Policemen deployed to Magodo Phase 2 Estate in Lagos have continued to place residents under siege despite the intervention of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Chairman, Magodo Residents Association, Bajo Osinubi, while speaking with journalists on Wednesday, said, “The police are still in the estate. Magodo is a very peaceful estate with no riot, banditry, kidnapping. They can as well remove the police and take them to violent flashpoints and not Magodo.
“The governor has intervened in the case; he came in yesterday and has called for a meeting today, so what are the police still doing in Magodo. He is the Chief Security Officer in the state.”
Recall that on Tuesday, an unnamed Chief Superintendent of Police openly defied Sanwo-Olu's order to vacate the estate.
The police superintendent openly told the governor that he and his colleagues were at the estate on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Earlier that day, residents of the estate organised a protest over the alleged presence of armed policemen numbering more than 50 in the area.
It was gathered that the estate management ordered the closure of the two gates leading into the place in the early hours of Tuesday.
This, it was learnt, led to the disruption of vehicular movement.
People were allowed to exit the estate but were restricted from entering.
Several residents of the estate had carried placards with different inscriptions to register their displeasure, a report by PUNCH revealed.
They also queried the presence of the policemen, who were said to have been in the estate since last month.
Recall that Governor Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday led members of his cabinet to address the protesting residents.
Sanwo-Olu told the leader of the police delegation that the land matter was a case between private individuals and the state government.
Sanwo-Olu said, “Can you call your superiors in Abuja and tell them that the governor is here and as the Chief Security Officer, you don’t have any business being in my state right now and that I want you to disengage right now?”
But the unnamed CSP replied, “I am here on the instruction of the Inspector-General of Police through the AGF. I am too small or too low to call them. Your Excellency sir, you can call them sir.”
Asked the number of policemen at the estate, the leader of the police delegation told the governor, “My men are here; they are all over the place, I cannot precisely tell you how many we are. For security purposes, I cannot tell you the number.”
After many failed attempts, the governor miffed, turned to journalists and declared the presence of the policemen as illegal, adding that he would make some calls to the IGP and AGF.
The governor said, “They (policemen) are not from the Lagos State Police Command. They said they are from Abuja. I don’t know what other interests do they have beyond keeping the peace of the country. This is not an expectation that I expect from them because they don’t have any business here.”
In 2021, the 17 Southern governors during a meeting had resolved that security agencies must notify them as chief security officers of their states before carrying out any operation within their domain.
However, the Attorney-General of the Federation and IGP have failed to heed to this directive.