Alleged Use Of Armed Policemen ln Land Dispute: Newly Promoted Police Commissioner ln Trouble

Aruga Joe Omokaro – Lagos

One of the newly promoted Commissioners of Police (CP), Waheed Ayilara, who until his promotion last week, was Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID) Panti, Yaba, Lagos seems to be in murky waters.

CP Ayilara is among newly promoted officers slated to be decorated with their new ranks today.

The SUPREME learnt that, there are petitions from families in Lagos sent to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), to the Police Service Commission (PSC), to the Minister of Police Affairs and to the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President accusing CP Ayilara of complicity and official corruption by providing armed policemen to a man, the families claim encroached into their land. The man Babalola Fajobi is alleged to be forcefully claiming their land at Ibeju-Lekki.

The SUPREME learnt that one Emmanuel Usman, Managing Director of Kwawel Nigeria Limited, was contracted by the families of Eletu Odibo and Oluwo as well as Saula-lmam family at lbeju-Lekki, an outskirt of Lagos State in 2018, to reclaim and develop their land. The land which is said to be 600 acres was a thick forest, with a condition of getting plots of land on each acre developed by Kwawel.

Kwawel was said to have commenced clearing and sand-filling of the land in 2019.

After remarkable development had taken place, and the once swamp forest had taken good attractive shape, one
Babalola Fajobi owner of Bafaj company, was said to have surfaced claiming ownership of the land and that Kwawel should vacate the already developed land.

Kwawel was said to have alerted the families that contracted the land to him for development.

The families were said to have cautioned Bafaj to keep off from the land.

But that Bafaj went to place a Caveat Emptor in the Punch newspaper of August 17, 2020 warning supposed intruders to keep off the land, and that the land had been sold to him.

In a swift reaction to the Punch publication, the family through their legal counsel, Adegboyega Erinle Esq wrote to Bafaj in a letter dated October 28, 2020 countering the Punch publication and, for Bafaj to desist from claiming ownership of the land.

Investigations by The SUPREME reveal that, Bafag had erroneously bought part of the land from a different family, and had sold part of it to some buyers.
However, he later discovered that, the land he Bafaj bought belongs to Eleu, Oluwo and Saula-Imam families

The Eletu families were said to have invited Bafaj to ratify the land he bought wrongly. The original families were said to have advised Bafaj to go with all documents with which he sold the land, so as to ratify real proof of ownership both to Bafaj and to those who bought from him. But that as at the time of filing this report, Bafaj was yet to see the families with documents of those who bought the land from him for ratification.

But Fajobi in a telephone discussion with The SUPREME last week, explained that he has met with the family and has paid N10 million to the families to ratify his documents and those he sold land to.

But counsel to the family, Adegboyega explained to The SUPREME last Sunday that the N10m was for the families to grant Bafaj audience

Still laying claim to the developed property by Kwawel, Bafaj was said to have invaded the land on 9th October last year 2023, with armed policemen allegedly from Lagos State Police Command and thugs to harass and assault Kwawel workers on duty.

Kwawel was said to have promptly wrote a petition through his solicitor, to Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) of Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon Close, lkoyi, Lagos, accusing Bafaj of intimidating and assaulting his workers, also disrupting work on the land.

The SUPREME further gathered that,
Fajobi was invited by the FCID, but, he ignored the invitation, and rather rushed to Force Headquarters (FHQ) Abuja, where he felt he could get justice with a petition against Kwawel. “Unfortunately the matter turned against him,” Usman told The SUPREME.

Kwawel was said to have also promptly written to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) through his counsel – Matthew Burkaa & Co (SAN) accusing Bafag of using armed policemen from State CID Panti Lagos, to intimidate and assault his workers as well as destroying his equipment.

He told The SUPREME that his equipment destroyed worth over N300 million.

Kwawel letters were dated 9th and 22nd Nov 2023. Subsequently, Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to the IGP, CP Johnson Adenola acting on IGP’s directive was said to have referred Kwawel’s petition to Deputy Commissioner of Police ( DCP) in charge of IGP Monitoring Unit, with a letter dated 23rd November 2023. The DCP Adamu Eleman was said to have met with the Kwawel Director, Usman, Bafaj Director, Babalola and the land families of Eletu Odibo, Oluwo family and Saula on November 27th 2023, at FHQ Abuja.

Peace resolution was said to have been reached and the DC IGP M.U was said to have advised Bafaj to go to court or resolve with Eletu Odibo family Oluwo and Saula Immam families, and not to go to the site to halt or harass Kwawel workers.

But Bafaj we learnt, ignored the truce reached at FHQ, and still invaded the land with armed thugs early this year 2024.

Kwawel was said to have promptly alerted Force Hq Abuja, and Babalola was arrested and whisked to Abuja but was later released after some days in detention.

Our investigations further revealed that,
Eletu Odibo family , Oluwo and Saula- lmmam families have consequently petitioned the Hon Minister Of Police Affairs and the Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC) as well as the National Security Adviser (NSA) with letters dated 27th December 2023 and January 8th 2024, respectively, accusing former DC State CID Panti, Lagos, CP Waheed Ayilara of official corruption using his office to illegally support Bafaj with armed policemen to cause mayhem on their land.

When contacted on phone yesterday Monday, there was network problem, and CP Ayilara could not be heard very well. However, an sms was sent to him to explain his role, but no response from him as of the time of filing this report. Similarly, spokesman of Lagos State police command SP Benjamin Hundeyin could not pick our calls and also failed to respond to our sms on the allegation against former DC SCID.

Spokesman of PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said in response to our sms that he was not aware of any petition against CP Ayilara. Efforts to get Police Minister failed. Similarly, NSA AIG Nuhu Ribadu could not respond to our sms on the matter as of the time of filing this report.

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