Owners of NASCO Estate in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State have raised the alarm over indiscriminate judgements being paraded by land grabbers aimed at taking over their legitimately acquired land.
They are asking the Federal Government which leased and gazetted the land to NASCO to quickly intervene with a view to assuring them that the land was legitimately and lawfully acquired by them.
According to them, the controversial judgements which had neither NASCO nor the Federal Government as a party were being used by suspected land grabbers to encroach on their land.
Lawyer to NASCO and its landlords, Mr. Iheanyi Emeh, said that the land which was the subject matter of the judgment was different from those being dangling by the suspected grabbers.
Emeh in a statement said, “the entire stretch of land called NASCO Estate belongs to NASCO Estate Nigeria Limited by virtue of a lease between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the company, entered in 1978.”
He went on: “In 1994, one Michael Mojisola Cole, filed suit No.ID/1134/94 between Michael Mojisola Cole vs Agbojojoye family, the original land owners (Omonile) from whom the Federal Government of Nigeria acquired the land and thereafter leased to NASCO after paying compensation to the family.
“The family entered settlement with Mojisola Cole wherein they agreed to give him 42 Acres of land as replacement for the 100 acres he bought from them at any other location other than the Federal Government acquired land leased to NASCO.
“However, in February 2018, some land grabbers purporting to be Attorneys to Mojisola Cole (now late) entered NASCO land purporting that they were executing judgment in the earlier Suit No.ID/1134/94.
“They refused to avail us of the copy of the judgment they were executing. The police were called in to intervene. The police in turn sought clarification from the office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation as to the boundaries of NASCO land vis a vis Mojisola Cole’s land.
“In its response to the police enquiry, the office of the Surveyor-General stated emphatically that the matter is not one of boundary dispute but a case of complete trespass into NASCO’s land by the acclaimed Attorneys of Mojisola Cole. Nevertheless, the land grabbers have remained on NASCO’s land because they are aided and goaded by some top security officers.”
However, the chairman of the estate, Chief Osita Ekpunobi, said members of the estate had lived peacefully in the estate for 20 years until February and March when the land grabbers invaded the estate with thugs on the strength of a fictitious consent judgment which was meant for another land.
“We plead with the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to intervene urgently and save our lives and land. And also reassure us that the provision in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Sections 43, 44,) that the citizens can genuinely acquire landed properties in any part of the country is still true,” he said.