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74-year-old retired soldier alleges threat to life, seeks govt protection over leased property

By Barbara Negbejie
01 July 2022   |   2:27 am
A retired soldier, Mr. Julius Abiodun Soares, 74, has urged Lagos State Government and the State Attorney General to help him recover his piece of undeveloped land at Shasha area of Lagos.

Gavel PHOTO: Shutterstock

A retired soldier, Mr. Julius Abiodun Soares, 74, has urged Lagos State Government and the State Attorney General to help him recover his piece of undeveloped land at Shasha area of Lagos.

  
Alleging threat to life, Soares, who lives at No 19 Jaiyeoba road, Shasha, said he signed a lease agreement with one Mr. Ogunji Sulaiman, for temporary use of a property, who is now trying to convert Soares’ property.
   
According to the retired soldier, Sulaiman, who lives at No 5 Folorunsho Joseph Street, Coker Estate Shasha, Lagos, has started constructing permanent structures with blocks in the land in attempt to take over the land.
    
Narrating his ordeal during his visit to Rutam House Headquarters of The Guardian in Isolo,  Soares said he and Suliaman both agreed and signed documents that the lease will be for five years on an annual rent of N120,000, payable in advance.
  
The Guardian also sighted the lease document, dated September 1,  2017,  which he signed with Mr. Sulaiman on the use of the property for fish pond business.
 
He said: “ I was introduced to Mr. Sulaiman by one Mr. Raheem Hassan, a panel beater living at No 5 Akinola Street, Ajako Shasha, Lagos, to use the undeveloped piece of land (46 feet by length and 24 feet 6 inches by breath) for fish pond business.
 
“We both agreed with signed documents that the lease would be for five years with annual rent of N120, 000 payable in advance.
 
“ However, in August 2021, Mr. Sulaiman started constructing permanent structures with blocks, of which I am no longer comfortable. He also constitutes a threat to my life, as he wrongly connected electrical wires that sparked up fire, that endangered my life, if not for timely intervention.”
  
Already the retired army officer has petitioned the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, and Coordinator of State Special Task Force on land grabbers for respite.
   
In the petition, Soares urged the state government to help him recover the land. It was also gathered that Mr. Sulaiman has refused to honour an invitation extended to him by the Task Force, for possible resolution of the matter.
  
Reacting in an interview with The Guardian, Sulaiman confirmed signing a lease agreement with the retired soldier. He also said he erected a permanent structure on the land at the instance of a bank, which granted him credit for the business.
    
Sulaiman stressed though he has made harvest twice, his lease agreement with Mr. Soares on the property still subsists. He further appealed for more time to vacate the premises.