Bizwoman Drags Kunle Poly, Other To Task Force Over Alleged Land grabbing 

A Lagos businesswoman, Mrs. Adebayo Adewole Aderonke, has dragged the duo of Morufu Owonla, a.k.a Kaka and Azeez Lawal Adekunle a.k.a. Kunle Poly, before Lagos State government, accusing them of alleged land grabbing.

The businesswoman in a petition written by her lawyer, Ademola Adefolaju of Lords & Temple, to the Lagos State Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner, and Chairman, Lagos State Special Task Foree on Land Grabbers, pleaded for recovery of her 2 acres of land from the alleged landgrabbers.

The businesswoman’s petition dated January 19, 2024 and captioned: “conduct amounting to; entry into property by violence; unlawful sale of property; encroaching on property with weapons, use of land agents; and illegal occupation of property situate at Idioparun, Harmony Estate, Oke-Ira Nla, Ajah, Lagos State, Being property owned by Mrs. Adebayo-adewole Aderonke, and Purchased From Alhaji Moroof Owonla a.k.a. Kaka Contrary To Sections 2; 3; 4; 5; 7 and 8 of the Lagos State Property Protection Law 2016. petition against Alhaji Morufu Owonla, a.k.a Kaka and Azeez Lawal Adekunle a.k.a. Kunle Poly.”

The petition reads in part: “We are Solicitors to Mrs. Adebayo Adewole Aderonke, of No 26, Tunji Olupbodi, Marshy Hill Estate, ‘Ajah, Lagos State, herein referred to as our client. 

“Its our brief that sometimes in 2012 our client purchased a parcel of land situate at Idi Oparun, Harmony Estate, Oke-Ira Nla, Aja, Lagos State, from Alhaji Moroof Owolana aka Kaka (herein after referred to as Kaka), following which the land was fenced round with a gate and a sign board erected at the entrance thereof. It is sacrosanct to state here that our client purchased 4 Acres of land from Kaka, having paid through Omo-West who acted as agent of Kaka in the transaction with Kaka’s consent and authorization, our client was only able to recover 2 acres from the same after completion of payment. 

“Sometime between 2014 and 2016, while our client was in India for medical treatment, our client was informed that Kaka and his boys had sold the land to a third party, who immediately erected a foundation thereon, while the fence and the gate were pulled down by the third party by the third party. Upon our client’s return to Nigeria after treatment, our client called the attention of Kaka to the anomaly, but Kaka at the time claimed ignorance of the activities of the 3rd party, the transaction and their entry into the property, while efforts to reach the 3rd party proved abortive. 

“Sometime in 2018/2019, having returned to Nigeria after treatment, our client began to sandfill the raft foundation, consequent upon which the 3rd party showed up and the matter was reported to Langbasa Police Station, and on realising she had been inveigled into buying the property, the 3rd party allegedly proceeded to sell the land to a certain Kunle Poly with the aim of deploying him as a threat and intimidation against our client. Kunle Poly who owns and manages a property adjacent to the property in issue approached our client and proposed to buy off our client’s interest in the property with a consideration of N1, 000, 000.00 (One Million Naira) only, which our Client refused. 

“On the 1st of January, 2024, our client who had instructed her agent to move some broken blocks to the frontage of the property was later informed that some thugs came to stop him from doing so, and while speaking with our client on the phone, the agent was harassed by Kunle Poly’s boys with broken bottles and mercilessly beaten to a state of stupor, upon which our client immediately proceeded to the property and on getting there, the Tugs from Kunle Poly seized the wheelbarrow being used by the agent. When our client enquired from the thugs who authorised them, they replied that the land belong to their boss Kunle Poly, and that he instructed them to beat up anybody they find on the land. 

“Having returned home, on the evening of the same day, Kunle Poly brought with him 4 Police Officers from Langbasa Division 1 to harass our client. Our client took the officers to the property, while our client instructed her daughter to ensure a video recording of events were taken, however, to our clients consternation, when Kunle Poly realised that he is being recorded, he hijacked the phone from our client’s daughter and deleted all the recordings made of the event of that day, and the officers brought in immediately left the scene without further action. It was thereafter that Kunle Poly started pleading for amicable settlement and offered N2 Million as consideration, which our client again vehemently refused, considering the sum expended to purchase the property, and instead gave a counter offer of $50, 000 (Fifty Thousand U.S. Dollars) USD or share the land and the foundation thereon into two equal party which Kunle on his part also refused, and offered to meet again on the 4th of January for negotiation. 

