Igbogbo Demolition: Oke – Ira Residents Will Not Engage ‘Ajagungbales’ To Regain Property

Kunle Adelabu

Shakiru Seidu, one of the victims of demolition at Oke – Ira in Igbogboi/Bayeku LCDA

Residents of Oke – Ira in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, has vowed never to engage in illegality by engaging the service of ‘Ajagungbales’, also known as ‘Landgrabbers’, to regain their landed properties on which over 200 houses were demolished last year.

Shakiru Seidu, one of the victims of the demolition at Oke – Ira, stated this in a statement sent to THE IMPACT on Thursday, February 2, 2023, adding that affected residents would continue to seek redress in court.

He expressed displeasure that the government has not appeared in the matter before Justice Dorcas Olatokun, of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, about nine months ago when they approached the court over what he termed illegal demolition exercise by the government.

Shakiru also stated that letters have been written to several quarters without any response.

“We will not engage the service of ‘Ajagungbales‘ to regain our properties. Nine months gone, we’re yet to hear from all relevant quarters. Several letters were written to the Governor, Representatives of both Lagos East Senatorial District and Ikorodu federal Constituency, the Council Chairman Igbogbo/ Bayeku LCDA, some GAC Members, Adeboruwa Palace and other relevant authorities, but it’s so unfortunate that nothing has come up till now, which still left over 500 residents in agony and homeless”, he said.

“We would follow the due process to execute the judgments of the High Court and Court of Appeal on the said land, which has left the CofO claiming the Nichemtex Cooperative with no root”.

He warned residents going to Nichemtex Cooperative to pay N5milion per plot over what he alleged as threats to demolish their houses, to stop forthwith as the said body do not have any right to the land in question.

“I wondered why some residents believed them. There is no way on earth that Nichemtex Cooperative can win this case, because the Onire Ajibode family of Bayeku that sold the Oke-Ira Land to them had been defeated by Igbogbo in two different judgments of High Court in 2009 and Appeal Court in 2018 respectively, and these have nullified their CofO of 2008”, he said.

“The Nichemtex Cooperative only has rights to 16 acres of land sold by the Oke-Ira family to them, and they’re claiming that they bought 47.1 hectares of Oke-Ira land from the State Government. We have laws that guide us in Nigeria!

“Oke-Ira land is not acquired by the State government, and even though it’s an acquired land, it would be decided in Court whether any government could sell an acquired land to individuals for personal use”, he added.

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“We have proof that Nichemtex Cooperative has again started selling the demolished portions of the land to new clients despite the ongoing litigation and also going round to bribe some people, but we will follow the normal process to send them to jail. Our matter before the High Court Ikorodu is due for hearing on the 13th February, while the suit against the Lagos State Government and others before the Ikeja High Court, has been adjourned till 6th March,” Seidu added.

It would be recalled that there was uproar at Oke – Ira community on May 31, 2022, when several houses were demolished allegedly by the officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning who were said to have been accompanied by armed thugs.

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