Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Suspected landgrabbers led by one Yinusa flagrantly disregarded Lagos State Property Protection Law of the state and ruthlessly oppressed residents of the Teachers’ Renaissance Estate at Mosene Village, Isiu in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The residents who are mainly retired teachers from the state civil service told PUNCH Metro that the landgrabbers were encroaching on their lands through forceful means.

The culprits were also said to have consistently invaded the community with a band of armed thugs wielding dangerous weapons in a trend said to have lasted for five years.

The Chairman of the Community Development Area, Olugbenga Oni, told our correspondent on Tuesday that a series of complaints to the police had yielded no result, maintaning that Yinusa boasted that no authority could stop him.

“All of us in the estate are retired teachers and we bought the expanse of land from Adefowolo, Ewuade and Adeigbe Mosene family of Ikorodu as part of the Union Housing Programme for its members between 2002 and 2004,” the chairman said.

“Meanwhile, despite the fact that the land in dispute is currently a subject of litigation at the Ikorodu Judicial High Court, the landgrabbers, through their agents, have been unleashing unimaginable agony and discomfort unabated to the residents and landowners of the estate. They usually invade the estate armed to the teeth with all manner of weapons and physical attacks, such as guns, matchetes, cudgels, and charms.

“We have lodged a series of complaints to some police formations within Ikorodu and even went as far as Area ‘N’ Police Command, Ijede and Zone 2 of the Nigeria Police Force, Onikan. However, all these civil approaches have not really yielded any positive results. They appear untouchable and keep boasting that no police authority in Lagos could stop them from encroaching on our land. They take pride in intimidating us and that they have gone as far as Abuja on land matters, especially Mr. Yinusa and his cohorts.”

Another resident in the area who craved not to be mentioned said a resident identified simply as Mrs Veronica Chukwudili and her husband were physically attacked sometime in September 2023.

The resident said the victims were working on a small farm on their premises when the landgrabbers arrived and beat them up.

“With the evidence of her swollen face, we reported at the Imota Police Station, unfortunately, nothing concrete was done about it. Many of the police officers at the Imota Police Station have a cordial relationship with all these landgrabbers. That is why we have lost faith in their neutrality on this matter,” the resident added.

In one of their reported attacks carried out recently, the landgrabbers were said to have disrupted the CDA meeting held in the community on February 10.

An executive member of the CDA who craved anonymity said the chairman and members present at the meeting were attacked while a number of them sustained varying degrees of injuries.

In a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police and seen by our correspondent, the residents appealed to the state police boss to take appropriate steps to stop the heinous activities of the landgrabbers.

The petition signed by the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Lagos Mainland chapter, Laagbe Obalowu, read in part, “We are law-abiding citizens, who are educated and know the importance of seeking redress through the instrumentality of the judicial process and the police authority.

“We are mostly retired teachers and Public Servants of Lagos State who had served the state diligently and invested our lives’ savings in this land project. Sir, we shall be most delighted if this petition is taken seriously and appropriate steps taken to stop the heinous activities of this band of land grabbers.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Huindeyin, could not be reached as calls made to his phone were not responded to. A text message sent afterwards had yet to be replied to as of the time this report was filed.

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