By Kingsley Adegboye
Against the backdrop of allegation and claim by Magodo Community Development Association last week in a national newspaper (not Vanguard), that the proposed residential housing estate known as “The Plush” located in between Magodo GRA Phases 1 and 2, Isheri, Off Berger, Lagos, is being sited in a green belt area of the community, and a gorge which development has resulted to landslides in the area leading to loss of lives and property, investors of the housing project have debunked the allegation and claim.
Debunking the allegation and claim at a press conference in Ikeja, the investors lamented the fact that Magodo CDA officials did not cross check their facts, and did not seek to hear from the developers and promoters of “The Plush” before making the malicious allegation in the media.
According to one of the investors, Mr. Oyewole Olurin, who described himself as one of the subscribers to ‘The Plush’ stated that “ The three of us seated here today are representatives of another eighteen members of this upcoming project. We are residents of the neighbouring estates who decided to invest in this project, and before investing in anything, one has to carry out due diligence of the project before making monetary commitments.
“In other words, we carried out due diligence of the project before we committed our funds into it. But I was shocked to read in the news the allegation and claims by the Magodo CDA about the land been a greenbelt, gorge or swamp and also that the land development has led to landslides, which have resulted in the loss of lives and property.
“This is purely a fabrication, the malicious reports are misleading, misrepresenting and misdirecting citizens and the general public at large. The Gateway Zone Community Development Association members are beneficiaries of the government estate and so are we. What we bought was an approval in principle as other permits and documents are being awaited before we resume construction on the said land.
“As we have shown you the images, distance, bearing and coordinates, including documentary evidence, you can see that we are nowhere near the gorge. The gorge stands on its own and is not obstructed by our proposed development. Therefore, we employ the Chairman of the estate and Gateway Zone CDA to desist from the harmful reports they are circulating in the media. Any further occurrences on this by the Magodo CDA will result in our filing a defamatory suit”, Olurin said.
Another major investor to the project, Mr. Olaolu Oladipo, while commenting on the issue, noted that “When I decided to purchase plots of land in The Plush by the WAVL Properties Limited, the company presented us with the Lagos State Gazette no 11 Vol. 30 of May 1st 1997, and wasduly signed. It states that the land resides with the rightful owners who it was allocated to.
“We were also shown the survey plans which were also issued and approved by government agencies. The land is a ‘freehold’ and not a gorge or swamp as purported by Magodo CDA. We are also appealing to the New Town Development Authority NTDA, to show restraint on such issues, just as we employ appropriate investigations to be carried on the allegation and claim”, Oladipo noted.
Mrs. Titilayo Kola, a legal practitioner who was at the press conference, also expressed her displeasure on the allegation and claim of the CDA about the land saying, “I have visited the site, and it is not at par with all negative stories circulating the media. I would advise that the Magodo CDA and the successors of the land title meet and sort out their issues outside of the media, in order to avoid causing unnecessary disrepute to hard working Nigerians”.