- The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has been petitioned over the invasion of Ikeja Saddle Club
- Wole Osinupebi, the president of the club, made this known during a chat with journalists in Lagos on Friday, October 22
- Osinupebi, who said some hoodlums invaded the club on September 23, noted that the vegetation in the conservation was removed by a bulldozer
Ikeja, Lagos - The management of Ikeja Saddle Club in the Isheri/Olowora area of Lagos state has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, over the invasion of its property by thugs in cahoots with policemen.
Speaking at a media chat in the Ikeja area of the state on Friday, October 22, the president of the club, Wole Osinupebi, said that about 60 hoodlums invaded the club on September 23, destroyed some structures with a bulldozer and cut down trees on the premises under the watch of cops and armed plain-cloth men numbering about 40.
He noted that they cut the trees in the club premises, removed roofs from buildings and removed all vegetation in the conservation using a bulldozer.
Legit.ng reports that Osinupebi said the policemen arrested four staff members of the club and chased away others from the facility.
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Osinupebi said it took the intervention of the Lagos state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Moyosore Onigbajo, before the suspension of the demolition of the club around 5 pm the following day.
According to him, despite instructions from the Onigbajo to stop they cut down all vegetation through the night and removed the bulldozer the next day.
He said two families, the Ikumoworo Family and the Olofin Chieftaincy Family, have been at loggerheads over the ownership of the land which the club said it bought from the state government in 1975 and obtained a certificate of occupancy.
According to him, a petition was sent to IGP on September 25, adding that the police boos responded to the petition on September 27.
"The Ikeja Saddle Club was founded in 1967 and its initial location was at Oregun. Copies of Certificate of Occupancy from Lagos state. The Lagos state government acquired the initial site and gave in replacement the land in Isheri (current location) in 1974. The club was issued a Certificate of Occupancy as the title on the land (copy attached).
"Princess Momoh an agent of one of the families contesting the land in the overall Olowo ira area commenced action against the club and Lagos State around 2004. In February 2020 she got a court order to take over all the land covering the club, Omole phase 2 and surrounding areas."
Osinupebi said the incident was a case of land grabbing, saying that it is unfortunate that police supported the invasion of the Saddle Club.
"This is a case of land grabbing and it is unfortunate that police have to support this. This could not have happened without the help of the police. If we have a nation where an illegitimate process is perpetrated by legitimate people, then, there is a problem.
"The estimate of the damage done can't be quantified. The staff quarters where about 25 people live was destroyed. The damage to the vegetation is priceless because this can take about 15 years to overcome. We must be law-abiding citizens and a stop must be put to this brigandage.
Governor Sanwo-Olu promises to publish the report of the panel of enquiry on #EndSARS
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Lagos state government pledged to publish and implement the report of the judicial panel of enquiry into allegations of human rights abuses against the police.
It was reported that while speaking on Thursday, October 21, on the arduous task of rebuilding Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured that the recommendations of the panel would not be covered up.
He said the panel report would be helpful in strengthening true reconciliation and preventing the re-occurrence of such violence in the state.