Tension in Lagos community over destruction of houses, quit orders

OKEAFA

Some of the houses (below)destroyed allegedly by the hoodlums. PHOTOS: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Ilamoshe community Oke Afa in Ejigbo area of Lagos State has remained in a tense state as alleged agents of a family that recently won rights to the disputed land at the courts served landlords and tenants quit notices.

They had destroyed close to 100 houses, pulled down concrete walls and shops from midnight Thursday and Friday morning to demonstrate that they were not joking.

When The Guardian visited the community yesterday afternoon, the ever-busy residential corridors of over 1, 000 houses and the streets were deserted. All the shops in the area were locked with none of the occupants in sight. Freshly broken blocks and glasses littered the streets and doorsteps.

It was gathered that the agents, allegedly engaged by the Ojo Barber family, unleashed the mayhem on the community on Thursday.
“Their motive is to announce that they own the disputed land and we have to repurchase the lands from the Ojo Barber family, but I wonder why they have to be so violent, destroying everything in sight and ready to attack anyone that stood in their way? They were even accompanied by the police,” a dejected landlord said.

Lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo II Constituency, Jude Idimogu, said everything was being done to restore peace to the community.
Idimogu told The Guardian that a stakeholders’ meeting had been arranged with the Ojo Barber family and their representatives to ensure that law and order are restored.

The lawmaker expressed dissatisfaction with militant style in which the family’s agents stormed Oke-Afa, destroying everything in sight.

Idimogu said: “I understand that they have a judgment against the community and they ought to show us the proof. It is just not reasonable to be destroying properties. Destruction is not the way to go. All I want is peace in my community and for my people. That we are pursuing right now,” he said.

It would be recalled that the large expanse of land around Oke-Afa (Ilamose) village, shown on survey plans No. CD/778/77 dated November 11, 1977, had been in dispute and was on June 6, 2006 awarded to the Abiodun Ojo (alias Ojo Barber) and Jokotade Bakare family by a Lagos High Court.

In the current notice that now littered the entire area reads, a part of it reads: “This is to inform the general public that the large expanse of land belongs absolutely to the estates of Abiodun O. Ojo (alias Ojo Barber) and Jokotade Bakare due to effective utilization from the time immemorial and particularly following the judgments of Courts of record in favour of Abiodun O. Ojo.”

Stating that an appeal of the judgment has also been determined and still awarded the land to Abiodun Ojo and other, the notice adds that, “all occupiers and trespassers (natural or juristic person) are hereby advised to liaise with the judgment creditors’ families attorney – Alhaji Akeem Osuolale to regularise/ perfect their titles through Nigercat Nigeria Company Limited.”
Meanwhile, the peace of the graveyard reigns in the beleaguered community.



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