‘How thugs with knowledge of Police station demolished our home’

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Some members of the family of the late Moses Ogunyinde of Ebute-Meta have asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to investigate the demolition of their family home at Ebute-Meta, Lagos.

They said it was pulled down by over 40 sponsored armed thugs acting in disobedience of a court order and with the knowledge of the Iponri Police Station.

According to them, the Iponri Police Station failed or refused to take action against the “unlawful” evictors.

The complainants – Mrs Bukola Akeredolu, Mr Olusegun Olawunmi and Mrs Feyishade Saula – petitioned the IGP through their lawyer, Mr Olaniyi Kareem.

They said the property, a bungalow and boys quarters at 38, Babani Street, Ebute-Meta West, is the subject of a suit between them and four defendants before Justice Kazeem Alogba of an Igbosere High Court, Lagos.

The defendants are: Mr Michael Adebisi Ogunyinde, Mr Tolulope David Ogunyinde, Mrs Oluwaseun Busayo Akindele, Lookman Muhammed Owoegbe and the Probate Registrar Lagos State High Court.

The complainants, in a December 3 letter, told the IGP that the thugs forcibly entered the property, assaulted the occupants and threatened to kill them before smashing the place and carting away valuables.

Kareem said: “Our client as a law-abiding citizen instituted a court proceedings against Lookman Muhammed Owoegbe Who was the purported buyer of their family property…challenging the purported sale of the property to him without their consent.”

It said on November 26, Justice Alogba ordered “both parties to maintain status quo, whilst the substantive suit shall be given accelerated hearing” and adjourned further hearing till January 28.

But that on November 30, hoodlums forcibly entered the property and demolished it “without any lawful authority while also threatening to kill and or kidnap our clients if they refused to vacate the premises or make any attempt to stop their men from working on the property.”

Kareem said the evictors acted “with total disregard to the laws which specify the procedures for emolition of developed buildings and eviction of occupants of the building and disobedience of court order.

“Our clients were forcibly removed from their apartment, violently sent out of their apartment while their properties and other valuables were destroyed and stolen.”

The lawyer said on November 30, the complainants “lodged two separate complaints to the Iponri Police Station but the men of the Nigerian Police at the station refused to act.”

He said after the demolition, the complainants returned to the station and “the men of Nigerian Police at the station reluctantly got involved and caused certain individuals to be arrested, but they were immediately released on bail after parlaying with the suspects.

“Our clients were asked to come back on Monday the third of December, 2018 for possible prosecution and charge of the suspect to court, but all to no avail as they were informed that the suspects had refused to come to the Police Station.

“It is very clear that the men of Nigerian Police at Iponri had taken sides with the suspect.”

They urged the IGP to set up an impartial team to investigate the crisis.

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