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Magodo residents panic as land ownership tussle gets messier

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PANIC has gripped landlords and residents of the highbrow Magodo area of Lagos metropolis as stern-looking policemen took over the area to execute a Supreme Court judgment, which mandated the Lagos State government to give back 549 plots to the original owners of the area.

The apex court’s decision, delivered on February 10, 2012, mandated the Lagos State government to give back 549 plots to the original landowners of the area before it was ‘fraudulently’ acquired over 38 years ago.

According to Nairametrics, a press release signed by a representative of the Adeyiga family, Adebayo Adeyiga, and chairman of Shangisha Landlord Association, said members of the Shangisha Landlord Association had, in 1984, challenged the military government of Gbolahan Mudashiru upon demolishing houses in Magodo after a forced acquisition of the entire land area for public use, which was eventually not used for the intended purpose.

He said the landlords had no choice but to enforce the execution of the judgment, having waited for years after the Supreme Court judgment without the debtor (Lagos State government) complying with the decision.

“Up to this moment, the judgment creditors i.e the Shangisha Landlord Association have not been able to reap the fruit of their legal victory because of the uncooperative and recalcitrant attitude of the judgment debtors,” he stated.

Trouble started on Tuesday when the Adeyiga family allegedly invaded the highbrow estate with armed Police officers and miscreants to eject occupants, claiming they were acting on court order.

Reports say vehicular and human movements were paralysed in the early hours on Wednesday in Magodo Estate, Shangisha area of Lagos, as residents barricaded all entrances to the estate over planned demolition by members of the family who claimed to be the original owner of the land.

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The Nation reported that at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday, the gate of Shangisha Estate, off CMD Road, was locked as nobody could either come in or go out.

The report also stated that as at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, the main entrance leading into the estate and other small gates were under lock and key, which forced many residents to stay outside.

The ICIR reached out to Lagos State Police Spokesperson Adekunle Ajisebutu for comments, but he did not pick his phone calls. He also did not reply to messages sent to him. 

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