Police officers engaging in extra-judicial activities have killed one person, leaving many others injured and hospitalised in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
Residents of Igbogun community, Ibeju-Lekki, accused the police of working with some land grabbers to take over their lands for personal gains.
Speaking with SaharaReporters after the attack by the police, residents of the community stated that ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi, Area Commander of Area J Police Station, ordered his men along with some thugs to invade the community to launch a vicious attack on residents.
One resident, who simply introduced himself as Mr Saheed, narrated his ordeal, saying strange persons began showing interest in lands in Ibeju-Lekki following the establishment and commencement of work at Dangote Refinery and other state projects in the area.
He stated that the Ojumiri Osunaike and Bello Ayo families also showed up to lay claims to some lands in the community.
He said the community resisted them and instituted a legal process against them but rather than obey the court proceedings, they invaded their area.
He stated, “While the case is ongoing, they went to meet Area Commander of Area J Police Station, ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi, they induced him with money and land to overrun our community and grab the land for them.
“ACP Olugbemi has been giving the families police officer to storm the community to brutalise residents.
“On Wednesday, the police came again with anti-robbery squad, OP MESA and about 10 civilian soldiers and thugs, they attacked the residents and shot sporadically at people."
Another resident revealed that the police shot one person and went away with his corpse in order to cover-up their illegal action.
“The most pathetic of it all is that they killed one Adams Monsuru and took his corpse away.
“They shot him in the neck and while people tried to rescue him, the police shot at the people again.
“Many wounded people are being treated at different hospitals; some are at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta; some are at Akodo Police Station Hospital,” he lamented.
In bid to seek justice against the impunity of ACP Olugbemi, the community residents said they had submitted a petition and also written to the Police Complaint Unit, Abuja, analyzing the role of the area commander in attacking the community.
In court documents sighted by SaharaReporters, the High Court of Lagos State, Epe Division, had granted an order of interim injunction restraining the police – ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi; Orire Rahman, Divisional Police Officer of Akodo Police Station and Femi Adeoye, O/C SARS, Ise Police Division – and 12 other respondents from making any move in acquiring the land.
“An order of interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the respondents, their agents, privies and servants from further inviting, arresting or detaining the applicants in respect of this matter as contained in the affidavit attached to this motion pending the determination of the substantive suit,” Justice G. A. Safari ruled.
The community has also petitioned the Lagos State Commissioner of Police reporting ACP Olugbemi’s actions by ordering officers under him to unleash mayhem in Igbogun community in Ibeju-lekki.
“Since the year 2019, ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi purportedly acting on fictitious petitions full of false information, is often engaged by notorious land grabbers to forcibly take over other people’s land, intimidate, harass, arrest and detain them.
“Unfortunately and to our greatest surprise, on the 22nd day of July 2020, the ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi again led his men to Igbogun community with the aid of some soldiers who came in a vehicle with an inscription Operation Messa" were led by the land grabbers who also were armed with cutlasses and dangerous weapons to attack the community.
“While the attack was going on against our client, our client reported to the Divisional Police Officer of Akodo Police Station, Ibeju Lekki. The said DPO told our client that the police were from the Area Command and that they have already registered with his office, so the attack continued unchecked.
“It is our humble submission that no one no matter how highly place is allowed to take the law into his own hand.
“The ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi is notorious for arresting our clients on the ground that he is investigating an allegation of gun-running, threat to life and so on.
“Our clients have never been confronted with any petition in all these illegal arrest and detention.
“A land dispute, pending before a High Court is a pure civil matter that does not warrant the intervention of the police force or other security agencies,” the petition by the community read partly.
They urged the police to call to order ACP Olugbemi and advise him to refrain from backing persons with ill motives by brutalising and assaulting residents of the state.
“We want the whole world to hear it. We are not in military era. Even in military era, there is decency in the way they do things.
“Police cannot come and be harassing people over their properties,” the community residents added.