Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Disorder, disarray in Magodo Estate, resident protest planned demolition.

Disorder, disarray in Magodo Estate, resident protest planned demolition.

The Christmas preparation is not going well in Magodo, as hundreds of residents have been thrown into confusion at the Magodo Phase 2 Estate in the Shangisha area of Lagos State. It was gathered that the Magodo Residents Association had shut down the estate gates after suspected land grabbers, who were led by policemen and

The Christmas preparation is not going well in Magodo, as hundreds of residents have been thrown into confusion at the Magodo Phase 2 Estate in the Shangisha area of Lagos State. It was gathered that the Magodo Residents Association had shut down the estate gates after suspected land grabbers, who were led by policemen and members of aggrieved family invaded the community.

Magodo Estate invasion worsen.

It was gathered that the group came along with red, blue and brown inks to inscribe ‘ID/795/88 Possession Taken Today 21/12/21 by Court Order,’ on different numerous properties on the estate.

Tunji Abdulhameed, who is the Legal Adviser, Magodo Residents Association, stated that the suspected land grabbers were about to invade the estate with a bulldozer when the estate management shut the gates to prevent them.

According to him, “They came around 1 pm yesterday, the police were up to 100 and the thugs were more than 200. They invaded the estate and the police gave them backing. I asked what they were doing here and the police said they were trying to enforce a court judgment.

I asked for a copy of the judgment but no document was provided. What they showed was a newspaper publication which they did themselves to inform the world that they were the owner of the property.

They had a judgment in 1993 and as far as I am concerned, the judgment was not properly captured. The judgment said the government should allocate 549 plots to them with no specification to the area, property, location of the plots of land; in fact, there was nothing to ascertain the property they were talking about.

I asked for a copy of the judgment but no document was provided. What they showed was a newspaper publication which they did themselves to inform the world that they were the owner of the property.

They had a judgment in 1993 and as far as I am concerned, the judgment was not properly captured. The judgment said the government should allocate 549 plots to them with no specification to the area, property, location of the plots of land; in fact, there was nothing to ascertain the property they were talking about.

The resident associations had a meeting in the evening and thereafter, we just saw a bulldozer at the front of our gate. The police didn’t go and were with them; the bulldozer is still at the other gate. That was why we closed the gate.

We don’t know whether we are going to open the gate because we don’t know their plan as the land grabbers and policemen are still around. They have a motive they want to achieve; I think the purpose is to use the bulldozer to destroy property.”

A landlord, whose building was marked by the invaders, described their action as illegal. According to him. “My property was marked; we asked for the judgment and the authority for their action, but they said they could not make copies for everybody. And with the policemen and thugs with them, we could not do much, but just let them write what they wanted to write.

“Personally, I know that my property has not violated anything and my building precedes even their court case. So, writing on somebody’s property without the prerequisite authority is an assault on the property of the person. I cry for the situation we find ourselves in; this is a situation of illegality, where the police act without going through the document.”

The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Magodo Residents Association, Professor Ayodele Ogunye, also said, his calling on the state government to restore peace in the community. He said, “I have been living here since 1992 but we have been having problems with land grabbers until this case became enlarged. It is true that the Supreme Court gave judgment in favour of a family; they were to be given 549 plots, but that judgment did not say 549 plots in Magodo.

“Hence, the Lagos State Government allocated plots of land to them in Badagry and Ibeju Lekki. So far, about 300 of them have agreed to take those plots, but these people continue to harass us. I have been to Alagbon (FCID) three times this year on this issue.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), in the morning, these people besieged us; they said they were bailiffs trying to enforce the Supreme Court judgment. They are not Lagos State Government bailiffs; if they were, they would wear their jackets. They went to hire some area boys to come in as bailiffs.

“I spoke with the senior police officer that led them and he said he got instruction from the top to follow them. We told them to show us the judgment they were enforcing, but they showed our lawyer a press release.

“They were marking houses including houses we had been living in since 1992. We gathered that the government was not informed yesterday; how could they come into a government estate without clearance from the governor? The governor said he is not aware of this siege.”

Bajo Osinubi, Chairman of the estate, said one of the gates was opened after state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu interceded, stating that the DC Operations, who visited the estate during the chaos, said the Inspector-General of Police, Baba Usman, had promised to withdraw the policemen.

He said, “We opened the gate about an hour ago because we had a promise from the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, that he is on top of the case and he actually sent in the Mayoress of Ikosi, Princess Gbada, to tell us that the policemen will be withdrawn and that this siege that has become perennial will never happen again.

“With that promise, we decided to open up so that people could go. We closed the gate because we got invaded yesterday. Up till 2am (Wednesday), we were on guard and this morning, we decided that we will not allow anybody to go in and out of the estate.

“The policemen claimed that they came from the IGP’s office. The police action gave members of the family a chance to commit falsehood as they came in to gain possession without any legal document.”

Olaoluwa Alabi
CONTRIBUTOR
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