Landlords and allottees of the Alma Beach Estate in the Lekki area of Lagos State have accused policemen of conniving with hoodlums allegedly hired by trespassers to demolish their houses in a bid to take over the land.
It was gathered that armed policemen allegedly deployed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police were protecting the land-grabbers said to be disturbing the peace of the area and sacking residents from their homes.
Perplexed by the development, the landlords and allottees allegedly threatened a breakdown of law and order in order to protect their homes as the police were said to have stood firm in protecting the land-grabbers.
It was learnt that the problem started when NICON Trustees allegedly laid claim to 150 plots of land in the estate without showing any authentic survey or registered title to back up the claim.
The Lagos State Government through the Surveyor-General, Mr Olutomi Sangowawa, had reportedly rejected NICON Trustees’ claim in a memo to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, with reference number AR: 3000/ZN/MTU/TMU/TM4/VOL.2/116 and dated July 3, 2020.
The government affirmed that the allottees had their titles consented to and registered by it as confirmed by their survey plan number LA/0807/2007/05, adding that that of NICON Trustees marked SJA/301/076K/2003/LA did not exist in its records.
The landlords and allottees were said to have also secured two court orders restraining NICON Trustees from trespassing on the estate and these formed the basis of a letter by the Attorney-General of the Federation dated August 20, 2020, to the Inspector-General of Police to ensure that policemen were not deployed in the estate.
The orders were issued by a Federal High Court on October 24, 2019 and January 23, 2020.
Counsel for the estate allottees, Muiz Banire, SAN, expressed shock over the activities of the policemen, whom he accused of providing cover for armed thugs to destroy peoples’ houses in the estate for illegal developers to build day and night.
He stated that such illegalities led to the recent nationwide uprising against the police.
“In this case, if the rightful allottees decide to defend themselves against the invasion and destruction of their homes and properties, and there is a breakdown of law and order in Alma Beach, Lekki, any police officer responsible for the deployment of policemen to provide cover for hoodlums terrorising the allottees of the estate should be held responsible and accountable, coming against the backdrop of recent unsavoury incidents in Lekki,” Banire said.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the state police command, Muyiwa Adejobi, referred our correspondent to the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.
However, efforts to get a response from Mba proved abortive as several calls made to him did not connect. He had yet to respond to a text message sent to his mobile telephone on the incident.