By Henry Ojelu
LAGOS—SOME land owners at NASCO Estate in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State have appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid over an alleged plot by suspected land grabbers to eject them from their legitimately acquired land.
The lawyer to the association, Mr. Iheanyi Emeh explained that the entire stretch of land called NASCO Estate belonged to NASCO Estate Nigeria Limited by virtue of a Lease between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the company, entered in 1978.
Emeh said: “In 1994, one Michael Mojisola Cole filed suit No.ID/1134/94 between Michael Mojisola Cole vs Agbojojoye family, the original land owners (Omonile) from whom the Federal Government of Nigeria acquired the land and thereafter leased to NASCO after paying compensation to the Family.
“The Family entered settlement with Mojisola Cole wherein they agreed to give him 42 Acres of land as replacement for the 100Acres he bought from them at any other location other than the Federal Government acquired land leased to NASCO.
“However, in February 2018, some land grabbers entered NASCO land purporting that they were executing judgment in the earlier Suit No.ID/1134/94. They refused to avail us of the copy of the judgment they were executing. The Police were called in to intervene .The Police in turn sought for clarification from the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation as to the boundaries of NASCO land vis a vis Mojisola Cole’s land.
“In its response to the Police enquiry, the Office of the Surveyor General stated emphatically that the matter is not one of boundary dispute but a case of complete trespass into NASCO’S land by the acclaimed Attorneys of Mojisola Cole. Nevertheless, the land grabbers have remained on NASCO’S land because they are aided and goaded by some top security officers.”
Also, chairman of the estate association, Chief Osita Ekpunobi said they were shocked recently when the suspected land grabbers invaded the estate with thugs on the strength of the consent judgment that is meant for another land.
In a statement, Ekpunobi said: “They padlocked our gates; claiming they won the land in the court. We requested them to serve us the court papers but they did not. So we traced the suit number in the court and discovered that the matter does not concern us, neither NASCO our landlord nor the federal government that leased the land.
“Despite that, the land grabbers have not ceased to molest us. They even erected gate at the entrance/exit of the estate but we opposed it; because there was no way someone who does not live in the estate could hold keys to the gate.”
“Therefore, we beg and urge the Federal Government and Inspector General of Police to intervene urgently and save our lives and land. We plead with federal government to reassure us that the provision in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sections 43, 44,) that the citizens can genuinely acquire landed properties in any part of the country is still true.”