Wednesday , June 19 2024

Powerplay as CSP defies Sanwo-Olu’s quit order in Lagos

The controversies over the Magodo Phase 2 Estate in Lagos State on Tuesday assumed another dimension as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu visited the troubled estate, calling on all the parties involved to ‘stand down’ pending the matter is completely resolved. 

 Prior to the governor’s visit to the wealthy estate, over 50 armed policemen who were acting on the instruction of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Inspector-General of the Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had laid a siege in the estate following the planned demolition of property in the estate, while more properties were marked with red, brown, and blue inks to inscribe ‘ID/795/88 Possession Taken Today 21/12/21 by Court Order’.

The police invaded the community with members of a family said to be executing the Supreme Court judgment on the ownership of the land on which the properties were built. 

When Governor Sanwo-Olu and members of the state executive council visited the estate, he headed to the police station, which serves as an operation base for the armed policemen. He was addressed by one CSP, Bimbola Oyewole, who told him that his team had been sent from Abuja to execute the Supreme Court judgment on Magodo Phase 2 properties.

 After the police team leader couldn’t provide the copy of the said judgment as demanded by the governor, Governor Sanwo-Olu ordered the armed policemen to deactivate his men and leave Lagos in the interest of peace, but the officer rebuffed him, saying that he was acting on the orders of the AGF and IGP. Governor Sanwo-Olu told him to call his superior and those who gave him instruction to ask them to leave, Lagos, saying that the matter is between the Lagos state government and the judgment creditors.

 Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “It is a case between the residents of Lagos and  the supposed people, not the residents. They have nothing to do with the residents. Please, can you call your superior now in Abuja that the state governor is here standing in front of you and I am the Chief Security Officer and that I want you to leave now  and that you have no business in my state and that I want you to disengage now? 

But the officer, in a stern stance, insisted that his rank was too low to call his superior officers and would not leave with his team, since he was acting on the instruction of the AGF through the IGP. With all due respect, sir, you may address them directly.  When Governor Sanwo-Olu also asked how many team members were in the estate, the police officer insisted that he would not disclose the figure of the total number of the force deployed to Lagos to enforce the Magodo estate judgment, saying that he was not authorised to disclose that for security reasons.

 But Governor Sanwo-Olu said that the AGF wasn’t aware of their presence in Lagos based on his earlier conversation with him. After about 40 minutes of phone calls placed to the authorities in Abuja, on whose authority the armed policemen were said to be acting, Governor Sanwo-Olu briefed the residents and appealed to all the concerned parties to stand down until the matter is completely resolved.

  He invited all the stakeholders to a meeting in his office at 11 a.m. this morning, saying that the issues called for proper deliberation in the interest of peace.   Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “I’ve spoken extensively with the inspector general of police, the Hon. Attorney General, and we’ve resolved all of the issues. So what we would see is that there’s going to be a total stand down. Tomorrow (today),  we’ll be inviting the representatives of the judgment creditors. We have actually started a committee meeting, but I want to invite them again officially to my office tomorrow by 11 am to come over two, three of their representatives.

” The state government will be there, the residents’ association will be there, and the police will also be there, so whatever it is that must have brought about all these troubles and heartaches will need to be brought there. 

“We will all go through every line of it and we’ll come to an amicable resolution. So, I want everyone to please ensure that peace will be restored to the estate. I want all of our citizens to go about their lawful businesses knowing fully well that nobody will be harassed or no property will be trampled upon pending all of these conversations.”

 Meanwhile, residents said that over 20 people were arrested in what they described as unlawful invasion of their properties, saying most of the property owners were locked up in the  name of the enforcement of the Supreme Court verdict. Mrs Sabina Adeniyi said her son was arrested and locked up in the police station until the governor and the Lagos CP came to their rescue.

About Ayinla Muritala

Agbede is a seasoned Journalist with more than a decade experience as the fourth estate of the realm. He is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Univeristy of Ilorin and currently freelance with few of the Nigerian Dailies.

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