Director General of the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, who was ordered to be remanded in prison custody for contempt by the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Thursday alleges that his travails is linked to his refusal to allow some people illegally take-over the Art and Craft Village in Abuja.
According to him, the land belonging to the Art and Craft Village located opposite Sheraton Hotel, Abuja is valued at N9.8 billion, but some people illegally built and occupied it.
He told journalists on Friday in his office that the same people wanted him hounded into jail and removed from office because he has refused to dance to their tunes.
Otunba Runsewe said the property in question is not his, but belongs to the National Council for Art and Culture and is covered by a certificate of occupancy duly issued by Abuja Geographical Information Service.
The director general further stated that the government property was turned into a drug den, a holding bay and rented houses for hooligans and criminals, a depot for illegal arms and sundry criminal activities which turned the place into a security threat to Abuja residents and visitors.
He said the police sealed off the village because “some people were bent on converting the government property to a haven of inappropriate engagement.
“So, I would be failing in my duties as a public officer and appointee of government if I cannot protect government property to which I was mandated to oversee.”
The director general said the clarification is necessary to clear the air on the issues and to help stem the tide of negative reactions. He said he was not ordered to be taken into custody because he stole government money.
He assured the public that all hands must be on deck to protect the interest of any property that belongs to Nigeria and to ensure that they are not misapplied or abused.
Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court had on Thursday sent Otunba Runsewe to the Kuje Correctional Centre for disobeying court order.
The judge also ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to give effect to the court order, adding that Runsewe will remain in jail until he purges himself of all the contemptuous acts he committed at the Arts and Craft Village, Abuja, which the claimant complained of.
Justice Okeke made the order, while ruling on a committal motion drawn from a suit filed by Ummakalif Limited against the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Federal Capital Development Authority, the director general National Council for Arts and Culture and the minister for culture and tourism, respectively.
The motion dated June21, 2019, was brought pursuant to Order 47 rule 10 sub -rules 1, 2 and 3 of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Civil Procedure Rules 2018.