“On the 3 of January, to our client’s consternation, our client was informed that Kunle Poly had commenced clearing of the land and is attempting to erect a fence thereon, and when confronted on this tact, Kunle Poly did not deny the same, and despite having an agreement for a meeting on the 4th of January over the property, and when our client went to the property to prevent further actions, to our clients trepidation, Kunle Poly had surrounded the property with thugs and a Police van, preventing entry in or out of same, while informing our clent and his family other sinister plans he shall be taking to prevent our client from entry and final take over of the land. Kunle Poly and his boys till date are still erecting without stop the fence of the property. It is pertinent to state categorically that Kaka and his boys together with a certain ldowu and Alo were also cited on the property, acting as guide and security to the activities of Kunle Poly on the property. 

“It is sacrosanct to reiterate the fact that the 2 acres from the 4 acres which our Client had purchased from Kaka that is now being forcefully taken over from our client by these land grabbers amounts to breach and contravention of sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 of the Lagos State Property Protection Law, particularly, as a guide, may we kindly restate the provisions of the law, particularly the definition and punishment sections of the law herein ipsissuna verba; 

“Section 2(1) of the law provides thus; “As from the commencement of this Law, a person or group of persons shall not use force or self-help to takeover any landed property or engage in any act inconsistent with the proprietary right of the owner in the state.” 

2(3) “A person who commits an offence under the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) above shall on conviction be liable to ten (10) years imprisonment” Section 3(1) 

“A person who without lawful authority, uses or threatens violence for the purpose of securing entry into any landed property for himself or for any other person commits an offence” 

313) “For the purpose of this Section, an offence is committed whether or not (a) The violence is directed against the person or against the property; and (b) The violence is intended to secure entry for the purpose of acquiring possession of the property or for any other purpose”

 Section 4 (1): “A person who is occupying a property as an encroacher and fails to leave on being required to do so by or on behalf of the owner of the property commits an offence.” 

(3) Anyone who enters or is in occupation of any property by virtue of any(a) Title derived from an encroacher; or (b) License or right given by an encroacher shall himself be treated as an encroacher for the purpose of this Law and references in this Law to a person entering, being on or occupying any property as an encroacher shail be construed as such” 

Section 5 . 

“From the commencement of this Law, a person shail not cause to be placed on any land or landed property, any land agent(s) for the purpose(s) of forceful take-over of the said land”. 

Section 7: “A person who is on any property as an encroacher and having with him on the property any firearms, dangerous/offensive weapon(s) commits an offence and is liable to conviction to ten (10) years imprisonment”. 

“A person who is on any property as an encroacher and having with him on the property any firearms, dangerous/offensive weapon(s) commits an offence and is liable to conviction to ten (10) years imprisonment”, 

“Section 8(1) “Any person who – (c) Sells a property knowing that he has no lawful title to the property or that the property has been previously sold by him or his privies; Commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 100% of the value of the property or to imprisonment for five (5) years or both, and the property shall revert to the lawful owner…” 

“From the foregoing provisions and the facts espoused herein, it apparent that the actions of Kaka, Kunle Poly and their cohorts amounts to dereliction of the Law. 

“In a bid not to resort to self-help which will amount to break down of law and order, our client hereby call for the intervention of your good office sir, to swing into action by investigating our client’s claims, arresting and interrogating the suspects and prosecuting the suspects if found guilty for running foul of the law. 

“We equally urge you to use the instrumentality of your good office to direct Kaka and Kunle Poly to allow our client have access, possession and control of their property to forestall the likely breakdown of peace, law and order as our client is not amenable to taking the law into her hands at this critical stage. 

“We take solace in the fact that your antecedents are refreshing and consolatory in nature, character and content. Kindly react to this petition with military dispatch and impressive alacrity.”

Reply to the businesswoman’s petition Responding to the petitioner’s petition, the Lagos State government through the office of the Attorney-General, urged the petitioner’s lawyer among other things, to depose to a verifying affidavit in support of the petition, this the AG’s office said is pursuant to the provisions of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law, 2016.

The lawyer to the petitioner also required to furnish this Office with the residential address of the alleged encroacher(s). 

The AG’s response signed by one Rukayat Shomade, Co-ordinator, Lagos State Special Task Force/Land Grabber reads in parts: “I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your petition dated 19th January, 2024 in respect of the above subject and respond as follows: “The petition is receiving attention.  “You are required to depose to a verifying affidavit in support of the petition, pursuant to the provisions of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law, 2016.  “You are required to furnish this Office with the residential address of the alleged encroacher(s).  “Upon the fulfilment of the above conditions, you may wish to contact the undersigned for further clarification. “Be assured of our best regards in ensuring Lagos State is free from the menace of land grabbing.  “Grateful, acknowledge receipt, please.”