* Baale, community leaders seek govt’s intervention

Community leaders and residents of Agidingbi area of Ikeja yesterday embarked on a peaceful protest against the judgment of the Supreme Court, which awarded ownership of 398 acres of property in the community to a traditional land-owning family, Akinole-Oshiun.

The possession order is said to cover a large section of the Lateef Jakande Road, Acme Road, Fagba Close and other streets around the area, totalling over 2000 buildings.

The protesters, who marched from Agidingbi to the House of Assembly in Alausa, said the Akinole-Oshiun family, which is the judgment-creditor in the case, had already given them seven days ultimatum to vacate their houses.

The demonstrators urged the government to intervene to avert bloodshed.

They carried placards which read: “There is no ancestral link between Akinole and Agidingbi land”, “Land grabbers are enemies of Lagos State,” among others.

The Leader of Ojodu Legislative Arm, Mr. Wasiu Bolaji-Seidu, who is also a community leader in Agidingbi, said the news of the possession order came to the community as a surprise, as nobody from the area was served with summons that led to the judgment.

He said: “Last Friday, they (judgment-creditor) brought a judgment, placed it on our houses and said they have taken over the entire Agidingbi land. Nobody from Agidingbi was part of the case and I don’t know how you will enforce a judgment against a person that was never part of the case.

“Agidingbi has been in existence for over 200 years ago. I was born and bred in Agidingbi; my forefathers were born and bred in Agidingbi and I don’t see any reason why somebody will just wake up and say they are the owner of the community.

“I am over 50 years; my father lived for over 90 years in this community before he died; my great grandfather died at the age of 150 and I don’t know where Akinole is coming from. We have people like Abibatu Mogaji, who was the Yeye-Oba of Agidingbi. We have Femi Okunnu, who is our father in the community. We don’t know where Akinole came from.”

Bolaji-Seidu urged the government to activate the provisions of the Anti-Land Grabbing Law of the state and prevent the matter from degenerating into a crisis.

The Baale of Agidingbi, Chief Ganiyu Ayinde Haruna, said they were embarking on the peaceful protest to call the attention of the government to the crisis brewing in the community.

An 83-year old resident, who is the Iyalode of Agidingbi, Evang. Dorcas Faworaja, said her great grandparents were born in the area, “therefore the claimant cannot just come from anywhere and lay claim to the community.”

Receiving the protesters, Deputy Majority Leader Mr. Olumuyiwa Jimoh hailed them for conducting themselves peacefully.

He said the House would look into the petition.

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