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Ambode dragged to court over revocation of Lekki land

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***Lagos leaders protest

The story is being told in Lagos State of the hard nose treatment Governor Akinwunmi Ambode handed close friends of a former governor in South-West.

Allegations of nepotism and impunity flow freely just like tears for many selected for witch hunting.

Governor Ambode and one of the associates of the former governor are locked in a fresh tango over hasty revocation of land.

A letter dated August 8, 2016 and signed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode revoked the existing Right of Occupancy in the parcel of land known and referred to as Block 128B, Plot 10, Lekki in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Governor Ambode gave the failure to develop the Lekki land within the stipulated time and non-payment of ground rents and development charges as the grounds for the revocation.

“That I or any person duly authorized by me shall take possession of the said parcel of land and that any holder, owner or occupier of the said land or any part of it is accordingly directed to yield up possession of the land.”

“Any person who willfully hinder or obstruct the Governor or any person authorized by him from taking possession of the land or any part thereof or from the execution of any function under the provisions of the Land Use Act Cap. L5 of 2004 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria shall be dealt with according to Law.”

But legal experts, public affairs analysts and prominent Lagos leaders are crying foul.

They claim that the property was fully fenced up to protect iron rods and blocks before the notice of revocation of right of Occupancy was handed over to the owner of the land.

They also recalled the encroachment committed by adjacent development owners, the need to regularize it and the visit of top officials of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to the site in view of enforcing physical and structural adjustment.

Incidentally, the owner of the land, Mr Ayodele Odunlami obtained court order restraining the Lagos State Government,  Office of the Governor of Lagos State (Bureau of Lands), Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, their agents, privies, or any person acting for and on their behalf from assigning, disposing or purporting to dispose of, dissipating or laying waste to or otherwise dealing with the land  and property known and referred to as Block 128, Plot 10, Lekki in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

Despite the restraining order, the Lagos State governor gave a go-ahead to his security aide to take over the property as a parting gift.

Some policemen and government officials under the authority of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the security aide were ordered to destroy the Walls and Boys Quarters (BQ).

The incident came on the heels of an outcry by some prominent South-West leaders about renewed efforts by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to take some lands from the owners and give them to his political cronies.

“It is undeserved, unmerited treatment to be given to a Lagosian” one of the leaders of the new South-west People’s Union, Chief Abayomi Ajasa said Monday in Lagos.

Ajasa told a gathering of eminent Lagosians that the security aide moved to the land and commenced construction on it, despite the judgement ordering all the parties to desist from taking possession of the land.

“Flouting a court order, they destroyed the structure on ground and started building whatever they want on the land” Ajasa added.

Credit:  Henry Ovie

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