
finding external finances, the ever increasing severity
of competition from the introduction into the country
and liberal distribution of broadcasting and television
services which steadily tend to force down the prices
of advertisements, and the most important provision
of Sections 3 and 10 of the Western Nigeria Govern-
ment Broadcasting Law to the effect that the Cor-
poration was supposed to function 'on behalf of the
Regional Government' and that the \lii i-iilr in
charge is at all times entitled to give the Corporation
general or specific directions with respect to matters
of policy.
The losses sustained by Western Nigeria Radio-
vision Services Limited since it commenced to
operate have been:
Fifteen months to 31.12.60 242,146
Year to 31.12.61 215,307
Estimated loss for year to
31.12.62 146,000
and it is apparent that the time was due when it should
be considered whether or not a better financial and
managerial control might not be obtained if the
Western Nigeria Radiovision Services were liquidated
and its assets and liabilities transferred to the Cor-
poration. The existence of both the Corporation and
the company is rather cumbersome and one of the
obvious results of this is the lack of clear responsibility
as to control and some unnecessary administrative
The position of the list of debtors to the company is
not at all a happy one and whatever may be the views
of the author of Exhibit LOI. 21, we take the view
that it is difficult to judge whether the reduction in
losses forecast in that document would be achieved.
The auditors of the company, by letter dated 27th
April, 1962 addressed to the company6 made rather
strong comments on the debtors' list and the rate and
method of recovering them. The witness Bomford
was of the view that adequate steps are now being
taken to recover them. That position is summarised
briefly in his own account as follows:7
'Unfortunately one of our biggest debtors has
recently gone into liquidation but we have several
cases in court, and pending in court, and I spend
a lot of my time writing rude letters to various
The total amount due from advertisements for the
year ended 31st December, 1961 was 64,031-9s-ld.
which was about one-third of the total billings for the

year. It is difficult to distinguish the good from the
bad debts and the Chief Accountant thought 'that
being on the safe side I should think that about
7,000 or 8,000 may possibly have to be written
Section 4. Recommendations
The first obvious anomaly that stands out in the
set-up of the Western Nigeria Government Broad-
casting Corporation is the co-existence of the Cor-
poration and the company. We are by now familiar
with the history of the set-up from the partnership
between the Western Nigeria Government and the
Overseas Rediffusion Limited created by the Exhibit
LOI. 1 on the 9th June, 1959, to the formation and
inspiration of the Western Nigeria Radiovision
Service on the 22nd October, 1959 and the creation
of the Corporation, by letter No. 48 of 1959 as on
the 29th October, 1959. There were seven subscribers
to the Memorandum and Articles of Association with
seven shares stated to have been issued at the incep-
tion.1 The Corporation was, strictly speaking, no
party to the partnership and was indeed not a share-
holder in the Western Nigeria Radiovision Service
Limited and only came in by the accident of
circumstances culminating in the execution of the
Agreement of termination and take-over dated 30th
November 1961.2 By that Agreement the Overseas
Rediffusion Limited have transferred their shares in
the company to the Corporation and the legal position
is that the Corporation and the Regional Govern-
ment are the shareholders of the company. It occurs
to us that there is absolutely no necessity for the
existence of a company in which the Corporation
as an agency of the Government of the Western
Region Government itself as a principal of the Cor-
poration should be joint shareholders. Unnecessary
duplication of expenses, the lack of effective mana-
gerial control and dichotomy of responsibility are
featured in this set-up, and it is our studied view
that all this could be avoided by a fusion of the two.
No doubt exists that the ambit of the engagements
of the Corporation is very much circumscribed.
The witness Ibukun described the functions of the
Corporation as follows:3
'They met often and discussed aspects of the
expansion of the Service itself and also how to
find ways and means of bringing the cost of radio
sets and television sets to the reach of the common
person. This was one of the things in which they
were engaged.'
And when he was questioned about the advisability
of the continued existence of the two bodies as
separate entities he expressed the personal view that
there should be a complete fusion between the
Corporation and the company.4 We have to point out
that we cannot agree with him more, as we have
ourselves already come to the conclusion that before
the take-over the Corporation was a mere surplassage
and after the take-over it became completely re-
On the basis of the fusion of the two bodies, we are
of the view that there should be a full time Chairman
of the Corporation and a General Manager or Manag-
ing Director invested with executive powers to deal
ultimately with matters of administration and staff
and to co-ordinate the activities with the accounts
and technical sectors of the organisation. We are
informed that at present, and during the period of
Emergency one Mr Oladipo Bateye is the Chairman
SIExhibit JLB. 6
7 Day 90, p. 14
8 Day 90, p. 23
'Day 90, p. 18, witness Bomford
2Exhibit JOI. 5
3 Day 88, p. 78
4 Day 88, p. 79

