Court Restrains Security Agents From Arresting, Lagos based-Developer, Ibile, Other

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of a Lagos Federal High Court, in the interim, has restrained Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and other security agencies in the country, from arresting a Lagos based-realtor, Honourable Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa and Alhaji Suleiman Salaudeen, pending the hearing and determination of his fundamental right enforcement suit, filed before the court.

The court also restrained IGP and others respondents named in the suit filed by the developers and their company, Harmony Gardens Estate, from carrying out any demolition, forcible entry or construction on the applicants’ property, or taking any other untoward action against them in connection with the facts of their case pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.

Those restrained by the court interim orders are; Deputy Inspector-General Of Police (DIG Force Intelligence Bureau; one ASP Ben of Special Tactical Squad; Commissioner Of Police Lagos State; CSP Shola Jejeloye, Chairman of Lagos State’s Task Force; Director Of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Army; Kazeem Salami (a.k.a) All Rounder Ajagungbale; Mrs. Esther Etsabomehen;  Mr. Micheal Etsabomhen;  Michael Utomi and Babatunde Gbadamosi (BOG)

Justice Awogboro made the interim orders, after lawyer to the developers moved an exparte motion which was supported with an affidavit of .. paragraphs, deposed to by Honourable Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa and a written address.

The lawyer had told the court that the Exparte motion was pursuant to Sections 33, 34, 35, 36, 41 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria; Order IV Rules 3, 4 and 11 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009.

The lawyer in the suit specifically asked the court for the following: “an interim order restraining the Respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, officers and/or howsoever called from further arresting, detaining, investigating, inviting, intimidating, threatening, incarcerating, harassing, charging, or taking any untoward action against the Applicants in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion. 

“An interim order restraining the respondents, whether by themselves, their agents, servants, privies, officers and/or howsoever called from carrying out any demolition, forcible entry or construction on the property of the Applicants, or taking any other untoward action against the Applicants in connection with the facts of this case pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.”

The lawyer also undertake to pay damages if the court discover that the application ought not be granted.

The judge while adjourned to March 18, for hearing of the substantive suit and ordered that the hearing notice be issued and served on all the respondents, also held that the interim orders subsists till the determination of the applicants suit.

The applicants in their affidavit deposed to by the first applicant, Honourable Saheed Audullahi Mosadoluwa States as follows: “That the first applicant is not a land grabber as insinuated but the Managing Director and the bonafide owner of (Harmony Garden and Estate Development Limited) of over 80 percent of the land lying, situate and being at Bolorunpelu Onigbedu Village. 

“That to my knowledge and from due diligence conducted before purchasing the property now in contention, | confirmed that the Zakariyau Agidi-ogun Family Of Bolorunpelu-onigbedu Village are the original and customary owners of all that vast land delineated and described in the Registered Survey plan as Area A covered by Excision Survey Plan No: LS/D/LA3097 with Certificate of Occupancy No: 78/78/2015H covering 35.728 Hectares lying, situate and being at Bolorunpelu Onigbedu Village, Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State signed by Omotanmi Emmanuel P.T.O | (Surveys) on the 24th day of July, 2012, duly counter-signed by the then Government Surveyor General 0.A. Sangowawa dated 17th of September 2012 and signed by Joseph O. Agbenta (the then Acting Surveyor General Lagos State) on 20th September, 2012.

“That before acquiring the said land, the first applicant and some agents of his company, Harmony Gardens and Estate Development Limited did due diligence in respect of the said land whereupon they got confirmation that the progenitors of the Onigbedu village in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State is Late SAKARIYAU AgidiOgun who deforested the subject matter of the land which is the subject matter of this suit in its pristine vegetation and who accordingly exercised various ownership and possessory rights over same without any interruption from anybody. 

“That upon further enquiry, they got to know that the Zakariyau Agidi-Ogun Family of Bolorunpelu-onigbedu village comprise of 5 branches to wit: Abadatu Daramola; Mudirakat Daramola; Abudu Daramola; Safiriyu Daramola and Yakubu Daramola who are the beneficial and customary owners of the vast land and have from time immemorial exercised numerous ownership and possessory rights over the said land. As a matter of fact, in the exercise of ownership and possessory right over the said land, they sold some potions of the said land to third parties which include the Applicant’s said Company wherein various instruments such as Deed of Assignments were duly executed with documentary evidence to that effect. 

“As a real estate company, the first applicant on behalf of his said company did not just purchase a customary land from Zakariyau Agidi-Ogun family of Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Village, but started purchasing the land from the villagers based on the Government excision and Certificate of occupancy granted to the community by the Lagos State Government which finally became a statutory title to late Muyideen Daramola and Falilu on behalf of the entire Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Villagers and base on sharing of the land and their families benefit, at each materials time, some of the beneficiaries sold to the Applicant’s company Harmony Gardens & Estate Development Limited. 

