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Land grabbing: Lagos arraigns suspected notorious kingpin, others

*Suspects remanded in Badagry prison

By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos

Lagos State Government on Friday arraigned a suspected notorious land grabber, Chief Kamorudeen Lamina before a Special Offences Court sitting in Oshodi over alleged forceful dispossession of residents from their legitimate rights to land ownership.

Suspected land grabber, Chief Kamorudeen Lamina (3rd left) along with other defendants arraigned at the Lagos State Special Offences Court on Friday, 16th June, 2017.
Suspected land grabber, Chief Kamorudeen Lamina (3rd left) along with other defendants arraigned at the Lagos State Special Offences Court on Friday, 16th June, 2017.

Lamina, popularly known as Sir K, was arraigned alongside six others on a six-count charge by the Special Anti-Land Grabbing Task Force set up by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.

Lamina, a prominent land grabber and his gang were said to have been terrorising the people of Ikorodu area of the State for some time before he was arrested on Thursday.

Others arraigned alongside him are Mr Omotola Ogunsanmi, Mr Samson Shobule (A.K.A Samson Salau), Biliaminu Orega (A.K.A Biliaminu Salau), Alhaji Jimoh Aromasodu, Alhaji Wasiu Orenuga and Alhaji Nurudeen Kasali.

In counts one and two, Lamina, sometime in February 2017 in Mowo Kekere area of Ikorodu Local Government, allegedly took over one plot of land forcefully which was sold to one Mrs Ebere Okafor by Ifegbuwa family contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016.

The action was allegedly carried out by the land grabber, Lamina, despite the fact that the sale of the land had been ratified with proof of payment.

In count three, Lamina was accused of forcefully taking over and remaining in possession of 200 plots of land in Mowo Kekere belonging to Planet Properties Ltd contrary to Section 2 (2) of the same law, while in count five, the defendants were said to have fraudulently sold 60 hectares of land which had been previously sold by the rightful owner contrary to Section 8 (1) (b) of the law.

The fraudulent sale, which was allegedly carried out in January 2017, was perfected by the defendants fraudulently claiming to be the descendants of Ifegbuwa family.

In count six, the defendants were accused of fraudulent selling 25 hectares of land to third parties without any lawful right to do so, an offence punishable under the law.

After the charges were read to the land grabber and his folks, they all pleaded not guilty, while their lawyers, Mr E Obatayo and B.O Abdusalam applied to the court to grant them bail in most liberal terms.

The lawyers argued that the offences for which their clients were charged are bailable, and that they were ready to defend the case.

The prosecutor, Ms Mosunmola Balogun from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice did not oppose the bail application but urged the court to impose conditions which would make the defendants available for trial

In his ruling, Magistrate Lateef Owolabi granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N1million and two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties must be a land owner in Lagos, while the other must be a civil servant not below grade level 15. The sureties must have three years tax clearance and registration with Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA).

The Magistrate also ordered the defendants to deposit N150,000 each with the court, while they are to be remanded in Badagry Prison pending when they are able to meet the bail conditions. The matter has been adjourned to 13th July.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the proceedings, Chairman of the Lagos State Anti-Land Grabbing Task Force, Mr. Jide Bakare said the administration of Governor Ambode, through the arraignment, was sending a strong message to others still involved in the act of forceful dispossession of property it would no longer be business as usual.

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