Landlord alleges sabotage as tenant mobilises policemen as guards
In spite of repeated calls by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, calling on all police commands in the country to withdraw mobile policemen serving as personal guards, a 49-year-old estate consultant based in the United States of America, Mrs. Toyin Momodu, has raised the alarm over the invasion of her property by armed policemen on the instruction of one of her her tenants, names withheld.
She alleged that the said tenant is colluding with a senior police officer, who has dispatched policemen with guns to the building for a 24-hour surveillance, “in a brazen attempt to take over the property from her.”
The house is a five-apartment building on Adebola Street, off Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere, Lagos, which Momodu said she bought from the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) 15 years ago.
Momodu is not alone in her fears about the sudden appearance of policemen. Other tenants have also expressed fear about the activities and intentions of the said tenant, who has mobilized, at least, six policemen to stay in the compound as his bodyguards everyday.
Momodu told The Guardian that she got hint of the unusual police presence in her compound some days ago when a tenant sent her an email to inform her that heavily armed men had taken over the house.
Explaining how the tenant came to live in her house, she said: “I rented out all the four other apartments in the house and left one to be used by me and my family when we are in Nigeria. It is fully furnished with a large generating set. I was advised to sublet it so that everything would not lie fallow for the period I am abroad. So, my brother informed me that he had found someone who, wanted to rent it for an initial period of three months.
“I didn’t even ask what he did because I believed his stay was just temporary. We agreed on the payment of N8,000 per night, which amounted to N240,000 per month. In March 2016 when he came, he first paid N168,000 and later paid N400,000, totaling N568,000 for 71 days rent.
“But since the last N400,000, he stopped paying. I called him to find out what was wrong but he said he promised to pay his debt, which is now over N2 million. After that, he issued cheques, which the banks said were dud. It was after I got wind of the policemen in my compound that I was forced to come to Nigeria to find out what was actually going on.
“When I got back to Nigeria and went to my house, I asked the six policemen what they were doing and they said they were guarding one of my tenants. I have told him to leave my house. I even told him to forget the money he owed because I just wanted him out. But he has refused to move. I am actually afraid of going into my own home now,” she said.
Momodu said she had reported the matter at the Bode Thomas Police Division, where the Divisional Police Officer had ordered the said tenant to immediately vacate the house. When our correspondent visited the house on Tuesday, two armed police sergeants and a corporal were sitting in the compound.
One of them, Sergeant Odetola Victor, challenged why anybody would want to take the picture of the house while he also threatened to get our reporter arrested before the intervention of passersby prevailed.
When contacted, the man simply said he had nothing to say.