By Etop Ekanem
Over 100 members of the Okun-Obadore Community in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Wednesday, protested the alleged take over of their farmland by the owners of Amen Estate and Founders of Redbrick Homes Ltd.
The land in dispute is a large expanse of farmland of about 35 acres.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters carrying placards with various inscriptions, their lawyer, Dr Onweneke Williams-Joel, alleged that “sometime in March 2021, upon a routine inspection to the site, our client was accosted by heavily armed mobile policemen who dared to shoot at sight anyone found within the large portion of the property belonging to the community.
“Upon further investigation, it dawned on our client that over 35 acres of land out of our client’s total land had been encroached upon by one Mrs Shade Gbadamosi and her husband, Mr Tunde Gbadamosi, owners of Amen Estate and Founders of Redbrick Homes Ltd, whom our client never entered into any form of transaction with.
“Given this situation, our client instructed us to make a report to the office of the Assistant Inspector General, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, Ikoyi to repel the illegal invasion of their property by parties unknown. Unfortunately, the trespass continued. As a result of this, she has denied them access to their livelihood as most of the community people are farmers and fishermen.
“Given the above, we use this medium to appeal to the office of the Director General, Lands Bureau; Attorney General of Lagos State and the Governor of Lagos State to speedily come to our aid as matters are gradually being escalated. All our client requirement is for an impartial committee to be set up to settle the disputes legally by reversion of our client’s land back to them. We shall go to any length to obtain justice in this matter and we hope that the spirit of the law is followed to the letter.”
We legitimately bought the land from owners —Gbadamosi
Reacting, Mrs Shade Gbadamosi denied the allegation, saying: “We legitimately bought the land from the owners, who were properly and legally resettled to the place by the Lagos State Government and we have our documents to show for it.
“We are a reputable, innovative and transparent real estate development company with almost two decades of trading history in Nigeria.
“There are gangs of land grabbers/omo-onile/ajagungbale, usually operating under the cover of local communities, and sometimes procured by unscrupulous land speculators masquerading as respectable real estate ‘developers’, selling fake land to unsuspecting, hard-working Lagosians at home and abroad, who usually end up losing their savings to these flashy charlatans operating all over Lagos State for some years now.
“They have become such a serious problem to Lagosians that they necessitated the creation of the Anti-Land Grabbing Committee by the state government.
“We have petitioned the said committee and the hearing is still ongoing, even as the committee has already taken some steps. They defied government directives of the committee, but we prefer to operate unambiguously within the ambit of the law.”