Land Grabbing: Lagos Lawyer Petitions Gen Lagbaja Over Illegal Use Of Soldiers

By: Okosun Dennis

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, Nigerian Army, has been petitioned by a Lagos lawyer over illegal use of soldiers from army formations in a disputed land grabbing matter that doesn’t involve the Nigerian Army as a contending party.

In a petition dated 28th March, 2024 and signed by Barrister John Joseph Amodu Esq, on behalf of Barrister Giwa Amu of “Chacole and Darda Chambers,” the complainant is seeking diligent investigation and disciplinary action against the soldiers deployed illegally for the hatchet job.

According to the lawyer, the soldiers dressed in army uniform were said to have been drawn from the 174 Battalion, Odogunyan, Ikorodu, the Nigerian Army (Engineering Corp) Igbodu, Ogun State, the Nigerian Army School of Finance Administration, Epe and 81 Division Base Ordnance Depot, Epe, Lagos State.

However, it was learnt that at the time the soldiers stormed the disputed land located at Erebe Ijebu, off Ketu-Itokin Expressway, Epe and in Erebe Ijebu-Omu, Odogbolu, “the soldiers were dressed in uniform and carrying firearms” to guard the lands which are the subject matter of litigation in support of the disputing parties.

According to Giwa Amu, the soldiers, during the illegal deployment, resorted to brigandage while wielding guns, and threatened his clients and members of the community over the disputed land.

Revealing the identity of those behind the “alleged” illegally “procured or hired soldiers,” he disclosed that the numerous housing estates owners who bought the disputed land spearheaded and sponsored by one Segun Yesufu Awokoya (Onirete), brought the soldiers to the community.

The petitioners, numbering over a dozen, represent the head and principal members of the community.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, Nigerian Army, has been petitioned by a Lagos lawyer over illegal use of soldiers from army formations in a disputed land grabbing matter that doesn’t involve the Nigerian Army as a contending party.

In a petition dated 28th March, 2024 and signed by Barrister John Joseph Amodu Esq; on behalf of Barrister Giwa Amu of “Chacole and Darda Chambers,” is seeking for diligent investigation and disciplinary action against the soldiers deployed illegally for the hatchet job.

According to the lawyer, the soldiers dressed in army uniform were said to have been drawn from the 174 Battalion, Odogunyan, Ikorodu, the Nigerian Army (Engineering Corp) Igbodu, Ogun State, the Nigerian Army School of Finance Administration, Epe and 81 Division Base Ordnance Depot, Epe, Lagos State.

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However, it was learnt that at the time the soldiers stormed the disputed land located at Erebe Ijebu, off Ketu-Itokin Expressway, Epe and in Erebe Ijebu-Omu, Odogbolu, “the soldiers were dressed in uniform and carrying firearms” to guard the lands which are the subject matter of litigation in support of the disputing parties.

According Barr Giwa Amu in the petition on behalf of his clients, further explained that the soldiers, during the illegal deployment resorted to brigandage while welding guns and threatened his clients and members of the community over the disputed land that doesn’t concern the soldiers or the Nigerian Army having any part in it.

Revealing the identity of those behind the “alleged” illegally “procured or hired soldiers,” disclosed that the numerous Housing Estates who bought the disputed land spearheaded and sponsored by one Segun Yesufu Awokoya (Onirete), brought the soldiers to the community.

They are calling on the Army Chief, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, to restrain the soldiers from acts of illegality.

In addition, the petitioner disclosed that the “armed personnel” were said to have at various times “assaulted innocent citizens and extorted money from commercial drivers plying the said route” where the portion of disputed land is located.

Furthermore, the petitioners have resolved to lend helping hand to fish out the soldiers deployed for the illegal duty when called upon by the army authority.

“We are willing to assist the army authority to “identify, apprehend and take to your office for disciplinary actions, these officers and men engaged in these unlawful activities, whenever we are called upon,” they explained.

They also sympathized and commiserated with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja and the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria over the insensitive and bizarre murder of 17 officers and men of the Nigerian Army by Okuama Community youths in Delta State on the 14th March, 2024.

While praying that God should give them the fortitude to bear this huge loss, they added that those responsible for the dastardly act be brought to justice.

When contacted, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Major General Onyema Nwachukwu said the petition has been forwarded to the appropriate quarters and would revert but hasn’t done so as at filing this reports.

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