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Lagos task force arrests Baale for alleged land racketeering

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

THE Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, has arrested a  traditional high chief (Baale) for alleged land grabbing.

The arrest which followed a tip-off,  is part of on- going clampdown on land grabbers, popularly called Omoniles.

The task force which stormed Ojodu, arrested the  Baale of Alagbole, Chief Kabiru Noah Akiolu 47, Olajide Salami, 71 and Jubril Olaore, 65. They suspects were immediately taken to the headquarters of the task force in Alausa, Ikeja for prosecution.

A source told Vanguard Metro, VM that the arrest was sequel to a complaint by a dealer with Nigeria Bottling Company, NBC. They woman alleged  she bought a half plot of land for N4 million at Sule Abore area of Ojodu in 2007. After allegedly paying N250,000 to the Omoniles, she went to sleep, thinking that she could come in any time to commence building. But what she saw on Monday, January 27, 2014 when she came start work on the land shocked her. She was allegedly beaten up by some some miscreants who invaded the piece of land, demanding N1.4 million before work could start on the land. The workers she hired were also beaten up and their working tools carted away.

The woman who said she took a loan to purchase the land in 2007, explained that she is still  servicing the loan.

The Task force Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, said on receiving the petition from the woman, his men moved to the land grabbers’ hideout and arrested Salami and Olaore and recovered the equipment they had previously seized.

On why the Baale was arrested, Sulaimon explained that the suspects alleged that he was the one who sent them to invade the land and beat up the workers. We invited him, (Baale) to come to our office to sign a bail bond for his men and he came. That was how we arrested him,” he stated.

The Baale, Kabiru told VM that the woman refused to settle with the family who owns the land.


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