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Lagos community accuses firm of land grabbing

Published by The Nation on Mon, 03 May 2021

By Chinyere OkoroaforThe Okun-Obadore community in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State has accused Amen Estate and founders of Redbrick Homes Ltd, Shade and Tunde Gbadamosi, of trespassing on family land.Its residents staged a protest, claiming that the Gbadamosis forcibly took over 35 acres of their land.But the Gbadamosis denied the allegations, saying they were the legitimate owners of the property.They had petitioned the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land grabbers to check the activities of persons masquerading as landowners.During the protest, members of the community displayed placards with inscriptions of their grievances.The lawyer representing the community, Dr. Prince Onweneke Williams-Joel, who spoke on their behalf, lamented that the residents were being unjustly intimidated.Williams-Joel said: The Gbadamosis denied them access to their livelihood, as most of them are farmers and fishermen. The Inspector-General of Police needs to investigate these issues and allegations to avoid violence in the community.To enable the valid and legal purchase of any land within the community, six families forming the main pillars of the community must be represented by two individuals, making a total number of 12 who would each attest to the sale of such land on behalf of their immediate kindred; these representatives have never had any transaction with Mrs Gbadamosi.But, Shade Gbadamosi said they legitimately bought the land from the owners who were properly and legally resettled, adding that they had documentary evidence.According to her, there were gangs of landgrabbers, locally known as omo-onile and ajagungbale, who operate under the cover of local communities, and sometimes procured by unscrupulous land speculators masquerading as real estate developers.They sell fake land to unsuspecting people who usually end up losing their savings to these charlatans.They have become such a serious problem to the people of Lagos that they necessitated the creation of the Anti-Land Grabbing Committee by the state government.We have petitioned the said committee and the hearing is still ongoing.
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