Residents of Magodo estate in Lagos have raised the alarm over the alleged plot of 1,000 armed men to invade their estate.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Kunle Eludire, chairman of the residents’ association, said landlords in Magodo were being affected by a case they were not a party to.
Eludire said since 1982, the state government and members of the Shangisha landlords association have been involved in a legal battle, and that one Adebayo Adeyiga is now using taking advantage of the situation to lay claims to plots of land in Magodo.
“There is a declaratory judgement for the Lagos state government to give first choice preferential treatment to the plaintiffs and a mandatory injunction to allocate 549 plots to them,” he said.
“Apparently knowing that our residents were not parties to their case, Chief Adebayo Adeyiga sought to join 549 unknown residents of the estate in an originating summons filed at the supreme court in 2014 in SC/112/2002.
“Based on our lawyer’s application, the originating summons was struck out by the supreme court on the grounds that our residents were not parties to the action and so no enforcement can be carried out against them or their property.
“We had thought that the Lagos state government had dissuaded Adeyiga and his group from carrying out their unlawful act but we were shocked to learn that the chief judge of Lagos state signed a warrant of possession dated March 16, 2017, for Adeyiga to execute the supreme court judgement against our innocent residents.
“We have it on good ground that any moment from now, Adeyiga plans to invade our estate with over 1,000 armed mobile policemen, militants and hoodlums to demolish any property they fancy within the estate.”
Akin Adepoju, legal adviser of the association, said all efforts to discuss the matter amicably with the state government had not yielded the desired result.
“We have made several efforts to discuss with the government of Lagos state , particularly the attorney general of Lagos state,” Adepoju said.
“In the recent past, we wrote about five letters seeking to have an appointment with him so that we can discuss this matter but we couldn’t get access to him.”
When asked if the association felt there was a conspiracy between Adeyiga and the state government, Adepoju responded in the negative.
He also said they did not know why Adeyiga had paid special interest in the estat.
“We applied for land and we were given. There are processes for the allocation of land. We got our land through the state government,” Adepoju said.
“The matter was strictly between Lagos state government and the residents of Shangisha village. They claimed that a land belonged to them and was taken over by the government. They went to court and won the case at the high, appeal and supreme court. Ab inito, we were not party to that truce.
“We are not suspecting any conspiracy but the point is, as a matter of fact, the judgement did not even say they should take over any property in Magodo… you cannot claim ownership if no land was allotted to you.
“That is why we said that the warrant of possession, in our own opinion, is flawed. You cannot possess what was not given to you. If they come to the estate, which property are they going to take? The court did not say go and pick property A or B.
“That is why we are saying this matter is not one we will take to court alone, but a matter to bring to the attention of the public. people should know that residents in this estate, who sought allocation from the government, who used their sweat to develop their property, are entitled to peace. We want the government to ensure that we are not denied our fundamental human right to live in the property given to us lawfully.
“Our people are mobilised and prepared to defend their property with all the forces they can muster in the event of any attempt to deprive them of property/land lawfully allocated to them.”
Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for information, could not be reached for comment, as response to the SMS sent to his telephone had not been received when this report was filed.