“The first applicant’s company acquisition department upon inquiry found out with documentary evidence that in the year 2015 under the administration of Babatunde Fashola as Governor of Lagos State, the Lagos State Government granted the members of Bolorunpelu-Onigbedu Village excision over the said land and also a Certificate of Occupancy No. 78/78/2015H dated 24th April, 2015 issued in the name of Alhaji Muyideen Daramola (the former Baale/Olori-Ebi but now deceased) and Falilu Daramola (the secretary of the family at date) on behalf of themselves and members of the olorunpelu Onigbedu village in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area, Lagos State. 

“That the first applicant’s company also conducted all the necessary investigations to ascertain the genuity and authenticity of the title of the said Zakariyau Agidi-ogun Family of Bolorunpelu-onigbedu Village which was authentic and free from all encumbrance, and hence commenced purchase and also made payment to different beneficiaries whereupon the Applicant’s company was issued Deed of Assignments evidencing the said transactions. And the 3rd Applicant has been in possession until recently when one Micheal Utomi (the 11th Respondent) stormed the first applicant’s estate with armed thugs with land grabbers in police uniform in a bid to forcefully hijack the Applicant’s investments by trick. 

“That the 11th respondent transcended to conducts likely to cause breach of peace by conniving with one Murphy Adebare and the 6th respondent working with a renowned land grabber in police uniform in person of the 5th respondent directing the helms of Lagos State Environmental Task force using his position to operate land grabbing business in Lagos and the said 11 respondent happened to be one of the Agents he is using to sell his land grabbing proceeds……

“That without taking heed to the court’s position and waiting for the applicant to present his case, the 8th-12th defendants connived and wrote a petition against the applicants muddling up and concocting lies against the applicants of the alleged offences against the applicant that the court sought the presence of the applicant for on the next adjourned date. 

The said Respondents muddled up the alleged assault of Igbino a which criminal trial is currently pending at magistrate Court sitting at Ogba, Lagos State, and other matters which were cooked up in a petition and which led to the arrest of the applicant and subsequent detention in five different cells in Lagos and Abuja from the 20th of January, 2024 to the 2nd of February, 2024, 14 (Fourteen) days despite the pendency of the civil matters in different courts in Lagos State, Nigeria. 

“That the first applicant who was informed that several police officers were at his said site, rather than run away, took off from his house to meet the said police officers being someone who knows his right and has legal title in respect of all his properties/investments, and was arrested, dehumanized in a commando manner and whisked to different cells where they were detained and denied access to their lawyers for weird reasons and at the early hours of 21st of January, 2024 transferred to Abuja by the third respondent and his team at the instigation of the 8th respondents over allegations that are either presently pending in court or matters that the Applicant by various police reports have been discharged and exonerated. 

“That despite the fact that the applicants have about 7 (Seven) Deeds of Assignment on the land in dispute and suddenly the 9th-11th respondents surfaced from the blues, and when the applicants were doing their fences, the 8th-11th came with land grabbers together with men of the Nigerian Army to demolish our fence and sieged the land, so I petitioned them to the police for investigation, and when they were invited to Area J, Ibeju-Lekki, they ran to Abuja precisely to Force Criminal Investigation Department for the police to take over investigation and the investigation was conducted and the said MIKE UT Mi WAS PROVEN GUILTY. (Attached is a Police investigation 

“That during the interview of the police, it shows that, truly the 11th respondents wanted to buy land from the family who sold the land to the third Applicant but promised to pay N200, 000; 00k (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) Only, per plot, around twenty years ago and when the 11th respondent could not meet up on the agreed price on the land, the land was sold to another person which first to the 3rd applicants. So as a business owner, we don’t have any business with the 11th respondent. 

“That while still with the police, the police pleaded with the first applicant of the third applicant to grant some land to the 11th respondent and a Deed of Assignment was issued and instead of the 11th Respondent to use the land for developmental reasons, the 11th respondent sold the land to one Galloway and the land was resold by Galloway to the company of the first applicant, the 3rd Applicant.

“That if this application is not heard, there is the likelihood that the applicants right to own immovable property will be infringed upon without any court order. 

“That the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 has ade provision for a circumstance of this nature in the protection of the Applicants fundamental rights from brazen infringement. 

“That the respondents should be restrained from harassing, Intimidating, arresting and detaining the applicants at the instance of the respondents or any matter connected thereto. 

“That the applicants have not committed any offence known to law to warrant the brazen infringement of their fundamental rights to life, personal liberty and freedom of movement by the respondents without any cause or reason. 

“That it is in the interest of justice to grant this application. And that the Respondents will not be prejudiced in anyway if this application is granted.

“That I undertake to pay damages if this Honourable Court discovers that this application ought not be granted. and that it is in the interest of justice that the reliefs in this application be granted.”