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Encroachment: Eti-Osa Land Owners Seek Ambode’s Intervention Against Perpetrator

The Igbaro Oteshade Royal Family of Oko Addo Village, Addo Nla town, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State have called on the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to intervene in the incessant encroachment of their land by an ex-military officer.

The land, which is about 79.994 hectares, situated at Oko Addo Village, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, was said to have been inherited by the Igbaro Oteshade Royal family under Yoruba native law and custom from their great grandfather, namely, Igbaro Oteshade and later Oba Addo of Addo Land.
But, a former military officer, who was identified as Brig-General Tunde Reis (rtd) was said to have emerged under the auspices of Urban Cooperative Society, Badore with another allocation document, said to purportedly show that his allocation has encroached on about eight hectares of the Igbaro Oteshade Royal Family allocations.
According to the royal family, all efforts to resolve the said land issue, which came up since 1995, have been frustrated by the retired military officer.

In a statement signed by Prince Malik Eshinlokun on behalf of the Igbaro Oteshade Royal family, he said, “Reis has resorted to brute force to harass and intimidate us as well as demolish our properties and those of our successors-in-title. Brigadier-General Reis has unlawfully and maliciously destroyed properties on the land, and is not only currently attempting to erect structures thereon, but also unlawfully and indiscriminately creating access roads on our land.

“Further, with the aid of fully armed Policemen with fierce-looking touts who are always wielding lethal weapons in conjunction with his CSO, Brigadier-General Reis (rtd.) has threatened to deal ruthlessly with anybody found on the site. We now live in fear of attack as we are convinced that our lives and property are no longer safe and as such can no longer freely go about our legitimate businesses.

“It is also imperative to state that Brigadier-General Reis has successfully carved a niche for himself as not only a notorious land grabber, but also one with a penchant/proclivity for violence as he is easily given to willfully destroying people’s property with a view to forcefully and unlawfully acquiring same.”
Residents and owners of the properties on the said land lamented that all appeals to the Government to stop the act have proved abortive as the state government has continued to pay lip service to the matter.

“We still call on the Government to call Gen. Reis (rtd) to order as well as nullify the purported allocation which encroaches on our land. We also use this medium to advise Brig-Gen Tunde Reis (rtd) to restrain himself from intimidating and harassing us and also to vacate our land because we have no intention to forfeit our sole inheritance,” Eshinlokun said in his statement.

Chief Olaiyiwola Lawal, Baale of Oko Ado town, who also spoke on behalf of the family, narrated the land ordeal being experienced by the family since the perpetrator came into the picture.
He emphasized the need for the Lagos state government to intervene swiftly in the land matter to avoid unnecessarily prolonged dispute.

Reacting to the situation, Barrister Fidelis Akra, Counsel to the Oteshade Royal Family, said that Reis presented a false Certificate of Occupancy, claiming it was offered by the state government. He however condemned the unruly manner in which the perpetrator had conducted himself over his bid to claim the hectares of lands.
Owners of properties on the said land have resolved to resist the retired military officer on any further attempt to continue in his encroachment acts.

Barrister Felix Nwangwa, who decried the act of the perpetrator, described it as unlawful and illegal. He said the perpetrator has no right for whatever reason, to have access to a land that has been inherited by a family, which even the state government is already aware of. He warned against Reis act, urging the state government to intervene and call him to order.

Mr. Emeka Okafor, an owner of a seven plots of land that was affected by Reis alleged encroachment, said he had incurred a whopping sum of N25 million in securing his lands.

Speaking on the ongoing land controversy, Okafor said, “Land issue is a simple matter. Since it is the responsibility of the government to allocate C of O, then the government should step into this matter and put the issues right in order to avoid further chaos.”

Meanwhile, the matter is said to have been handed over to the court for legal intervention.
By Patrick Aigbokhan

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