The Lagos state Ministry of Justice which oversees land grabbing matters in the state has intervened in a land grabbing dispute over the ownership of a piece of land at Ibereko in Lagos state following a petition sent to it by the Publisher of South South International Magazine who claimed to be the rightful owner of the landed property.
Earlier this week, the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of South South International magazine and former President of the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers as well as former Publicity Secretary of Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria, Ovie Edomi has cried to the Governor of Lagos State and his Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice over the activities of land grabbers in Ibereko, Lagos state.
In an official letter to Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Attorney general of Lagos, a copy of which was made available to PLATFORM REPORTERS, the Lagos based Journalist and publisher explained how the land he has paid in installments for between 2016 and 2018 to the Kelani family, a prominent family with vast land in Ibereko was transpassed upon by an Assistant Customs Comptroller, Mr Lucky Udukhomose, serving in Tin Can port, Apapa along with his wife, Pastor Mrs Favour Udukhomose who connived with Omonile to buy the same land from one self acclaimed Chief Ogabi who has been stripped of his chieftaincy title by the Oba of Ibereko and who claimed to be related to the Kelani family in order to expand Sapphire Gold Group of Schools, a private school built by the Assistant Customs Comptroller for his wife beside the Editor’s mini estate.
According to Edomi, the Lagos State law on land Grabbing has made Lagos State very peaceful for its’ inhabitants and wondered why a serving Customs officer, who knows the law and should be seen obeying the law be the one to connive with unscrupulous element with a view to promoting his business interest when the Customs boss knows for a fact that the Journalist who had plantains planted on the land and has been harvesting the plantains for upward of 2years owes the land.
Edomi further warned that any attempt to engage in land Grabbing, indiscriminate construction of private schools especially those that are constructed to block government approved streets and made the street a close without government approval would someday led to breakdown of law and order in Ibereko if the government does not implement its’ urban planning and environmental laws.
He therefore called on the state Governor to put up stricter measures to check those who build indiscriminately without regard to the laws of the state and speed up the prosecution of land Grabbers in order to check the menance of land grabbling as well as close all illegal schools in Ibereko, Badagry.
Edomi who says he believes in the rule of law and God’s protection for His children, however lamented that his life is being threatened by self acclaimed Chief Ogabi and his two Brothers who are acting on behalf of the Customs boss and his wife called on the Governor and the Attorney general of the state, well meaning Nigerians, the World Press Organization as well as the Presidents of NUJ, UPU worldwide, CAN, PFN and NBA to equally intervene saying the Customs boss and his wife,a Pastor, this time flew too high and too close to the sun with waxed wings.
Furthermore, Edomi noted that with over 20 million people and expected to double by 2040, Lagos State will become a mega city as envisaged by the Lagos State government if people obey town planning and environmental laws.
Meanwhile a document by the Kelani Oke family claimed that the land stretching from Kelani Street down to Oke Oko street at Ibereko belong to their father and claimed that the Customs boss had approached the Kelani family through one Chief Ogabi Brothers to buy the land but he was told that the had been sold to a Journalist.
Edomi who is equally an Editorial Board member of the Compendium on Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, further told newsmen that he earlier reported the matter to the Comptroller of Customs, TIN Can port, but regretted that nothing was done before crying to the Lagos State Governor for justice especially when he saw that the Customs boss took advantage of the lockdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic to start construction of a storey building on the land.
A development which he decried and noted that it is in further contravention of the government’s order during this period of lockdown as well as to show that the Customs boss is above the law or to prove that nothing would happen even if he breaks the law.
Such person in developed societies of which Nigeria is one, needs to be further investigated by the Nigeria Customs Service where he works and the EFCC to know the source of the wealth which he displays now and reason for taking the law into his hands.
Edomi, who described the development as a demonstration of lawlessness, ungodliness, oppression, insatiable greed and attempt to use one’s privileged position to acquire other people’s property or parvet justice insisted on justice, said he has no other option than to cry to the Lagos State Governor.
PLATFORM REPORTERS gathered that with the intervention of Lagos state Ministry of Justice, the process of hearing the matter would soon begin in order to ascertain the rightful owner of the land.