Landlords at Valley View Estate, Aboru, Lagos, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Command, Lagos, to save them from the hands of a powerful family that have supposedly sent hoodlums and armed soldiers to demolish their houses without notice or court order.
The aggrieved landlords are petitioning the president to prevail on AIG Ahmed Iliasu to come down on the perpetrators, their sponsors, especially the soldiers who were arrested and handed over to the Lagos State Police Command but were released without punishment.
A spokesman for the landlords said the situation was worsened because the demolition was done during the lockdown imposed by the government.
Their petition reads:
‘On Wednesday, April 29 at about 10.30 am during the COVID-19 lockdown, hoodlums accompanied by Air Force men attached to OP Mesa stormed Valley View Estate at Aboru and started demolishing completed and uncompleted houses,’ the spokesman said.
‘The OP Mesa was led by Staff Sgt T A Oyewo (aka DPO) who threatened to shoot the landlords of the affected buildings. So the landlords called the police control room of the Oke-Odo police division who mobilised to the scene and arrested the five OP Mesa operatives and nine hoodlums. They also seized the Hilux van and a white Volkswagen bus with registration number AGL 140 DJ which were used to convey the hoodlums to the place. The white bus belongs to Staff Sgt Oyewo.
‘In addition to the more than 10 buildings demolished, they also carted away building materials worth over N9 million naira found in Mr Adekunle Williams’ house.
‘The suspects, including the air force men, were taken to Area P command at Ipaja but, unfortunately, the Area Commander, Mr Gbenga Adepoju, released the soldiers on alleged orders of the Lagos Police Commissioner. He further stated that he had no interest in the case and asked Mrs Salimot, the DPO of Oke-Odo division, to move the suspects to her station with a view to taking their statement.
‘Subsequently, on Thursday, 30th April, the hoodlums were all moved to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) at Panti by the DPO of Oke-Odo division. The case was assigned to Mr Lateef Sanusi as Investigating Police Officer (IPO). Mr Sanusi informed the complainants, Mr Williams Kunle, Mr Babajide Ogundeji and Mr Gbenga George and others, that the hoodlums confessed that they were sent to do the demolition by Mr Olayinka Godwin Campbell and his wife, Mrs Mojisola Mabel Campbell who is a lecturer at Department of Biochemistry, University of Lagos.
‘However, Mr Sanusi released all the suspects without concluding the investigation, neither visited the scene of the crime nor charged them to court. He also failed to arrest the husband and wife, the principal suspects, who allegedly sent the perpetrators. Mr Sanusi said he doesn’t know their address. The couple we learnt live within that area, yet for two weeks, the police at SCIID Panti failed to arrest them as if they are above the law or bigger than the police.
‘As a result of not getting justice at SCIID Panti, we have petitioned the Zone 2 command of the Nigeria police under the command of AIG Ahmed Ilyasu and are hoping that justice will be served.
‘We demand a copy of demolition orders given by a competent court which authorized the demolition of our properties. We also demand a copy of any court judgment which gave them ownership of the property. We are also charging them to court over the malicious damage, a threat to life and property, stealing, harassment and breach of peace.’