Aggrieved families insist on proper investigation over NITEL land dispute
The families of Regun and Keyoolu communities have accused both Sonmolu and Aro Efolu families of Itamaga, Ikorodu of peddling falsehood and criticised the police for “bias investigations.”
Both Regun and Keyoolu families led by a group of human rights lawyers described the petition by Sanmolu and Aro Efolu families of Itamaga, published in a national daily (not The Guardian) on Tuesday 18, February 2020, as false.
They claimed that the report was false and fraudulent and accused police officers at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department FCIID, including AIG Zone II Annex in Ikorodu of alleged pervasion of justice and bias investigation.
Consequently, the Regun and Keyoolu families, in the petition asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to allow the FCIID, Annex, Alagbon, Lagos and the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Zone II, to continue with the investigation being made to determine the true owners of a disputed land in Ikorodu.
The Regun and Keyoolu families and Sonmolu and Aro Efolu families of Itamaga, Ikorodu are both claiming ownership of a large expanse of land situated along Awolowo Way, Itamaga, Ikorodu, covering about 150.67 acres and relinquished by the defunct Nigerian Telecommunication Limited (NITEL) following its liquidation.
The Regun and Keyoolu families in a petition dated February 21, 2020, to the IGP through their counsel, Debo Adeleke, called for the arrest of one Chief Mutairu Owoeye, Bayo Benson, one Taofeek, a.k.a Apari and others at large for them to state their roles in the feud between the families contesting the ownership of the land relinquished by the defunct NITEL.
The petitioners also want the IG to stop the Sonmolu and the Aro Efolu families from going from one police formation to another “on a baseless, unfounded and irresponsible allegations to the Nigeria Police.”
The families want Chief Owoeye and others brought to book for them to desist from alleged criminal acts and to stop terrorizing lawful land owners in the area.
The families’ counsel, Debo Adeleke, in the petition, claimed that his clients, (Regun and Keyoolu families) are the traditional overlords and title holders of the large expanse of land lying and situated at Ikorodu NITEL land along Obafemi Awolowo Way, Itamaga comprising but not limited to old NITEL promises.
He said: “The title of our clients’ ownership was confirmed in the Federal Government Gazette of 29th December, 1960 pages 2 and 3, whereby our clients’ names were copiously mentioned in the Gazette to the exclusion of the so called Sonmolu and Aro Efolu families of Itamaga of Ikorodu.
“Consequent upon the ruling of Justice L.B. Lawal-Akapo dated 27th February, 2019 in suit number: IKD/595LMW/2015 and IKD/1000LMW/2015 ordering the demolition of 53 identified structures comprising of houses, foundations, sheds, fences newly built on portion of the land in favour of our clients, but we advised our clients not to carry out any demolition exercise until we have written to the affected people for possible peaceful settlement,” he stated.
Adeleke on behalf of his clients, therefore appealed to the police authorities to let its men at Force CIID, Annex, Alagbon Ikoyi, Lagos, to reinvestigate the matter for the truth to be established.