Lagos Taskforce Arrests 10 Land Grabbers

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The Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has arrested 10 land grabbers, popularly known as Omoniles for allegedly defrauding a land owner of millions of naira at Ogba area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Those arrested are Jamiu Adeyinka, Shola Elegbede, Jimoh Azeez, Kolapo Benson, Abass Lawal, Rasak Olukolu, Shakiru Alonge, Idowu Ishelonre, Dele Daniyan and Oluwaseun Adesina.

P.M.NEWS gathered that the landowner in Ogba had a few days ago allegedly given the leader of the Omoniles in the area, called Yesufu, alias President, N1 million to allow him build his house.

It was gathered that the omoniles came back yesterday allegedly demanding for additional N3 million from the land owner, saying that he would not be allowed to build his house if he refused to pay.

The land owner was said to have informed the task force team who promptly came to the scene and arrested 10 omoniles while their leader, President was said to have escaped but his Hummer Jeep, with customized number plate was impounded.

The 10 suspects were charged to the Special Court, Alausa yesterday for alleged touting, assault and illegal collection of dues, while they pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100,000 each with two sureties each in like sum, while the case has been adjourned till 14 June, 2012.

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The suspects have not been able to perfect the bail condition and were remanded at the task force cell and might be transferred to Kirikiri Prison if they could not meet the bail condition today.

Task force Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman told P.M.NEWS that the task force had begun an onslaught against land grabbers who prevent people from building or renovating their houses by extorting money from them.

He said the omoniles had demanded N3 million from the land owner and threatened to kill him if he did not pay the money.

He said they dragged the old man down from his building and beat him mercilessly, saying that the old man quickly alerted the task force officers who moved in and arrested 10 of them.

“We will not allow this to continue again. If somebody buys a land from the government or from an individual, you cannot harass such a person again. This thing is becoming very common in Lagos and we are taking this up,” he stated.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga