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INJUSTICE: Dozens Displaced As Land Grabbers Demolish Houses in Lagos

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Enoch Oyedibu

 

Land Grabbers allegedly, led by one Mutairu Owoeye, have forcefully chased dozens of people away from their homes in Age Mowo Badagry, Lagos, after which they demolished their houses.

 

Currently, scores have been displaced with millions of properties destroyed.

 

Despite the yearnings of the people, Federal and State Governments have also been keeping mute on the case since around November 2023 that it occurred.

 

But Benjamin Hundeyin, Lagos Police Public Relations Officer tweeted it is an operation carried out by the Government.

 

He even said that is the truth.

 

Victims have said no notice was served, nor reasons were given before the demolishing.

 

Even, eyewitnesses said while louts were demolishing, Policemen at the scenes were restraining and arresting a few residents who were protesting until soldiers came to their rescue.

A source who pleaded anonymity said louts who came to demolish asked for a sum of N3,000,000,000 naira per plot to get interested residents to retain their houses.

 

Very few houses of those who can raise a million as a deposit were left out of the demolition. But for those who couldn’t, their houses were bulldozed with properties destroyed.

 

Eyewitnesses complained the demolition was done by louts. But Hundeyin has countered that they are government workers employed to demolish houses and that the Police are there to guard them.

 

He tweeted under a thread created by @Oldmama_seloko who was one of the victims, “Some clarifications need to be made. These aren’t touts or land grabbers as is being touted all over this thread.

 

“Residents of the area including the poster know the truth. This much is clear from the attached videos.

 

“This is an operation being carried out by the government. Policemen at the scene ensuring peace and orderliness are from Zone 2 headquarters. This is also clearly stated in the thread.”

 

The Nigerian Police Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi also made a tweet that seems uneven with that of Hundeyin.

In his words, he confirmed that those who were demolishing houses are louts and residents will need sound lawyers to get their lands back, adding that police cannot do anything about it.

 

“Pls,” he tweeted, “approach the court. Police cant (sic) do anything meaningful on land issues, bc its (sic) basically civil matter. Don’t be surprised that the so called touts (sic) are having a valid court judgement with them. The way and manner they got it is immaterial, so u need to get a sound lawyer.”

 

“Who knows the way in lagos,to take the case up. In fact i was told in lagos them that there is what they call Jankara Judgement. I dont know if its true. So u need a strong lawyer to take up the case. Dont blame or rely on the police on this. Thanks.”

 

Until now since November, affected victims have written to Lagos State Government but it has not responded.

 

Background

A Tweep tweeted on Wednesday that land grabbers allegedly led by Mutairu Owoeye have demolished houses in Age Mowo, Badagry with properties destroyed.

 

In a Twitter thread which had videos sufficiently provided to prove the validity of it, the land grabbers were louts who came to the town with the police.

 

“They came to inform us that a certain person has acquired a particular area of our town and people were asking for notice and court orders (to vacate the land), no such thing was presented,” she said during an interview with our correspondent.

 

“Initially, steps were taken to have a legal ruckus in court, but these land grabbers won’t appear in court and later reports had it that they said they won’t appear in court, that nobody should invite them to court.”

 

“So, my parents and some other affected families went to the police station in the area, Area K Police Command.”

 

“But the officers them that the matter is out of their hands but they are aware that the touts are there and the land grabbers. They said we should not cause any trouble with them, we should be at peace with them.”

 

“The affected people were informed that the land grabbers are backed by some officers from Zone 2 Police Command, Lagos. But, all efforts to meet Zone Two commanders are futile.”

 

“They did not send any notice, all they were saying was ‘order from above, order from above, no notice, no official statement.”

 

“We have tried to go court but they on their part are not appearing. We went to the police but there was no help. In fact, no policeman has come to challenge them. The only thing we got thing close to assistance we had was when some soldiers came to stop the policemen from taking the people they have arrested away to the police station. They brought a black Maria and put them.”

 

“The Chairman of the CDA has written a petition to the Lagos State government directly. Less than an hour after we submitted the petition, the hoodlums got to know, but we didn’t know how. They went to the Chairman’s house and demolished it, this demoralized all of us because the Chairman has been the one motivating us all.”

 

Worthy of note, Mutairu Owoeye, is commonly regarded as an alleged nefarious land grabber who usually poses as a Real Estate agent.

Edited by Bushra Ghazal

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