of the Corporation. We sincerely express the hope
that the appointment of Mr Bateye will be limited by
the circumstances of his appointment, because we
have no evidence of his suitability for that post, and
are in any case most sceptical of the wisdom of
retaining him in the post in view of the severe recrimi-
nations earned by him from the Commissions in the
'Report into the Organisation, Working and Financial
Condition of the Co-operative Supply Association
Limited, Western Nigeria.5 Chief Akintola in cross-
examining the witness Bateye referred to this report
as dealing with all his 'doings, mis-doings and non-
doings in connection with the Co-operative Supply
Association, Gaiser, Building Society and so on.'
We do not think that it is advisable to maintain a
number of television and radio sets for supply to the
members of the Board, but if this practice is to be
retained, we suggest that the Law creating the Cor-
poration should be amended to provide for the
membership to include at least two persons with
experience in that trade or profession and that such
facilities should be limited to these two.
We are of the considered opinion that Mr Ibukun

should not have been given the post of Managing
Director or General Manager of the Corporation
and have already set out in some details our observa-
tions about him. He was appointed by virtue of the
letter Exhibit LOI. 20 at a commencing salary of
2,400 and it was therein indicated (in that letter)
that he would 'be expected to hold an executive full
time appointment' yet when he was appointed a
Joint Managing Director, he refused to accept that
salary. He claimed that he then became saddled with
more responsibility and therefore he should be placed
on the same salary of 4,000 with the other Joint
Managing Director.6 In any case his relationship
with the staff is rather uncompromising and we take
the view that he had exploited to the full the lack of
any settled policies of the Corporation or of the
company with regard to the appointment and condi-
tions of service of employees. In this connection we
recommend that the 'conditions of service' which
were supposed to be in the course of formulation
when the witness Ibukun left the management should
be finalised at as an early a date as possible.

6 Day 88, p.89

*Exhibit OB.2







SECTION 1. Business Operations .... .. ...... 49

SECTION 2. Management, including Staff Matters and Staff Relations. .... .. 50

SECTION 3. Observations and Recommendations .. .. .. .. 50


Section 1. Business Operations

We have already pointed out in the Introduction
that the Western Nigeria Printing Corporation was
established by virtue of the Western Nigeria Printing
Corporation Law No. 5 of 1956 and came into
operation with effect from 1st April, 1957. We
pointed out also that its functions were primarily 'to
establish and maintain printing and publishing
works' including newspapers, periodicals and books.
The first Chairman of the Corporation was Chief
A. M. A. Akinloye and he seems to have been the
Chairman since its inception until 1959 when he
resigned after having won a seat in the Federal
Parliament during the elections of that year. We are
told that he was thereafter succeeded as Chairman
by Oba Samuel Akinsanya the Odemo of Ishara whose
tenure of office extended from 1959 to 1960 when the
witness Oba Victor Adesunloye, the Olishua of Isua,
took over and retained the post until the dissolution
of the Corporation in 1962.

