Residents of Aboru area of Iyana-Ipaja in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State have decried the demolition of their houses at Valley View Estate on the instructions of one Mr Yinka Campbell and his wife, Mojisola Mabel, who is said to be a lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Lagos.
The residents said that they were rendered homeless after four Air Force personnel attached to OP MESA allegedly led about 17 hoodlums to the estate on April 29 to destroy their houses.
The Air Force men, led by Staff Sergeant T. A. Oyewo and the hoodlums on the instructions of Mr and Mrs Campbell, forced their way into the estate around 10:30am, destroyed some buildings and took advantage of the situation to loot property worth millions of naira.
While these were going on, the owners of some of the affected buildings informed the Oke-Odo Police Division and policemen deployed to the scene arrested the Air Force personnel and nine of the hoodlums.
The narrative, however, changed when the suspects were taken to the police station from where they were transferred to the Area ‘P’ Command but the Commander, Gbenga Adepoju, reportedly released them.
According to the aggrieved landlords, they were stripped of property worth millions of naira which they laboured for years to obtain.
They said the situation was worsened because the demolition was done during the lockdown imposed by the government to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
In a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, the landlords urged the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2 Command, Lagos, to punish the perpetrators, their sponsors, especially the soldiers, who were arrested and handed over to the Lagos State Police Command but were released without punishment.
The petition reads, “On Wednesday, 29th of April at about 10:30 am during the COVID-19 lockdown, hoodlums in the company of Air Force men attached to OP Mesa stormed Valley View Estate at Aboru in Lagos, numbering 19 went on rampage demolishing completed and uncompleted houses on the orders of one Mr Olayinka Godwin Campbell and his wife, Mrs Mojisola Mabel Campbell.
“Mojisola Campbell is a lecturer at the University of Lagos in the Department of Biochemistry. The OP Mesa were led by one Staff Sgt TA Oyewo aka DPO.
“Staff Sgt Oyewo threatened to shoot and kill the landlords of the affected buildings. The landlords, whose buildings were affected, called the police control room and men of the Oke-Odo Police Division were mobilised to the scene.
“They succeeded in arresting the five OP Mesa operatives and nine hoodlums, including the OP Mesa Hilux van and a white Volkswagen bus with registration number AGL 140 DJ which was used to convey the hoodlums.
“The Volkswagen bus belongs to Staff Sgt Oyewo. In addition to properties destroyed, the hoodlums and soldiers also carted away building materials worth over N9m in the house of Mr Adekunle Williams.
“The suspects, including the Air Force men, were taken to Area P command at Ipaja but unfortunately the Area Commander, Mr Gbenga Adepoju, released the soldiers purportedly on the orders of the Lagos Police Commissioner. He further stated he had no interest in the case and asked Mrs Salimot, the DPO of Oke-Odo division, to move the suspects to her station to take their statement.
“Subsequently, on Thursday, 30th April, the hoodlums were all moved to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department at Panti by the DPO of Oke-Odo division. The case was assigned to one Mr Lateef Sanusi as investigating police officer. Mr Sanusi informed the complainants that the hoodlums confessed that they were sent to do the illegal job by Mrs Mojisola Mabel Campbell who is a lecturer at the University of Lagos, teaching Biochemistry. However, Mr Sanusi released all the suspects without concluding the investigation and neither did he visit the scene of the crime.
“They were not charged to court and he also failed to arrest the principal suspects who are Mr Yinka Godwin Campbell and Mrs Mojisola Campbell as confessed by the hoodlums. The complainants were neither briefed by Mr Lateef Sanusi and when asked if he had arrested Mrs Campbell, Mr Sanusi said he doesn't know her address.
“The complainants are demanding from Mr Yinka Campbell and his wife Mojisola Campbell a copy of demolition order secured from a competent court giving them authority to demolish their properties and a copy of any papers and court judgment giving them ownership of the property and land area in dispute.
“The landowners are also slamming charges of malicious damage, a threat to life, armed robbery, stealing of property, inflicting emotional trauma, harassment and causing a breach of public peace and order against all perpetrators of the illegal demolition of their buildings. More than 10 buildings were demolished by the hoodlums and Air Force operatives.
“The lands were sold to the complainants by representatives of Ilari Opa Olugoke family of Aboruland and they have three Supreme Court judgments giving them ownership of the land area.
“You should also know that Mr Yinka Campbell is standing trial in the court of law at Igbosere Magistrate court for same malicious damage to properties.”