Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, has stated that individuals interested in converting government property to personal use were behind his sentencing by a court.
Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory had sentenced Runsewe to prison for allegedly refusing to obey a court order directing stay of proceedings in a suit bordering on the demolition of the Arts and Craft Village located in the Central Business District area of the FCT.
The court held that the NCAC flouted the law and ordered the police to arrest Runsewe and hand him over to the Nigerian Correctional Service pending when he retraces his steps.
But reacting to the court’s verdict while speaking with journalists in Abuja, Runsewe said that he acted to protect and defend government property owned by NCAC and
He noted that some individuals with vested interest in the building wanted to acquire it for themselves, hence the reason they are trying to have him removed from office.
Runsewe said, “The property has been turned into a drug den 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 visit the area.
“I wonder why some people are bent on converting government property to a haven of inappropriate engagement. That was why the police closed down the place.
“The Art and Craft Village belongs to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it does not belong to me but to the Nigerian people.
“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.”