The Nigerian Bar Association, Epe branch has urged the Inspection-General Of Police, (IGP) Mohammed Adamu to investigate activities of the Monitoring Unit under his office.
The NBA is alleging that some of the unit’s officers have been aiding and abetting land grabbers and using police power to intimidate residents in the Lekki area of Lagos.
The Epe NBA told journalists at a conference that it had forwarded a petition to the IGP in which it alleged that the police unlawfully aided a fake lawyer with fraudulent titles to use of thugs to terrorise residents of the axis.
The petition, signed by its Secretary, Jimoh Saliu on behalf of the Chairman, Ademola Koko and the executives, claimed that the unit had been conniving “with a land grabbing dynasty and providing cover for them for corrupt influences.
“We have been inundated with several land grabbing complaints by this set of people within our jurisdiction, with no regard for the rule of law and constituted authorities. Instead of referring the matter of land dispute to the court of competent jurisdiction, they solicit the help of their cohorts in the monitoring unit of the IGP who use police powers to hoodwink
The petition was sequel to a February 26, 2021 emergency meeting of the association pursuant to the “public protection right of the citizens as provided under the constitution of the NBA to take a stand on the urgent and numerous calls of the terrorised citizens of Nigeria.”
The petition was copied to the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Attorney-General of the Federation, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, the state’s Attorney-General, the Permanent Secretary, Land Bureau, the state’s Surveyor General and all the State Chairmen of NBA branches in Lagos State.
The association claimed to have received a petition on February, 8 2021, from the office of Messrs Suraj Umar & Co complaining of criminal activities and conspiracy of a lawyer involved in a land grabbing case in Sangotedo Town, Lekki.
“The matter was referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the Branch who upon search on the NBA’s website could not find the name of the lawyer on the list of lawyers in Nigeria.
“This prompted us to verify physically with the National Secretariat on February 18, 2021 and the National Secretary came up with the same result.
“The National General Secretary advised us to try the Supreme Court of Nigeria which we also wrote to with the attached fraudulent documents purportedly prepared by him and fake execution in favour of the land grabbers.
“Shockingly, the said lawyer’s name could not be found by the Supreme Court and this prompted the Chief registrar to put a call through to the lawyer to no avail”, it said
The petition said rather than the police doing the needful, they gave flimsy excuses in an attempt to shy away from their duty.
The NBA lamented that land grabbers had however kept threatening the peace of the people in Sangotedo area of Lekki that they should vacate where they had been living for many years.
“We have advised the community, most of whom are government allottees, some with governor’s concept and the customary owners to maintain law and not resort to self help despite provocation as Lagos cannot tolerate another violence and that they they should resort to Lagos State Taskforce on Land grabbers, which they did.
The NBA Epe, therefore, urged the IGP to restrain members of the Monitoring Unit from coming to Lekki axis to dabble into land matter adding ”the Supreme Court has said it times without number that disputants should approach the courts of competent jurisdiction on land matters as they are civil in nature.”