INSIDEMAINLAND – The Lagos State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers has started an inquiry into the petition filed against Chief James Omolaja Odunmbaku (also known as Baba Eto), an All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in Lagos State, alleging that he indulged in land grabbing.
A man named Olufemi Omoola Fasehun has charged Odunmbaku and his colleagues with trying to acquire a plot of land located at No. 10 Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos.
Taking part in the probe alongside the APC leader are Mukaila Muili Esho, Chief Tajudeen Eguaye, Mrs. Mudiratu Egunaye, Ayinde Sanni Egunaye, Oluwadare Olanrewaju, Cletus Nwagu, and others members of Egunaye family of Oregun.
In a letter with the reference number LSSTF/LG/2021/5510, dated December 23, 2021, and signed by its coordinator, Mr. Owolabi Arole, the Task Force noted the fears of the petitioner, Fasehun, through his attorney, Otunba Remi Adeoye, who claimed that Odunmbaku and others damaged his property on several occasions while trying to forcefully take over the land.
Arole informed the petitioner in the letter that the Lagos State government is dedicated to “ensuring that Lagos State is free from the menace of land grabbing.”
Fasehun explained in the petition that he inherited the landed property from his late father, Chief Ebenezer Olawanle Oladipo Fasehun, who bought the property in question in 1960 from the Egunaye family of Oregun and registered the title to the Land at Ibadan land registry, which was the capital city of the then Western region of Nigeria.
According to him, “Our Client is also one of the administrators and beneficiaries to the said property at No. Kudirat Abiola way, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos vide registered Deed of Conveyance dated 10th January 1961 registered as No.6 on page 6 in volume 431 at the Land Registry, Ibadan with registered Survey Plan No. OA 432 dated 14th October 1960 prepared by Surveyor Adekunle Kukoyi.”
“On Sunday the 8th day of August 2021, Mukaila Muili Esho, Chief Tajudeeen Muili Egunaye, Mrs. Mudiratu Egunaye, Ayinde Sanni Egunaye who are members of Egunaye and Ajose family of Oregun with the assistance of James Odunmbaku and others in the company of several hired land grabbers and thugs destroyed part of the fence and the gate leading to the land through Olayiwola Street, off Kudirat Abiola way, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos and attempted to gain access into the land with a view of forcefully take possession of same if not for the timely intervention of family and friends to his client who prevented these land grabbers from entering and taking possession of his client’s land.
“James Odunmbaku and his cohorts are now trying to lay claim to the land and thereby engaging in acts that are capable of causing a breach of public peace and disturbance as they are threatening and attempting to forcefully take possession of the said land with intention of selling it to unsuspecting members of the public using his political status and clout in Lagos State.”
The petitioner stated that he thought there were protocols in place for acquiring land in Lagos State that had to be adhered to and that nobody had the right to acquire another person’s land without following the proper procedures.