By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—FAMILY members of Nigeria’s first Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Jaja Nwachukwu, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari and other well meaning Nigerians to prevail on a Lebanese (names withheld) and his Police accomplices to stop harassing them, over a land related issue.
The family members also called on relevant agencies to compel the Lebanese to vacate the landed property on Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos which he is laying claims to.
The family through its Attorney, Mr. Christian Akubonduid, said it was constrained to cry out , following the foreigner’s alleged disrespect for the rule of law, noting that he had continually encroached on the land even in the face of a valid court ruling forbidding him from doing so.
Akubondu observed that the parcel of land in contention was acquired from the federal government by the late minister in 1962, with certified documents covering it. But the Lebanese, according to him, capitalized on his relationship with a former head of state to saunter into the land with alleged forged document.
Vanguard gathered that the family petitioned the Police Special Fraud Unit, Milverton, four months ago, when issues of ownership and counter claims degenerated to the use of thugs and some paid policemen.
Reports said during investigation, the Police discovered from the office of the Lagos State Surveyor -General that the documents being paraded by the foreigner as owner of the land were allegedly cloned.
A letter obtained from the Lagos State Surveyor-General dated July 25, 2013, signed by Surv.(Mrs.) Tejuosho Adenike and addressed to the Commissioner of Police SFU and copied to the Registrar, High Court of Lagos State, stated in part; “The purported plan No. LS/D/LA237 dated 07/02/1989 and titled Four Star Industries limited that you are enquiring about, is an altered duplication of the original Government Plan No. LS/D/LA237.”
It hinted further that the matter was later charged to court after the foreigner allegedly shunned Police invitations.
However, the matter got a head on August 20, 2018 when the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Police Command, CP Imohimi Edgal sent some Police officers to the land in question, on the instruction of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, Onikan, to execute a court order granted on August 4, 2018, originating from Honourable Justice I.O.Harrison(Mrs.) in suit No. ID/105/2008; restraining the foreigner and or his privies from further encroaching on the said parcel of land.
It was gathered that at the peak of the execution of the court order, a call reportedly came from the IGP Monitory Unit,
Abuja purportedly calling on behalf of the IG and ordered the AIG to send men to the land in contention and arrest all the policemen including the court Bailiffs . Sources informed further that it took the intervention of Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) who is counsel to one Abasi Isegen to get the Bailiffs out of detention while the policemen were still being detained.
Lamenting the whole scenario, a distraught Abasi Isegen said, “I do not know why a foreigner will be so powerful that he can use the Police as he wishes to the extent of making the Police undermine a valid court ruling; even in our own country. This man has not business on that land, the Police SFU had investigated his claims and through the Lagos State Surveyor-General found out that he forged his documents with which he is laying claims to the land. That an Assistant Commissioner of Police purportedly calling on behalf of the IGP to undermine the ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction,
is something I cannot understand. This is why we want President Muhammadu Buhari and well meaning Nigerians both home and abroad to come into this matter. I am using this medium because from all indications, this foreigner has firm grip of the Nigeria Police”.