Men suspected to be officials of the Lagos State Task Force have been fingered in the demolition and occupation of property belonging to the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries located within the church’s headquarters at Ijesha.
The task force which came with caterpillars, construction materials and cement mixing equipment, was aided by Mobile Policemen who were armed to the teeth to provide cover for the men of the task force and those working on the property in question.
An eyewitness, Mr Onuorah Chosen,a Security personnel with the church disclosed that the task force officials arrived at location of the property at about 2 a.m. on Friday with a patrol van with registration number SMK 207 EPE (Ikotun 37) and a Black Maria Van to perpetrate the act.
He told Daily Sun that on sighting men of the task force escorting the trucks carrying sand and chipping at that early hours of the day, he tried to find out where they were going, and they said they were owned by Transerve Technologies Limited, but did not reveal the exact location they were heading to.
However, after much interrogation, they yielded by putting a call across to manager of the company. After the phone conversation between the manager and the driver, he decided to tip the sand by the side of the road and left abruptly. In his exact words “between 6:30 and 7am, I saw another vehicle carrying iron rod, and with caterpillar, and another one carrying mixer, they lined up, this was about 6.30a.m. to 7a.m., so I tried to find out where they were going, they said it was from the same Transerve.”
He further stated, “I don’t have to disturb them because anybody could go to his site and work, but to my greatest surprise, I saw them trying to enter our own land, so I decided to inform our security. When they arrived at the site, the men saw chosen police patrol vehicle and immediately they took off and drove all the vehicles away to the Transerve office near the site.
Onuorah informed that after about four hours, the Lagos State Task Force Patrol vehicle, with Black Maria, Hilux vans, truck carrying Motorbikes suspected to have been seized from the owners, stormed the site.
“I thought it was the normal clean up routine exercise they usually do on the road, not knowing that they came for the same Transerve Technologies mission. So they went straight to Transerve office, after some minutes, I saw Chairman of Transerve himself leading them to the site. Both the caterpillar and all the vehicles carrying construction equipment, led by armed policemen, drove down to our land.Thereafter, the Chairman of Transerve pointed at our gate, and men of the Lagos State Task Force, ordered the caterpillars to pull down the gate. After pulling down the gate, they started covering the gutters in order to have access to the land.”
Onuorah explained that they also pulled down the fences from front and back.
“Right now, they are laying foundation inside our land, and those police men are there with them, till now they are working as I am talking to you.”
He also disclosed that after he reported the break and entry by the task force to the church, the church authority told him not to panic that there has been a tussle between the church and Chairman of Transerve, Mr Cyprian Orakpor on the said portion of land and matter is already in court; and that they do not have to take any action immediately, since the matter is still in court.
Speaking to the media, the Public Relations Officer of the Church, Pastor Chidi Louis confirmed that the matter is still in court, and wondered why the other group should take the law into their hands.
He stated that the land in question was duly acquired and that the document in intact.
“We bought the property a long time ago. Onitire sold the estate down to Okota, and he got Supreme Court judgement for it. Before the Supreme Court judgement, we bought it from somebody that bought from Ijesha. Though, before the Supreme Court judgement Ijesha was in charge. But when Onitire got the Supreme Court judgement, he called everybody to come and rectify their properties, which we did and paid almost the same amount at which we bought it earlier, even this place we are occupying now, we paid everything, we paid double.
“So the man, Mr Cyprian Orakpor, owner of Transerve Technologies Limited, also claimed that he bought from somebody that bought from somebody, now when he came to us, he said he bought the land, that other people sold this land, we said no, we bought this land from Onitire. We asked him, who sold the land to you? And he said he bought it from Ijesha. We said no, Ijesha has no power inside after the Supreme Court judgement. We advised him that what he should do is to go to Onitire, who owns the land by virtue of the judgement, but he kept making trouble, because he believes since the church is involved, we would not fight the battle.”
Louis also said that since then then, Orakpor continued dragging the land church bought and has the documents. “When he saw that we have fenced the place, he called the police, and we took him to court. Well, it is the document that will determine who owns the land, it is not a question of ‘gra gra’, it is not a question of one having the money to fight the church. The first police he invited came, we told them that we have gone to court and they left. Then from here to Zone 2, we told the police the same thing, from zone 2 to Abuja, we told Abuja people that the place is in court. Then Abuja people said okay, it is not something to discuss on phone that we should send somebody, actually they have seen the document of the court, but we should come to Abuja, we said Okay anytime they call us, we would come. At last, the police invited us to come to Abuja on Monday, August 17, with all the documents. Then, while waiting to go there on Monday. All of a sudden all we heard is that he came with task force; I don’t know when task force started grabbing land or joining people to grab land. So we want to know,” Pastor Louis disclosed
From the document issued by the High Court of Lagos which the church made available to the media, being an interlocutory and mandatory injunction read “The motion was filed by the claimant (Lords Chosen) dated 11th October, 2018 for interlocutory injunction restraining the second Defendant including Transerve from, taking possession, entering, erecting, trespassing or dealing with the land described as plot 16, 18, and 52 measuring 753,308, 1204. 625 and 1080.465 situate in Idi-Apa, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and shown on Survey plan No. LA/213/2012/096 dated 7th June, 2012, in any manner inconsistent with the status of the land as at the time of the institution of this suit and pending the determination of the suit.”