The former Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs. Funmilayo Tejuoso, wednesday accused the state government of illegally hijacking her property at no 3A Sasegbon Street, G.R.A, Ikeja.
This is just as she decried the use of policemen from the state Police Command to forcibly eject them from the house without due process.
The armed policemen, who were stationed at the entrance of the sealed building, chased Tejuoso and journalists who converged on the front of the building for a press conference, claiming they were acting on instructions from above.
Speaking through her husband, Prince Kayode Tejuoso, the former deputy speaker who is serving her 14th year in the state House of Assembly, said she has been rendered homeless after she was allegedly evicted forcibly alongside her family.
The entire family who were evicted from their Ikeja residence by the state government over alleged illegal sale, called for a thorough investigation and prosecution of those who allegedly made the illegal sale.
Tejuoso further debunked allegations that his family underpaid for the building, insisting that he paid N150 million after the state government approved a 25 per cent deduction from the initial N200 million offer.
He said: “During the administration of former Governor Bola Tinubu, the state government adopted the federal government’s property’s monetisation and redevelopment policy by offering several of its properties to public/civil servings occupying same for sale as well as companies under redevelopment schemes.
“This monetisation policy was continued by the Babatunde Fashola government, as a result of which several officials benefited, including the present chairman of the state chapter of the APC, Mr. Henry Dele Ajomale.
“In furtherance of this policy, my wife and I, being the present occupiers were equally afforded the same opportunity of acquiring the property which we chose to do through a company in which we have interest.
“This company called Debam Mega Solutions Limited, by a letter dated November 21, 2008, addressed to the governor sought the concession and approval of the governor to acquire the right of occupancy over the property.
“At the time Debam Mega Solutions Limited sought the concession of the governor, the property housed a dilapidated and abandoned structure.
“Further to the said application and by a Lagos State Government, Ministry of Housing letter dated March 26, 2010, with reference No. MHEST/627, the state government offered to sell the property to Debam Mega Investment at the ultimate agreed purchase price of N150million.”
He added: “This amount was eventually fully paid to the government on May 28, 2015, thereby concluding the sale of the property from the government to the company.
“Since the completion of payments, the property no longer belongs to the state government as it has become the private property of Debam Mega Investment. Upon the acquisition of the right of occupancy over the property, the company continued to be in active possession of the property through Prince and Mrs. Funmilayo Tejuoso who improved the property to its present state.
“It is important to state that the improvements you are seeing on the property today that is being referred to by the government as deputy speaker’s official residence were constructed by us. The meaning of which is that, what basically we obtained from the government was parcel of land.
“Since the acquisition of the property, Debam Mega Solutions Limited enjoyed quiet and undisturbed possession of the property until about 11:00a.m. on November 3, 2017, eight years after, when policemen from the office of the governor of Lagos State, led by one Mr. D. Abutu, without any order of court, invaded the property, evicted some of the occupants and imprisoned the others, who have remained imprisoned since then.”
Tejuoso also added that “the property was sealed since November 3 with fierce-looking police officers stationed within and outside the premises with my daughter and other aides inside.
“On November 6, 2017, the police officers extended their unprecedented ignominious conduct to horrifying proportions when, acting on the specific instruction of the state governor according to them, broke the doors and walls of the house in gestapo style.
“They also vandalised the property and harassed the children who are occupying it, and who had been imprisoned in the house since November 3. As at now, some of our properties have been pilfered.
“Contrary to the lies being peddled by the state government that the building is the official residence of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, the two previous Deputy Speakers before my wife, Mrs. Tejuoso, were Farouk Oshodi and Toun Adediran whilst the two after her were Bola Badmus and Kolawole Taiwo. None of them ever lived here.
“Even if we are squatters or trespassers, by the provisions of the Lagos State Tenancy Law, the state government ought to have obtained an order of court before hijacking the property and/or imprisoning the occupants.
“The actions of the state government amount to a resort to self-help contrary to the laws which govern this state. Let me also state that prior to this invasion, there is an existing litigation already initiated by the company since the August 3, 2017, and for which the government has joined issue.