Lekki Homeowners Threaten Showdown with Police, Thugs over Land Grabbing

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Rebecca Ejifoma

Homeowners and allottees of Alma Beach Estate in Lekki Lagos, have threatened showdown with policemen and thugs sent by suspected trespassers.

While the trespassers are accused of attempts to demolish their houses and forcefully take over their properties, the Lagos State Police Command was alleged to have deployed the armed policemen providing security cover for the land grabbers.

According to the homeowners, this act of the police is in defiance of directives by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).

This incident was said to have started in 2017 when a firm allegedly claimed ownership of 150 plots of land in Alma Beach estate without any authentic survey or registered title as proof.

It was learnt that the Lagos State Government through the state Surveyor General, Mr. Olutomi Sangowawa rejected the claims in a memo to the Assistant IG of Police, AIG, Zone 2 with ref: AR: 3000/ZN/MTU/TMU/TM4/VOL.2/116 dated July 3, 2020.

The state government was said to have affirmed that the estate allotees have their titles consented to by the government, and registered as confirmed by their survey plan No. LA/0807/2007/05.

The state government was also said to have noted that the firm’s purported survey plan does not exist in the state records.

Prior to the intervention of the state government, the authentic homeowners and allottees in the estate had also secured two court orders restraining the firm from trespassing in the estate.

This was said to have formed the basis of a letter from the Attorney General of the Federation dated August 20, 2020 to the IG of Police.

The AGF’s letter was for the IG to ensure that policemen were not deployed to the estate for illegal activities and in contravention of two court orders issued by the Federal High Court on October 24, 2019 and January 23, 2020.

Lawyer to the estate homeowners and allottees, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) has expressed shock over the activities of policemen providing cover for armed thugs to destroy people’s houses and allow illegal developers to build structures.

He added: “This is the type of illegalities that recently led to a nationwide uprising against the police.

“If the rightful allottees decide to defend themselves against the invasion and destruction of their homes and properties, any police officer responsible for the deployment of policemen to provide cover for hoodlums should be held responsible and accountable.”

Reacting to the tension, the State Police Spokesman, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, told THISDAY he was not aware of the situation.

“I will get back to you on this. I am not aware,” he added.