Reps order probe of Malami, IGP’s involvement in Magodo estate dispute

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Justice, Public Petition and Police Affairs to “investigate the involvement” of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, in the crisis over the ownership of the land in Magodo GRA Phase 2, Lagos State.

According to the resolution of the House at plenary on Wednesday, Malami and Baba are to be investigated over their alleged “attempt to destabilise the peace of Lagos State, scuttle the ongoing settlement process and enforce an illegality.”

The joint committee is to recommend the “appropriate sanction for any officer found culpable in the illegal enforcement and break down of law and order.”

Two members of the House from Lagos State, Ademorin Kuye and Rotimi Agunsoye, raised the issue through a motion that was unanimously adopted.

It was titled ‘Motion of urgent public importance to investigate the invasion of Magodo GRA Phase 2 by the Nigerian Police under the direction of Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation.’

Moving the motion, Kuye said, “Residents Magodo GRA Phase 2, Shangisha, Lagos, woke up on the morning of December 5, 2020, to the sight of hundreds of arm-wielding thugs, stern-looking and fully armed policemen and members of the Shangisha Landlords Association purportedly to execute a judgment.

“The judgment that was supposedly being enforced was delivered in 2012 by the Supreme Court in Military Governors of Lagos State & Ors Vs. Adebayo Adeyiga & Ors in Appeal No SC/112/2002, wherein the apex court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal and the High Court delivered on December 31, 1993 in suit No ID/795/88.

“The declaratory judgment of the Supreme Court only recognised the judgment creditors as being entitled to the allocation and reallocation of 549 plots of land in Shangisha Village, not possession of any land.”

According to the lawmakers, several attempts have been made by the Lagos State Government from 2012 to 2015 to settle the matter amicably, making different engagements with the judgment creditors, presenting a proposal for reallocation in the Magodo Residential Scheme within the Badagry area of the state, which some of them accepted.

The lawmakers said the state government, again in 2016, initiated a settlement to re-allocate Ibeju Lekki Coastal Scheme located in the Ibeju Lekki Area “but this was rejected by the lead plaintiff, Chief Adebayo Adeyiga, as government continues to dialogue with majority of the judgment creditors to reach a concession towards implementing the judgment.”

Kuye said, “The House is worried that despite the ongoing settlement efforts and the pendency of an interlocutory injunction dated December 1, 2020, before the Court of Appeal seeking an order restraining him and his agents, Chief Adeyiga, purportedly encouraged by the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police, stormed the estate with unknown bailiffs and armed security operatives to execute a judgment that was purportedly delivered by Lagos High Court.

“The House is worried that the execution being presently executed through the Office of the AGF, with the connivance of the IGP, is illegal as only the Lagos State Deputy Sheriff can execute the same and not thugs aided by policemen.

“The House is more worried that the highhandedness and reckless show of force on December 5, 2021, and January 4, 2022 in Magodo by Chief Adeyiga and his cohorts, in blatant disregard to Order 8 Rule 17 of the Supreme Court Rules 2014 and Section 37 of the Enforcement of Judgment and Order Part III of the Sheriff and Civil Process Act, LFN 2004, can lead to loss of lives and properties and ultimately breakdown of law and order.

“The House is most worried the Attorney-General of the Federation is destabilising Lagos State by using his office to back this illegality as a meddlesome interloper and the instrumentality of state – the Nigerian Police Force and their illegal court bailiffs – to scuttle ongoing settlement between the Lagos State Government, Magodo GRA 2 Residents and the judgment creditors.”

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