How police supervised illegal demolition of my property in Lagos, by victim
He alleged that his building was demolished on the supervision of policemen from the Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Kimipado lamented that two Nigerians, Obele and Prince who claimed to have influence over the police, trespassed over his lawful property by demolishing his structures in connivance with two policemen attached to the Special Fraud Unit in Lagos after which they took possession of the property and posted armed policemen to permanently guard the land.
Narrating his plight through his lawyer, Charles Omosohwofa, Kimipado said that the land was purchased in 2016 at Lake View Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, and duly registered at the land registry with a certified copy of Certificate of Occupancy with a survey plan.
According to Kimipado, Edward Ojefia acted as his agent and helped in the purchase of the land because he lives in Ghana and after due negotiation with the seller who is a lawyer, transfers were made over the agreed purchase amount to the seller.
“The seller took only part-payment of the agreed price on hearing from the man he earlier bought the land from that some persons were trespassing into the land.
“It was agreed between all the parties that part payment should be made pending the resolution of the action the owner of the land intended taking against the trespassers.
Subsequently, the seller initiated action at the High court of Lagos state and during the pendency of the action; the trespassers were duly served all the notices by the order of the court.
“On June, 2015, judgement was delivered in the sellers favour and thereafter, the seller concluded the necessary documentations with Kimipado who fenced the land and began erecting structures in it.
However, two years after, the trespassers threatened to pull down a part of the fence claiming that it encroached into his adjoining land.
Subsequently, he proceeded to lock up those that bought the land on behalf of Kimipado at the Special Fraud Unit on trumped up charges for three days.
“Although Edward Ojefia and Bolaji Salami who stood for the owner of the land were released on a bail, six months later, they were re-arrested in a most brutish manner by the same officers from SFU without prior invitation.
The officers that arrested them; SP Austin Osobase and ASP Mohammed Abdulkareem claimed that the response they got from enquiries at the land use allocation committee shows that the present owner’s land was some meters away from where it is on his survey plan.
However, it was later discovered that the survey plan was deceitfully annexed to the present owner’s Certificate of Occupancy as the documents of the trespassers and was sent by the police officers to the Land Use Allocation Committee.
“The police officers also brought officials from the Surveyor-General’s office that entered the land without permission for the purpose of taking coordinates of the land to determine the owner.
Later, the Committee stated in their report that the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) belonging to Kimipado is authentic and valid.
But, the officers did not relent; they continued superintending over dispute arising from proprietary and ownership claim over the land.
This made representative of Kimipado to approach the Federal High Court to enforce their fundamental rights after threats.
“On the 20th December, 2018, the trespassers came with a bulldozer in company with policemen who started shooting into the air to scare away any opposition and demolished part of Kimipado’s property.
After that, they stationed some armed Mobile Policemen at the site to ward off entrance by the owner.
The matter was promptly reported at Area ‘E’ command, FESTAC Town, and the Mobile Policemen were arrested.
However, the two officers from SFU later came to the station and requested their release purportedly on the orders of the Commissioner of Police at SFU.
When contacted, Police Public Relations officer in charge of SFU Mr. Audu said: “We are aware of the case.
None of our policemen supervise any demolition. What happened was that we got instruction from the IGP to take over the case from another police unit.
We did due deligence and during investigation, we discovered that someone had sold a parcel of land that does not belong to him. We invited the man that claimed that he is the original owner of the land.
He came and we allowed him to go, but he failed to report back. It was when our officers threatened to arrest the surety if he fails to bring the suspects; he quickly put up the petition to cause confusion.
“I want to make the record straight, the two officers investigating the case are senior officers, a CSP and a DSP.
There is no way a CSP and DSP will supervise demolition of property. We don’t have enough manpower and we don’t have enough Mobile policemen to use for such operations. SFU is responsible, so the petitioner lied .We are ready to defend our unit”.
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