Thursday 13 May 2021

Ogun Governor, Abiodun Caught In Land-grabbing Scandal, Using Police To Harass, Intimidate Owner

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The landed property, which measures about 2893.2288 metres, is located at Iddo Foreshore, Iddo, Lagos state.


Dapo Abiodun

Dapo Abiodun

Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State Governor, has been accused of gross impersonation, assault and murder over a landed property belonging to one Alhaji Auwalu Liman in Lagos State, according to SaharaReporters.

It was gathered that the governor, in a bid to forcibly obtain the land for his company, Heyden Petroleum Limited, destroyed properties worth millions of naira, by using the police and other security forces to assault the landowner and occupants. 

The assault reportedly led to the death of some persons while others sustained injuries.

SaharaReporters learnt that the landed property, which measures about 2893.2288 metres, is located at Iddo Foreshore, Iddo, Lagos state.

Prior to the threats, Heyden Petroleum Limited had approached Liman on several occasions, asking him to give up the property in exchange for monetary compensation, an offer which he vehemently rejected.

It was alleged that the company then threatened to take over the property without compensation. 

On April 3, a Manager at Heyden Petroleum Limited, alongside three police officers from the Lagos State Environmental Taskforce invaded the property and pasted a notice requesting Liman to vacate the premises within 7 days without explaining any wrongdoing whatsoever.

On April 11 2021, it was alleged that heavily-armed security officers of the Lagos State Environmental Task force invaded the property, destroyed Liman's office, prayer house and other valuables.

According to Liman's lawyer, the police simply explained that they acted that way because the property was being contested by Dapo Abiodun’s Heyden Petroleum Limited and that Alhaji Auwalu Liman Kano had no right to be there. 

Again, on Monday, 12th of April, 2021, Liman’s representatives, including his lawyers, Iyang Udoema and S. R. Aliyu, visited the Taskforce office at Oshodi, Lagos to find out the reason for the invasion.

They met with the Chairman of the Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye.

According to them, Jejeloye also told the delegation that the reason for the invasion was because the property was being contested by Heyden Petroleum Limited and that Alhaji Auwalu Liman Kano had no right to be there.

It was gathered that Heyden Petroleum Limited had been making frantic efforts to lease the landed property to any interested party. An inside source at Heyden Petroleum Limited (who pleaded anonymity) also confirmed this to SaharaReporters.

Since the invasion by the Lagos State Task Force in April this year, a certain Michael, an agent to Heyden Petroleum Limited has been marketing the landed property to some persons known to Alhaji Liman (the legal occupier of the land), and persuading them to take lease of the landed property while promising potential buyers that the Ogun state governor, Abiodun would exert his political influence to eject Liman from the property.

It was also alleged that seven persons: Nasiru Muhammed, Umar Garba, Babangida Ibrahim, Muhammed Lifia, Abdullahi Balaclava, Dan Fulani, Bashir Idris had been killed since February 3rd, 2016 when the trouble started.

Ten others: Ayuba Imrana, Ibrahim Abdul, Gambo Abdullahi, Hamisu Dauda, Bala Dauda, Baba Mairake, Tsoho Mairake, Usaini Adamu, Ahmada Abdullahi, Bashir Sale, have sustained severe injuries at different times during attacks by police officers and other security agencies operating at the request of the Ogun State Governor, and his company, Heyden Petroleum Limited.

It was gathered that on February 3, 2016, the Lagos State Environmental Task force, prompted by Governor Abiodun and his company, invaded Liman's property around 2 am and attacked the workers and other legitimate businessmen and women operating on the landed property. 

Properties worth millions of naira were destroyed. 

This led to a fundamental human rights action instituted by Liman's lawyers in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1696/2016 at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Despite this, in desperate but failed attempts to dispossess Liman of the property, Abiodun and his company, Hayden Petroleum have continued to harass the workers using police officers and other security agencies to illegally arrest and detain them.

“The landed property of about 2893.2288 metres which is situated at Iddo in Lagos state has been lawfully occupied by Alhaji Auwalu Liman Kano who has been carrying out his legitimate business on the landed property since 1976.

“Auwalu Liman, who has been legally occupying the landed property since 1976 and has been paying rents to Apapa Local Government under whose authority the property was, has come under threats and survived several attacks from the Ogun state governor, who is hell-bent on grabbing the landed property through the use of brute force, using the Nigeria Police. 

“We have receipts of payment of rent to Apapa Local Government by Alhaji Auwalu Liman since 1976.

“Upon the taking over of the property by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Alhaji Auwalu Liman was granted license and lease of the property via a letter dated 7th October, 1994.

“Subsequently, when the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing took over all the properties at Iddo Foreshore, the ministry ratified Alhaji Auwalu Liman’s lease.

“By a letter dated 22nd April, 1997, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing granted a further lease which is subject to payment of annual rent which Auwalu Liman has been paying to the Federal Government over the years,” Liman's lawyer told our correspondent.

It was also stated that Alhaji Auwalu Liman Kano was still paying annual rent to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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