Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, has been called upon to intervene in the crisis that led to the stalling of some projects embarked upon by a Lagos-based businessman, Alhaji Saidi Abiola, meant for the benefit of the entire residents of Gborigi-Iragon area of Badagry.
The stalled projects which include school, hospital and worship centres, were reportedly taken over by irate youths of the community who were allegedly acting on the instruction of the community’s leadership.
Alhaji Abiola said he was compelled to cry out to the police commissioner, to forestall the breakdown of law and order in the community after a community chief (Baale) took over his land alongside the projects sited on it which he built for the benefit of residents of Badagry.
Speaking recently with Community News, the businessman called on Owoseni to save him from the Baale identified as Mr Oke Sedowhe, who he said had usurped the entire land and projects with the aid of some youths in the community.
The businessman disclosed that he got to the area in 2010, and that he legitimately acquired the disputed land from the late Baale of the community, who he said, as a friend, had approached him to help the community with developmental projects after he (Alhaji Abiola) had built a house there.
He alleged that trouble started when Sedowhe, who later emerged as the new Baale of the community after the demise of the former Baale, invaded the site of the hospital and school, saying the land belonged to his ancestors.
“I later gathered that he had given the land to a certain woman who also wants to build a school on a section of the land,” he said.
He said initial police intervention in the matter was resisted when some police officers were beaten up by the youths.
“Some policemen went to his house with two artisans working on one of the projects. But the Baale instructed his guards to round up the policemen and my boys. They were beaten up and tied down,” he said.
Alhaji Abiola, however, contended that ever since the police officers were assaulted, the state police curiously, appeared to have developed cold feet to his plight, as nothing had been done to help him reclaim his land and projects.
“Since then, nothing has been done on the matter by the police. I want the commissioner of police to come to my aid as the head of the Lagos State Police Command,” he said, adding that he wants to avoid trouble as much as possible.
Meanwhile, denying the allegations levelled against him, the Baale of the community, confirmed that Alhaji Abiola was, indeed given a piece of land in the community by the former Baale to build a hospital and school, but that he (Abiola) abandoned the projects for many years.
The Baale added that he went to Abiola’s house to discuss the issue so that they could complete the projects as they were just at the foundation level, adding that he told him to go and see the elders on the matter.
“We later started building on the foundations he laid, but Abiola sent touts to demolish the buildings,” he said.