It occurs to us that apart from meeting formally at
meetings, the Corporation itself does not do anything
since it had delegated most, if not all, of its functions
to two companies which operate under its auspices
for operation of the functions prescribed for the
Corporation by the relevant law. The witness Ade-
sunloye made it clear that the Corporation by itself
was not doing anything except retaining its existence
as a Government agency1. This does not mean,
however, that the Corporation is not performing any
functions at all. It is not clear under what provisions
of the relevant law the Corporation had invested in
the establishment of the two companies, the Apex
Paper Products Limited and the Caxton Press
(West Africa) Limited, but in this connection the
provisions of Section 19 of the Law2 is relevant.
This Section provides as follows:

'19. The Corporation may invest all or any
portion of the monies of the Corporation in such
manner as may be approved by the Minister.,

This section seems to us to invest the Corporation
with the necessary authority for the establishment of
the two companies to which reference has been made.
We are informed that such approval was in fact
obtained before the formation of the two companies3

Before dealing with the activities of these two
companies it is necessary to refer shortly to an arrange-
ment described as existing between the Corporation
and an overseas company known as the Buffalo
Books Limited4. It seems that such arrangements
were made and designed to subsist for a period of
five years from 1956. The arrangements with the
Western Nigeria Printing Corporation and the Buffalo
Limited were in fact 'that the agency was to supply
the exercise books factory with material from overseas
for a period of 5 years.' The Buffalo Books Limited
was also to supply the Western Nigeria Printing
Corporation with plant and machinery of different
types. Neither with respect to the supply of exercise
book material nor with respect to the supply of plant
and machinery was there any satisfaction and in the
course of the relationship with the company the
SDay 92, p. 8.
SWestern Nigeria Printing Law No. 5 of 1956.
a Day 92, p. 11.
Day 92, pp. 15-17.

Corporation lost a total amount of about 30,000
during the first year5

The Government apparently realized the necessity
for an alteration of policy early in 1960 and in parti-
cular the Government became aware of the failure
of the arrangements with Buffalo Books Limited and
that consequently the Corporation was not fulfilling
the purpose for which it was created. As a result of
this the Premier, Chief S. L. Akintola, instructed a
Chief M. S. Sowole to go abroad with a view to
making contacts with experts who would put in their
own monies and expert knowledge into the business
in order to assist the Corporation. Chief Sowole did
this and as a result contacts were established between
overseas interests and the two companies:

1. Apex Paper Products Limited; and

2. Caxton Press (West Africa) Limited
were formed.

The Apex Paper Products Limited was established
with authorised share capital of 100,000 and the
share holding as between the Western Nigeria
Printing Corporation and the overseas partners,
Thomas Wyatt and Sons (West Africa) Limited was
on an equal basis. There are four Directors of this
company, two being nominated by either side. Both
the Chairman and the General Manager are nominees
of the overseas partners. This company deals more
or less only with the printing of exercise books.
The witness Adesunloye testifying before us stated
that the company was not doing well and that it
was indeed running at a loss. He repudiated the
suggestion of one of the Counsel to the effect that this
view of his was based on the fact only that the
company was going through a period of slump in
the market and that by the beginning of the year when
exercise books are more in demand the company
would make good. He remembered6 that with respect
to this commodity there is a very serious competition
in the country, and indeed the Regional Government
had taken steps in bringing together all those who
were interested so that unnecessary competition may
be brought to an end7. The full programme for the
Apex Paper Products Limited will however include
the printing and production of stationery, envelopes,
paper books and many such things.

