Ikorodu land tussle: Court grants septuagenarian, three others bail

A LAGOS Magistrate’s Court has granted bail to 70-year-old Nosiru Akolemobasi and three other members of the Sonmolu and Aro Efolu families of Itamaga in Ikorodu for alleged malicious damage.

Akolemobasi was granted bail alongside Otunba Gbenga Kuti, 69, Jamiu Aro, 66, and Sanni Yusuf, 53, by Magistrate A. O. Alogba following their arraignment on five-count of conspiracy, malicious damage and breach of peace preferred against them by the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Alagbon.

Their arraignment occurred after the defendants, Akolemobasi and others petitioned the Inspector-General of Police about the activities of FCIID, Alagbon over the Ikorodu land dispute.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.Ruling, Magistrate Alogba granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties each in the like sum.He ruled that evidence of tax payment to the state government must be shown and that their international passports must be deposited at the court.

The defendants had through their lawyer Ayodele Omoniyi petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed  Adamu, accusing the Federal Criminal  Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Alagbon of perversion of justice.In a letter dated February 14, 2020 signed by their lawyer, Ayodele Omoniyi, the family alleged that some officers of FCIID, Alagbon namely DCP Tunji Lawal, SP. Kayode Emmanuel, Inspector Emmanuel and Inspector Kolapo of Zone 2 Annex Ikorodu Zonal Office, Lagos are shielding the suspects from being arrested.They said there is a land dispute between them and some suspects over control and use of the family land released to the family after the wounding up of NITEL.

They added that the dispute arose because one family wanted to take over the land to the exclusion of the three other families and this has led to institution of several court cases. While the cases were in court, the court made an order that all parties should maintain status quo, but the suspects continue to erect buildings on the land in defiance of court order.

When the matter was reported, the trial judge directed that a census be taken of properties being developed in disobedience to court order.

The petitioner stated that parties in the suit, court officials, police officials along with personnel from the Ministry of Land and Physical Development in Lagos State went to inspect the land and 56 houses built in violation of court order were identified and marked.

Consequently, the court ordered the Inspector-General of Police to provide security to the officials of the Lagos State Government to demolish the 56 buildings.The buildings were demolished as directed by the court and none of the parties appealed against it.However, the suspects wrote a petition to the FCID Alagbon claiming that “our client demolished the 56 buildings and this led to the arrest of our client, including a 72-year-old man who was kept in police detention for three days by the above-named officials.”

They added that notwithstanding the abundance of evidence that the demolition was pursuant to an order of court, the FCID Alagbon continued to ask irrelevant question of who brought the order to the attention of the Lagos State Government.

The families disclosed that after the demolition of the 56 building by the order of court, the suspects again erected structures on the land and a petition was written to the Inspector- General of Police on the new development.

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