Lagos lawyer accuses judiciary of grabbing landed property

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A legal practitioner, Omodele Ibrahim, has accused the Lagos State Government of encroaching on his plot of land.



He said the land, situated at the Lanre Razak Housing Estate, Itamarun, Epe, was sold to him by the late Chief Lanre Razak, a former Chairman of the Epe Local Government Area, who established the private housing estate.

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Ibrahim, who claimed to have fenced the land, alleged that the entrance to the property was forced open twice by intruders, adding that some mobile officers were also drafted there by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

He said, “Sometime in November 2021, I was out of the country when a neighbour living on the estate called to tell me that there were intruders on my land. Immediately, I called a relative of mine to go there and get them out and get a new padlock to lock the gate.

“I also went there to challenge them as to who sent them. I met fierce-looking mobile policemen, totalling 10, with guns. I met the contractor, who now informed me that they were on the land under the authority of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Lagos State Judiciary, to be specific.

“We had earlier met the Chief Registrar of the Lagos State Judiciary, Mr Elias, in company of my lawyer, Otunba Tunde Seriki, to let him know that I am the owner of the land. He promised to come and see things for himself.

“They continue to build on the land as I speak and I reported the matter to the Epe Police Station and some of their men followed me to the site. The contractor was not around then and a message was left for him that on his return, he should visit the police station. They took my statement at the police station.  However, work continued as if my efforts had no consequences.”

Ibrahim said he filed another petition at the Area J Police Command and met the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Kazeem Alogba.

He, however, said work continued unabated, just as he had yet to get feedback.

A signpost at the site indicated that the land was for the construction of judges and magistrates’ quarters.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said the state government would not take over any land without compensation.

He said, “The standard is that if you have your documents and the government wants to use your land in public interest, then the government will compensate you because you have the CofO. If you don’t have CofO, it may be a bit difficult.”

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