Nigeria

Families send SOS to IG over defunct NITEL land

•demand transfer of case file from FCIID

The Sonmolu, Aro Efolu families of Itamaga in Ikorodu area of Lagos state have sent a Save-Our-Soul letter to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, over the alleged perversion of justice by men of the Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Alagbon.

The families in a letter dated February 14, 2020, signed by their lawyer, Ayodele Omoniyi, alleged that some officers of FCIID, Alagbon are shielding suspects from being arrested, adding that the conduct of the FCIID Alagbon revealed a consistent pattern of frustrating and preventing the arrest, investigation or trial of any suspect who is in any way connected with a land dispute between them and some suspects over control and use of the family land released to the family after the w NITEL wound down.

They added that the dispute arose because a particular family wanted to take over the land to the exclusion of the three other families and this has led to the institution of several court cases. While the cases were in court, the court made an order that all parties should maintain the status quo but the suspects continued to erect buildings on the land in defiance of the court order.

When the matter was reported, the trial judge, directed that a census be taken of properties being developed in disobedience to the court order. The petitioner stated that parties in the suit, court officials, police officials along with personnel from the Ministry of Land and Physical Development in Lagos state went to inspect the land where 56 houses had been built in violation of court order were identified and marked. Consequently, the court ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide security to the officials of the Lagos state government to demolish the 56 buildings and they were demolished as directed by the court and none of the parties appealed against it.

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However, the suspects wrote a petition to the FCIID Alagbon claiming that our client demolished the 56 buildings and this led to arrest of our client including a 72 years old man who was kept in police detention for three days though that they had earlier written a petition to the Inspector General of Police against the suspects alleging that they were causing breach of peace and that the case was assigned to the monitoring unit for investigation.

Following the investigation, about seven suspects were arrested but the investigation was allegedly stalled and the suspects released. Accordingly, the petitioners stated that it was beyond conjecture that they cannot get justice or be accorded fair hearing in the manner the FCIID Alagbon has been going about the investigation and their unwarranted interference in the complaints made against the suspects.

They stated that the interest of justice will be better served if the FCIID Alagbon is prevailed upon to hand over the case file if they are convinced that they have no parochial interest to serve. The family also demanded an x-ray of the activities of FCIID Alagbon in connection with the dispute over Itamaga land which is frustrating valid order of the court.

The families disclosed that after the demolition of the 56 building by the order of the court, the suspects again erected structures on the land and a petition was written to the Inspector General of Police on the new development. They added that the Inspector General of Police directed the Lagos State Police, Panti to investigate the allegation but its officers released arrested suspects who in turn brought them to arrest members of the family.