The Caxton Press (West Africa) Limited is a more
elaborate undertaking with an authorised share
capital of 200,0b0. The Western Nigeria Printing
Corporation holds 30 per cent of the shares and the
overseas partners, McCorquodale and Company
Limited hold the remaining 70 per cent. There
are six Directors on the Board and the Western
Nigeria Printing Corporation appoints two whilst the
overseas partners appoint four. The Chairman is
chosen by the Board of Directors and at present both
the Chairman and the Managing Director are chosen
by the overseas partners. This company, according
to the evidence8 was incorporated around December
1961. It seems that the Caxton Press Limited is being
run at a profit and we were told that at the inception
of the company the new premises of the Western
Nigeria Printing Corporation costing about 40,000
Day 92, p. 15.
Day 92, p. 20.
7 Day 92, p. 21.
8 Day 92,1p. 9.

were 'turned over to this company and the cost treated
as part of the capital contribution of the Coporation.'
The Companies also took over the plants and machi-
nery supplied to the Western Nigeria Printing
Corporation by the Buffalo Books Limited at the
price of about 37,000 which was grossly below the
price at which they were supplied by the erstwhile
agents of the Corporation. The Corporation, how-
ever paid a total amount of about 29,000 to make up
their share contribution in the Caxton Press Limited
with which they were connected. The Agreement
with this company envisaged a training scheme for the
staff with a view of eventual take over by indigenous
staff and the company also undertook to train people
for the trade, not only locally but also abroad.1 The
evidence is to the effect that this company which is
pre-occupied only with the printing of books now
prints locally many books including the Holy Bible,
Quoran, Shakespeare's books and other such publi-
cations for use locally in Nigerian schools.

Section 2. Management-including Staff
Matters and Staff Relations
Before the formation of the two companies to which
the Western Nigeria Printing Corporation had trans-
ferred its productive functions, the affairs of the
Corporation seemed to be rather unsettled. With
the collapse of the arrangements with the Buffalo
Books Limited, the Corporation had had to under-
take its printing on its own. The witness Adesunloye
stated as follows:

'There were irregularities of mismanagement
by the Manager of the Corporation, Chief Domingo
and we investigated the irregularities and that
led to his prosecution and conviction.'"

The witness stated that this mismanagement involved
a wide range of irregularities involving all the opera-
tions of the Corporation. The products of the com-
pany were being sold or otherwise dealt with by the
Manager as he liked and monies realized from sales
of stationery were being misappropriated. The staff
relationship then was not cordial and indeed deterio-
rated considerably because the Manager was 'appoint-
ing staff and dismissing them at will'.

No qualification seems to have been put forward
for the appointment of Chief Domingo the then
Manager, apart from the fact stated by the Chairman
that he was a staunch member of the Action Group
in Badagry; he was indeed not efficient. It will be
remembered that the entire membership of the
Corporation was drawn from the Action Group
Party although it is fair to say that in accordance with
the provisions of the Law' two of the members of the
Corporation were expected to be experienced in the
printini trade.

SWe have examined the Annual Reports of the
Corporation for 1957 to 19584. We have also examined
the draft of the Annual Report for the current year
1961/626. These Reports exhibit a slow though steady
growth in the strength of the staff from the inception
of the Corporation to the present year of operation.
The witness Adesunloye was hopeful for the future
of this Corporation, but we take the view that he has
over-simplified the position. In the first year of
operation it seems that the accounts were audited by
the Director of Audit.

It does appear that at this time the Corporation
could not produce its own accounts and so the firm of
Commercial Accountants, Messrs. Z. O. Ososanya
and Company had to write out the accounts before
they were audited by the Director of Audit6.

