Jail sentence: Runsewe opens up, insists Nigeria must be protected
The Director General of National Council For Art and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe has stated that his current travails is linked to his patriotic desire to protect and defend government property owned by National Council For Arts and Culture.
The NCAC DG disclosed that the property, the Art and Craft Village (Opposite Abuja Sheraton), valued at N9.8billion, is the reason some people wanted him hounded in jail and removed from office for refusing to dance to their tunes.
Runsewe revealed that the property, which belongs to the Federal Government, “was turned into a drug den, a hold bay and rented house for hooligans and criminals, a depot for illegal arms and sundry criminal activities, which turned the place to security threat, not only to Abuja residents, but to foreigners, who engage in early hours exercises. So, I wonder why some people are bent on converting government property to a haven of inappropriate engagement, hence, the police has to close down the place.”
He continued: “The Art and Craft village belongs to the Federal Republic Of Nigeria; it does not belong to me, but to the Nigerian people. So, I would be failing in my duties as a public officer and appointee of the government if I cannot protect government property to which I was mandated to oversee.”
Runsewe therefore noted that it is imperative to clear air on this issue to help stem the tide of negative reactions and to reassure Nigerians that all hands must be on deck to protect the interest of any property that belongs to Nigeria and ensure that they are not misapplied or abused.He thanked all those, who have shown interest about his welfare through phone calls, messages and visits, adding that his life is in the hand of God and that he will do his best within the ambits of the law to secure and protect Nigerian cultural assets, including those outside the shores of the country.
It would be recalled that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday, jailed the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe, for contempt of court.Justice Jude Okeke, in a ruling, ordered the Inspector-General of Police to arrest him and hand him over to the Nigerian Correctional Service in Kuje, Abuja.
The judge ordered him to remain in prison “until he purges himself contempt”.Runsewe was reportedly committed to prison on Thursday following his disobedience of an order made by the court on December 15, 2017. The order was in respect of a suit filed by Ummakalif Ltd for the sealing of the Arts and Crafts village in Abuja.
The suit was instituted against the Director-General of NCAC, the FCT Minister, the Federal Capital Development Authority, and the Minister for Culture and Tourism.The plaintiff had alleged in his suit that the sealing of the village was a violation of the contractual agreement for him to develop a part of the village.
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