Save Us From Land Grabbers – Ibeju-Lekki Residents Cry Out To Lagos Assembly
Scores of residents of Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State stormed the state assembly on Monday over the alleged demolition of over 13 communities in the area by some alleged land grabbers.
The residents wielded placards some of which read: “Justice Must Be Done,” “Task Force On Land Grabbers Is A Toothless Bulldog,” “Rtd. Justice Oguntade Is Bent On Destroying Lagos State,” and “Alhaji Mutairu Owoeye: A Notorious Land Warrior/Grabber Must Be Arrested And Prosecuted.”
Others are “Save Our Soul From Land Grabbers,” “Task Force on Land Grabbers Is Corrupt,” and “Save Us From Ajagungbale at Igando Orudu, Baba Adisa Alakun, Folorunsho Ofinran in Ibeju Lekki Local Government,” among others.
Some of the affected communities include Opo Olomi, Oluwo Opo Olomi, Itapampa, Adeoba Oniponpo, Adeba Ajagunna, Oko Ile, Alabula, Seriki Alabula, Alaga and others.
Speaking on behalf of the disraught residents, Barrister Popoola recalled that one Alhaji Mutairu Owoeye and his son, Ganiu stormed the communities on Sunday April 7, 2016 with some alleged miscreants, destroyed several houses and rendered thousands of people homeless.
Popoola said in an interview that the land grabbers went to the area with tractors and lorries, pursued the residents from the area and beat some of them to stupor.
According to him, almost all houses in the area, which he said covers over 1500 hectares, have been destroyed, adding that the debris of the demolition were loaded into trucks and taken to unknown places.
“We have gone to court over the matter and there is a court injunction restraining them from the land, but they did not obey the court order. Justice Oguntade is an accomplice because he blocked all our efforts of getting justice.
“We want the Lagos State Government to come to our aid because this is the ancestral home of these people. Owoeye is not bigger than the rule of law. The forefathers of the displaced residents founded the communities and the whole area is about 1,561 hectares,” he said.
Popoola added that the matter had been reported at several police formations all to no avail, and that the task force on land grabbing had invaded the place and arrested some of the offenders, but that they were subsequently released.
He said that a son of Ganiu, who is a son of Mutairu was arrested and released, and that a fellow who was hit on the head during the raid by the land grabbers is mentally ill and had been taken to Kwara State for treatment.
A baale in Itapampa, one of the affected communities, who gave his name as Taorid said that over 200 houses were destroyed in his community and that they now find it difficult to go to their homes.
Addressing the protesters later, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa promised that the House would work on the petition and ensure that justice is done.
“We will do justice to the report. We will make sure you are not deprived of your right, but do not take laws into your own hands. We will look at the petition and send it to the necessary committee, which would look into the matter and invite some of your people and representatives of the land grabbers for discussions,” he said.