Section 3. Observations and Recommendations
We are satisfied that but for the setbacks at the
initial period caused mainly by the improper execu-
tion of the Agreement with the Buffalo Books Limited
the Western Nigeria Printing Corporation has strug-
gled to justify its existence. The period of success is
however so short yet to enable us or indeed anybody
to form any rational opinion as to the position when
its financial affairs shall have broken even to allow
for any closer relationship with the Government.
None of the powers vested in the Minister, in this
case the Minister of Trade and Industry, had
been exercised although we have it on record that the
Agreement between the Buffalo Books Limited and
the Western Nigeria Printing Corporation was
negotiated personally by Chief Obafemi Awolowo
through the then Commissioner for Western Nigeria
in the United Kingdom, Chief M. E. R. Okorodudu.
We have no doubt of the good intentions at any rate
at the initial stages of the Buffalo Books Limited
for it is clear from the Annual Report for 1957-58,
Exhibit VA. 2 that the representatives of that com-
pany in fact attended the inaugural meeting of the
Corporation and indeed that they nominated Mr
Ayo Rosiji, who was described as the Federal Secre-
tary of the Action Group, to represent them (the
company) at subsequent meetings of the Corporation.
We have no evidence of the cause of the lapses that
later occurred and we take the view that at the time
when the Annual Report for 1957-58 was prepared
it was hardly realized that the affairs of the Corpora-
tion were not being properly managed. The evidence
concerning the previous Manager, Chief Domingo,
is indeed thought-provoking and it appears to us
that employee was able to do so much because of lack
of proper supervision of his activities. He seems to
have refused to heed the warning of the Corporation
whilst enquiries into the affairs were being conducted
and this, we think, could have'been avoided if it was
decided by the Corporation to suspend him from
work during the period of such investigation. It is
however rather difficult to lay the blame on any parti-
cular person and the Chairman who testified before
us happened to be a part-time Chairman of the
We take the view that if the gradual success which
is now budding in the affairs of the Western Nigeria
Printing Corporation is expected to continue, the
Corporation should be provided with a full-time
Executive Chairman. The present Chairman, in our
view, is satisfactory, but the provisions of Section
3(3) of the Law with respect to the appointment of
members with experience in the printing trade should
be strictly adhered to. We understand that the day
to day affairs of the Corporation are being handled by
an ad hoc committee which was later renamed the
General Purposes Committee. The committee has no
executive powers.7 This arrangement is unsatis-
factory and seems to have left too much in the hands
of the Manager who in fact abused the situation. The
General Purposes Committee seems to have met fairly
often but it could certainly not have been sufficiently
effective. We have also investigated the financial
affairs of this Corporation as contained in the Annual
Reports produced before us and at our request.
We have attached as Appendix 48 to this Report the
financial information which has been supplied to us
by our Accountants. The financial records show that
only 60,000 shares had been issued by the Apex
Paper Products Limited out of which the Corporation
had paid its own share of 30,000. For the first year
IDay 92, p.19
2 Day 92, p. 11.
Section 3(3) of Law No. 5 of 1956.
Exhibit VA. 2; 1958 to 1959 Exhibit VA. 3; and
1959/1960 Exhibit VA. 4.
5 Exhibit VA. 5.
Day 92, pp. 36-37.
7 Exhibit V.A.3 p.1

the Chairman would be a nominee of the overseas
partners but we are advised that the Agreement
.after the year the position will be that the Chairman
will be chosen alternatively year by year between the
parties. We are satisfied with this arrangement.
With respect to the Caxton Press Limited, the
issued capital of the company is 200,000 and the
Western Nigeria Printing Corporation has paid up
its own 30 per cent share of 60,000. Control of the
company is in the hands of the overseas partners, but
we are advised that adequate arrangements were
made in the Agreement for the training of Nigerians
for responsible positions.
We are concerned however, with the considerable
amount of debt which is at present owed by the
Corporation as a result of its investment in the two
companies referred to and its trading operations.

Interest at 5 per cent is payable to the Western
Regional Government as from the 1st April, 1962 on
a total sum of over 218,000 that would be owing
at the end of August 1962. All monies recovered in
respect of existing debts are being ear-marked to
repay the loans from the Government, but it seems to
us doubtful whether the Corporation will be in a
position to pay the interest, let alone the principal,
when they fall due.
It is rather difficult to predict the future of this
Corporation. Owing to the set up described to us, it
is quite clear that there is very little left for the
Corporation itself to do. We would suggest that the
number of the Board members of the Corporation
should be maintained at the minimum and in any
case should be limited only to those representing the
Corporation on the directorates of the two companies.



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