Lagos arraigns Pastor Godwin for allegedly grabbing land from Octogenarian

The suspect with the police

The Lagos State Government has arraigned Rev. Godwin C Godwin before a Special Offences Court sitting in Oshodi for allegedly forging documents and illegal sale of a plot of Land at Lekki Scheme 1 area of the State.

Godwin, a Pastor at Christ Salvation Divine Ministries International, was arraigned on a six-count charge by the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land grabbers.

He was alleged to have illegally sold the plot of land belonging to Mrs. Halima Abdul – Malik situated at Block 108, Plot 8, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, within Eti -Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State before his arrest on Thursday, June 24th, 2021 and subsequent arraignment.

According to the Coordinator, Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land grabbers, Owolabi Arole, Rev Godwin was arrested following the investigation of a petition against him by the Law Office of Paul Onyeka & Co, Legal Practitioner on behalf of 83-year-old, ailing Mrs. Halima Abdul Malik.

He said “The Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land grabbers arraigned Rev. Godwin on a six- count charge before Chief Magistrate Micheal Olubi on Friday after detailed investigation on the Land grabbing matter between the two parties.”

Among the six -count charge are:

One, “Rev. Godwin and others in month of May – June 2021 at Block 108, Plot 8, Lekki Scheme 1, within Eti -Osa Local Government Area of Lagos conspired to commit felony contrary to section 411 Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.”

Two, He resorted to self-help in the recovery of possession and engaged in acts inconsistent with Mrs. Halima Abdul Malik proprietary right contrary section section 2(2) of Lagos State Properties Law 2016.

Three, Rev Godwin is accused of threat of violence in the recovery of possession of landed property belonging to Mrs. Halima Abdul -Malik contrary to section 3 (1) of Lagos State Properties Law 2016.

While in Count four and five, the defendant is accused of illegal sale of land belonging to Mrs. Halima Abdul -Malik and fraudulently converting the sum of Two Hundred and Thirty Million Naira being proceeds from the sale, to personal use contrary to section 8 (1) Lagos State Properties Law 2016 and section 280 (1b) Lagos State Criminal Justice Law 2015.

In count six, the defendant is accused of forcefully entering into landed property and maliciously destroying the gate and fence of the landed property belonging to Mrs. Halima Abdul -Malik.

Rev Godwin pleaded not guilty, while his counsel applied to the court to grant him bail in most liberal terms.

The counsel argued that the offences for which their clients were charged are bailable, and that they were ready to defend the case.

The Prosecutor, Mrs Ruqayat Shomade, a State Counsel with Lagos State Special TaskForce on Land Grabbers, Ministry of Justice did not oppose the bail application but urged the court to impose conditions which would make the defendant available for trial.

In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Micheal Olubi granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N25 million with two sureties who must be resident in Lagos State, and that one of the sureties must be a land owner in the State, while the other must be at least a grade level 8 Public Servant or a Manager in a reputable company.

The sureties must also have three years tax clearance and registration with Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA).

The matter was adjourned to 22nd July, 2021.