The Apena family has called out Special Adviser on Transportation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, over a land-grabbing allegation in the Ladipo axis of Lagos State.
Fayinka has been accused of plotting to encroach into the Apena family’s compound after the demolition of 16 shops erected in front of the building recently.
Speaking with THISDAY, aged Alhaji Rahman Apena, the landlord, lamented that some people have been disturbing and harassing him that his house had been allocated by the Lagos state government as part of the Ladipo Mechanic Village
He said: “I have been on this land as far back as 1966. I have been staying on the land, using it without any hindrances. I bought the land from the original owners of Isolo. They are called the Alabe family. It was when I got here years after the high tension was erected. Recently, they came and demolished my properties of about 16 shops which I erected in 1975.
“When they were planning the mechanic village here, they exempted me from the government’s plan. All the mechanics met me here. I was using my space as a brick industry and there is a certificate in respect of my block industry by the then government.
“What I want is that I want to secure my land. I’m not selling it to anybody because it’s my personal property. Someone has been coming to my land telling me the government wants to make use of it trying to grab my land. They brought in their workers and I stopped them asking them for papers from the ministry and they couldn’t produce anything. They continue molesting, harassing, and intimidating me on my property. They came and started hitting the padlock I used to lock my gate,” he said.
One of the sons of the family, Rasaq Apena, told THISDAY that such an incident is not the first in the area allegedly plotted by Fayinka.
With evidence, he noted petitions have been written to the Office of The Commissioner of Police and the Ministry of Transportation for clarification.
“We have been to Alausa several times to the Ministry of Transport during the tenure of Engr. Thomas because some people have been claiming the government allocated our land to the mechanic village. All these were going underneath. But we went to the ministry with our proofs and they let us be. It is not new that they have been grabbing lands in this area all in the name of government allocation and ours is not the first nor the fourth.
“When the shops we erected were demolished, we started building the wall because we knew without the fence they would come for us when we saw what had been happening to landlords in this area.
“After the demolishment took place, we suddenly saw some surveyors who came and said they want to come and measure the land and I was surprised. I told them there is no need to measure the land because the shops have been demolished and the next thing is for us to build the wall because it’s our compound. They want to divide our land and disguise to be from the ministry,” he said.
When THISDAY contacted Fayinka, he dismissed the allegation, claiming he is not a land grabber and did not encroach into people’s property.
During the virtual conversation, he noted he will appreciate a meeting to be specific about the land he has been accused of.
“I don’t know the land you are talking about. I don’t know the land I’m encroaching on. I want you to tell me specifically or arrange a meeting so I can know the land they are talking about. I’m not a land grabber and I don’t encroach on individual property,” Fayinka he said.