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Controversy trails NITEL land as allottees allege invasion

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Officials from Ikorodu High Court, Lagos State and some policemen have visited the disputed former NITEL land at Ota -Ona in Ikorodu to ascertain the level of trespassing or encroachment on the land.

Although the case is still on and the court had given an injunction that aggrieved parties should stay off the land pending the judgment of the court on the matter, it was discovered that some of the aggrieved parties were selling the land to unsuspected buyers at ridiculous amounts.

Speaking on the matter, the spokesperson for Keyaolu family, Mr Owoseni Atoloye Dada disclosed that the land in question was acquired by government since1960 for telecommunication purposes.

“They took the land from my family, the Keyaolu family. The Regun family is the lead family in the community. The Keyaolu family was part of the families that took compensation during the acquisition of the land by the Federal Government.

We have the judgment and the gazette of the total land, which is approximately 150 acres of land. It was written in the Federal Government gazette paper.”

He recalled that since the government stopped using the land for telecommunication purposes, the land ought to revert back to the original owners.

“We were surprise to see people partitioning the land. They were also building on the land for commercial purposes.  So we went to court on behalf of Keyaolu family to ask the government to give us back our land.”
 
He disclosed that they have been in court since 2015.  Unfortunately, while the case was still in court he said that they discovered that some land grabbers were selling the land.

He stated further, “We have gone as far as sending a petition to the police Area Commander in Ikorodu, but nothing came out of it. That warranted us to petition to the Commissioner of Police and he copied the Deputy Commissioner of Police at Panti about one month ago, and nothing has been done.”

Meanwhile, allottees in the estate have cried out over alleged invasion of their land by land grabbers.

They complained that they been living peacefully in the estate for over 30 years without disturbances from any quarter or group of people until two years ago when they noticed the presence of land grabbers otherwise known as Omooniles.

“As if that was not enough the Omooniles started selling parts of the estate to unsuspecting members of the public at give-away prices” they stated.

Troubled by this latest development, the residents of NITEL/MTEl Estate in Ikorodu, who came together to name the estate ‘NITEL/MTEL’ took their matter to the Ikorodu police station where they registered their grievances and asked the police area command to protect them from the hands of these land grabbers.

Making this known in Lagos, the group under the auspices of NITEL and MTEL Landlord Association alleged that nothing was done to protect them from the menace of land grabbers.

One of the residents who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity alleged that their lives are in danger. He narrated that the Federal Government leased the estate to NITEL staff before the Telecommunication giant liquidated.

Also an allottee of the disputed land by the Federal Governments/Bureau of Public Enterprises liquidators said the visit of the registrars from the Ikorodu High Court was in response to the mention by the defense’s lawyers that some people had started selling the disputed land in violation of court injunction and disrespect for the rule of law.


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