A businessman and Real Estate Developer, Mr. Murphy Adebare, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MileenCoast Properties and Investment Limited has accused the duo of Lagrande Properties Development Company and a Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God for allegedly taking possession of his 10 acres landed property in Sangotedo Community of Eti-Osa local government area, Lagos, Nigeria.

In an exclusive interview with Pressmen, Adebare explained that he acquired the parcel of land at the cost of N120 million  directly from the family that owns the land some years ago. He further stated that before he made payment for the property,  he did a personal investigation and findings on the genuineness of the parcel of land, processed the documents from the Lagos State Government and its appropriate Ministries and Agencies, after which he started the process of erecting perimeter fence and construction of access road.

But before the forceful takeover of the land from him, Adebare claimed that a man identified as Deacon Wale Aderoju in connivance with Pastor Jide Durojaiye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God had approached him to purchase the property from him, an offer he declined. But surprisingly, he later got an emergency call from the Security Guard at the site location that some group of fierce looking men had mobilized themselves to demolish the perimeter fence and some of the construction equipment on the site, a matter he reported to the Ajiwe Police Station which led to the arrest of the invaders. But he alleged that the suspects were released without extracting statement from them. The same day, at the site, Adebare said he was shocked to see the man who had earlier shown interest to buy the land from him. When he challenged him of his presence, Aderoju claimed to have bought the land from the Lagos State Government for N300 million during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

After some few days, Adebare said the Pastor had directed the Area Commander of Police, ACP Gbolahan to mobilise some armed Policemen with patrol vehicles and construction workers to the site to start erection of structures and he and his workers, including the family he bought the land from were denied access to the parcel of land.
Adebare claimed he wrote a petition to the Inspector-General of Police to report the matter and both parties were invited with an instruction issued to stay off from the parcel of land while investigation lasted, but Aderoju flouted the order.
He further stated that he had informed his Lawyer about the land dispute and both parties will meet in the court. He challenged the Lagos State Government to come out to defend the illegal sale of the parcel of land. Adebare condemned what he termed the oppression of law abiding Citizenry. He called on the Federal Government and the Security Agencies to come to his aid.

A Building Engineer and Indigene of Sangotedo, Babatunde Joseph Alaba corroborated Adebare’s claim. In his statement, Alaba narrated how the land  issue started: “About 10 years ago, Adebare purchased the said property from the Baale of Sangotedo and family, after which perimeter fencing and construction of access road were put in place. But about three years ago, a man visited the community, approached him and inform him of his intention to buy the land but he told him the land was not for sale. In a short period of time, he saw some site laborers demolishing the fence and the materials were carted away in his presence, though he attempted to gain access to the site but was resisted and manhandled by some armed Policemen allegedly deployed by Pastor Aderoju with the support of the Police Area Commander, Gbolahan.”

He claimed that several gunshots were fired into the air to scare him and other dwellers that were assembled at the location. When Alaba enquired why they demolished the structure, the RCCG Pastor and his team denied breaking down the perimeter fence but said it was the Lagos State Government Officials that carried out the exercise.
In his attempt to unravel the mystery behind the issue, he made several investigations which led to the revelation that a faction of the family had been settled off with a sum of N30 million, an allegation which was denied when he confronted the Baale of Sangotedo Community and the other parties involved. Speaking further, Alaba alleged that numerous parcels of land were forcefully grabbed from helpless citizens and families along the Eti-Osa and Ibeju Lekki Areas.

The General Secretary of the Sangotedo Community, Alhaji Okeowo Tasir Adisa stated that the indigenes of the Community are law abiding. He alleged that information gathered from a reliable source has it that some group of highly placed people in the state are planning to take over the whole settlement in the nearest future.

Okeowo vowed that the entire indigenes of the Community would resist every attempt made by the Land Grabbers and their agents to invade and take possession of their heritage. He also called on Rights Activists to help fight against the act of injustice being meted to them.

When Newscarte Correspondent contacted Mr. Wole Onalaja of Legrande Properties on phone, he declined to speak with a ‘stranger’.

-Dedeigbo Ayodeji

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