Land purchase scandal: EOBI’s former finance chief arrested by FIA

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 7:13:25 by


The Punjab chapter of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested the former director general finance of the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) in connection with a suspicious multi-billion-rupee real estate deal, The Express Tribune has learnt.

During the tenure of the former chairman of the state-owned EOBI Zafar Iqbal Gondal, accused persons at high positions purchased 18 properties amounting to Rs34 billion through dubious agreements.

The agency prepared charge sheets against the accused under section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).  One charge sheet stated that the accused former DG Najamul Saqib purchased 654 plots in the Pak Arab Housing Scheme, Lahore for Rs1.15 billion. It also said that he accepted the offer of the Pak Arab Housing Scheme on January 6, 2012, which is in violation of PPRA Rules as the date of advertisement was closed on September 16, 2011.

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He also approved a payment of 10% amounting to Rs115 million to the Pak Arab Housing Scheme Lahore on January 15, 2013 – before the approval of the board of trustees.

It is learnt that Saqib violated PPRA Rules, EOBI Rules and LDA Rules, as the purchased properties were not approved by the authority.

The EOBI’s board of trustees has unanimously decided to return all 18 properties to their sellers because only one bid offer has been received which was not even equal to the reserved price of a piece of land.

The auction held on January 7, 2014 reveals that the properties were bought only to pocket hefty amounts instead of serving the interest of the public exchequer.

After this development, the EOBI has decided to ensure the recovery of Rs34 billion from the parties that sold their properties along with the mark-up and transaction cost.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2014.

Lahore News Sources -2

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