Fresh trouble brewed in Magodo Estate, Shangisha area of Lagos, on Wednesday, after aggrieved landlords moved to enforce a high court judgement that ceded over 500 plots of the estate to them.
Members of one of the families named original owners of the large expanse of land have moved to demolish structures erected including houses in the estate.
The family members, accompanied by policemen and a court bailiff, reportedly, arrived on Monday night, and a bulldozer was also brought to begin demolition, an action protested by current occupants.
Although insinuations and rumours linked former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, with the take-over, findings revealed the APC chieftain has no hand in it as the case had been in court ever before the APC national leader became governor in 1999. Despite this, the Lagos State government fought against the high court order albeit unsuccessfully.
“The military government acquired over 500 plots of land from individuals who bought from landowners and allocated it to civil servants and their cronies,” an impeccable source told this newspaper.
“The landlords approached the court and got a judgement from the high court. The govt appealed the judgement and lost both at the appeal court and Supreme Court.”
“The invasion yesterday was done by the court bailiff who was only trying to enforce the judgement of the Supreme Court.”
How it started
In an originating summons obtained by this medium, the landowners had earlier asked for an order of the Supreme court for the recovery of the disputed 549 plots of land.
The apex court had in its ruling, affirmed the judgements of the Lagos State High Court and the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, which ordered the state government to immediately allocate 549 plots to the landlords under the Shangisha/Magodo Estate Scheme 2.
The Supreme Court held that the Lagos State High Court and the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal came to the right conclusion in 1994 and 2001 respectively when they ordered the state government to re-allocate the same 549 plots to the landlords or allocate plots of their choices to them elsewhere.
The five-man panel in a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Olufunlola Oyelola Adekeye, held that it could not disturb the concurrent findings of the High Court and Court of Appeal as they were premised on sound legal footings.