Friday, January 10, 2020

They want to send me to jail because I refused to sell the Arts and craft village to them - Runsewe

Director General of the of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe has said that what resulted in him being dragged to court and consequently sentenced to jail was because he refused to sell the Arts and craft village to some people.

It would be recalled that on the 9th of January an FCT High court in Maitama convicted and sentenced the DG to jail for contempt of court.

The judgement which was given by Justice Jude Okeke in a motion from a suit filed by Ummakalif Ltd against the DG NCAC, the FCT Minister, the Federal Capital Development Authority and the Minister for Culture and Tourism over the sealing of the Arts and Craft village in Abuja.

Runsewe in a press briefing in Abuja on Friday while reacting to the court injunction against him and the NCAC over the ownership of Arts and Crafts Village, said the reason why some people wanted him hounded into jail and removed from office was because he refused to sell the village to them.

The DG who revealed that the property is worth N9.8billion said when he took over as the DG, the Arts and Craft village was a den of robbers and all forms of illegality as police had to interfere to rid it of criminals and remove over two hundred stolen cars from the village.

He said it was turned into a security threat to both Abuja residents and foreigners defeating the aim of the village.

“The Arts 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 government if I cannot protect government property which I was mandated to oversee,” he said.

He said that the Council will not relent in its efforts to reposition the nation’s culture as well as protect government’s property across the country.

He further stressed that he will remain committed to the development of the village no matter the opposition’s plan against him, adding that it was imperative to clear the air on the issue to help stem the tide of negative reactions.