Residents of Greenfield Estate, off Ago Palace Way in Okota area of Lagos, are living in fear as hoodlums working for notorious land grabbers in the area now terrorise the neighbourhood in broad daylight,
The chairman of Ago Palace Way Landlords and Residents Association, Prince Nixon Okwara, who made these remarks at a press conference in Lagos, said the hoodlums, always armed to the teeth, usually come on motorcycles to terroriee the community.
He said that members of the Greenfield Estate Community Development Association and the Ago Palace Way community in general have made a series of complaints to the Okota Police Station and Area E, Featac Town to no avail. He added that they have decided to channel their complaints to the Zone 2 Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
Prince Okwara alleged that the hoodlums are working for one notorious land grabber. He said the land grabber usually brings thugs to take peoples’ land by force and that any attempt to resist them usually leads to mayhem and even death.
His words: “We have been having cases of land grabbers using armed thugs to attack our people around this area, with the intent of dispossessing them of their lands. In recent times, somebody was tied in one of the lands here and he died. The case is still being investigated. We are concerned because these thugs appear to be stronger than the local police.
“You can see for yourself today, a police invitation for investigation in the area in question was extended to the man and his boys, but they are not here today; to show you how big they are; bigger than the institutions we are talking about. We, as a body, are people who believe in the law of the land; we don’t believe that might is right. That is why we ran to the police, to ensure that we stop this unnecessary harassment and wanton killing going on here. Nobody has a monopoly of violence. If you decide to match them force for force, by bringing the kind of people they are bringing here, there will be no peace in this area.”
Prince Okwara who is also the chairman of Igbo Stakeholders Forum, Lagos State said the leaders of the community, including the Oba of Isolo, have met on several occasions on how to stop the hoodlums from terrorizing the area.
He appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Inspector General of Police to use their good offices and intervene now before it becomes too late.
The head of the Ogundairo Bashorun family, the original owners of the land, Alhaji Mutiu Bashorun said the family has been having a running battle with the notorious land grabber and that the family has got judgment on the land in question after 19 years of litigation at the High Court, the Appeal Court and finally the Supreme Court.
Bashorun said even while the case was at the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court, the Okegbere family were selling the contentious land, in spite of the court injunction that they should stay action on further sale of lands.
Bashorun said even after his family got a victory from the Supreme Court, “we still ratified the lands that were sold illegally by the land grabbers in the interest of peace”. He added: “But, they have continued to take the law into their hands. Since last year, the family has been bringing armed hoodlums to unleash mayhem on the members of this community.”
He also called on Governor Sanwo-Olu and the Inspector General of Police to intervene.