Social Justice and Human Rights groups committed to ensuring protection of fundamental rights, peace building and sanctity of the rule of law have nocalled on President Bola Tinubu, the inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun and the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to the aid of residents of Okeegun Baale Eleran Igbe Community in Ibeju – Lekki Area of Lagos State who have been under severe attack of land grabbers in recent times.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Saturday, the groups caution some land grabbers threatening the peace and tranquility of Okeegun Baale Eleran Igbe Community of Ibeju Lekki Area in Lagos State .
They appealed for prompt rescue and protection of one Mrs Macaulay Adenike and Chief Shakiru Adebola Elemoro, Baale of Okeegun Baale Eleran Igbe Community alongside other people who they said were injured during an attack on the community.
Speaking for the groups, Comrade Tunji Balogun, Executive Project Director, Human Right Action Watch expressed displeasure and disappointment on the activities of the land grabbers.
He appealed to Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Executive Governor of Lagos State and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urging them to come to urgent rescue of the inhabitants of Eleran Igbe against the seven days demolition notice dated 11th January, 2024 signed by the General Manager of the NTDA .
He said the appeal becomes necessary because “we are aware of the recent rampaging evil agenda and criminalities of terrorism, threat and violent conducts and land grabbing menace in the area.
The Group also talked about the alleged murder of Late Mr Abiodun Raji who he said was shot dead on 25th May 2023 in an attack by the land grabbers.
He said “Our appeal is predicated on the fact that the entire Okeegun Baale Elerangbe Community is under tension and intense fear of this most dreaded notorious land grabbers who runs a syndicated criminal web of cultists and who in connivance with some ranking police officers in their payroll, constituting huge impediments to ensuring justice and due diligent investigation.
” We at various points in time intervened as human rights organization to raise awareness on this matter alongside family members of the affected communities and the deceased family, but this was yet to receive any attention.
“The necessity and importance of the aforementioned matter to the aforementioned offices will go a long way to salvage the lives of innocent Nigerians and ancient communities which has been in existence for over 1000 years with records of existing farmlands, houses ,graveyards, artifacts, churches and mosque, wherein they are expected to be granted compassionate
“We shall demand that all persons found culpable should be made to face the full wrath of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria .
“We shall appreciate full investigation of all issues relating to the aforementioned crimes such as criminal trespass to property, forgeries of land title documents, harassments, fraudulent misrepresentation, deceits and serial threats bordering on excessive interference with the peaceful habitation and intimidation of community leaders and other innocent Nigerian citizens residents within the Okeegun Baale Elerangbe community.
“Regrettably, one of the victim met his untimely death as a result of heated arguments with the dreaded group who threatened to kill the innocent victim or any other person found on the Okeegun land only to make real their threats when their team of thugs and cultists led by one notorious killer named Abbey attacked and shot dead Late Mr Abiodun Raji on 25th May, 2023 .
“We are equally aware that the land grabbers are working in connivance with some officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development and a recent letter by NTDA is a proven manifestation of the evil conspiracy which has further empowered all sorts of atrocities and forceful encroachment, demolition and invasion of various communities in Eti-Osa and Ibeju-Lekki Jurisdiction accordingly, precipitating our special demand for thorough investigation and land forensic investigation audit of all allotments.
“Furthermore, our urgent appeal is predicated on the fact that the victims are respected and responsible citizens and community leaders within Oke Ogun Elerangbe, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos”, he said.
Mrs Macaulay while speaking with journalists said: “As one of the land owners’ representative, I have been threatened on different occasions and my life has always been endangered by the land grabbers but God has always been my protector and backup”.
“Children have not been able to go to school since then because of how dangerous these people have made the area to be. House owners are squatting in different places, families are scattered all over/ sleeping in uncompleted building and businessmen and women cannot go to work or come there to work”.
“In Conclusion, we have no one else to come to our aid or go to, except the government and we plead that government should come to our rescue. We are not fighting anyone, all we are asking for now is that they should leave our lands”, she said.
She said none of the indigenes (Okeegun Baale families) including Baales sold the land to any of them.
“This is an indigenous land and has been there for over 300 years in Lagos. These are our sweat and hardwork and we should not be denied our rights.
“Based on this premise, we urgently seek your accelerated and concerted efforts and approval for due diligent investigation and prosecution of those involved “, she said