From Cyriacus Nnaji, Lagos
Men suspected to be officials of the Lagos State Task Force have been fingered in the demolition and occupation of property belonging to the Lords Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries with headquarters at Ijesha in Lagos.
The task force which came with caterpillars, construction materials, cement mixing equipment, was aided by Mobile Policemen who were armed to the teeth to provide cover for the men of the task force and those working on the property in question.
According to an eyewitness, a Lord’sChosen Security personnel, Mr Onuorah, he disclosed that the men of the state task force arrived location of the property about 2 a.m. on Friday.
He said “My name is Onuorah, a Chosen security man. About 2a.m., I saw a truck that carried sand, so I tried to find out where they were going, they said they were from Transerve, so I asked them the particular site they were going and they said they don’t know the exact site, that they will call their manager. So after enough phone calls the driver decided to tip the sand by the side of the road and left.
“This early morning I saw another vehicle carrying iron rod, and with caterpillar, and another one carrying mixer, they lined up, this was about 6.30a.m. to 7a.m. in the morning, so I tried to find out where they were going, they said it was from the same Transerve.”
Onuorah spoke further. “I don’t have to disturb them because anybody can go his side and work, but to my greatest surprise I saw them trying to enter our own land, so I have to inform our security, so when they came there, immediately they saw police patrol, they took off and drove all the vehicles away to the Transerve office. After 3 or four hours, I saw Lagos State Task Force, with Black Maria, Hilux vans, and uncountable number of vehicles, they lined up, even the trucks were carrying okadas that I felt they seized from the riders, they were inside the trucks.
“I was thinking it was the normal clean up they usually do on the road not knowing that they came for the same Transerve. So they went straight to Transerve office, after some minutes I saw Transerve himself leading them. They now drove down to our land, both the caterpillar and all the equipment. So Transerve pointed at our gate, and those caterpillars were controlled by Mopol, Lagos State Task Force, they asked the caterpillars to push down the gate. They pulled down the gate, started covering the gutters, they destroyed the gate and entered inside the land, pulled down our fence, from front and back.
“Right now they are laying foundation inside our land, and those police men are there with them, till now they are working as I am talking to you,” Onuorah said.
He disclosed that he reported the break and entry by the task force to the church “When I reported to the church, they told me the matter is already in court; that they don’t have anything to do with them since the matter is still in court, that the court will know what to do about it,” Onuora narrated.
Speaking to the media, the Public Relations Officer of the Church, Pastor Chidi Louis said the matter is still in court, and wondered why the other group should take the law into the hands.
He stated that the land in question was duly acquired, the document of which he made available to the press.
Louis said “We bought this property a long time ago. Onitire sold this estate down to Okota, all these places, because he got Supreme Court judgement for it. Before the Supreme Court judgement we bought from somebody that bought from Ijesha. Before the Supreme Court judgement Ijesha was in charge. I hope you get my point, we bought from somebody that bought from Ijesha, so but when Onitire got the Supreme Court judgement, he called everybody to come and rectify their properties which we did and paid again almost the same amount at which we bought it earlier, even this place we are occupying now, we paid everything, we paid double.
“So this man (Cyprian Orakpo, owner of Transerve Technologies Limited) also claimed that he bought from somebody that bought from somebody, now when he came to us he said he bought the land, that other people sold this land, we said no, we bought this land from Onitire. We asked him, who sold the land to you? And he said he bought it from Ijesha. We said no, Ijesha has no power inside after the Supreme Court judgement. We advised him that what he should do is to go to Onitire, Onitire get the land by virtue of the judgement, but the man kept making trouble, because since its church let me know how the church would fight the battle.
“Since then the man started dragging that land, and we have the documents. When he saw we fenced the place he called the police, we took him to court, it is document that will determine who owns the land, it is not a question of gragra, it is not a question of you have money you want to fight the church.
So he went and called the police, the first police came we told them that we have gone to court, they left. Then from here to Zone 2, we told the police the same thing, from zone 2 to Abuja, we told Abuja people that the place is in court. Then Abuja people said okay, it is not something to discuss on phone that we should send somebody, actually they have seen the document of the court, but we should come to Abuja, we said Okay anytime they call us we would come and which they have invited us when this coming Monday, all of us should come to Abuja with all the documents, the church relaxed waiting to go there on Monday.
“All of a sudden all we heard is he came with task force; I don’t know when task force started grabbing land or joining people to grab land. So we want to know,” Pastor Louis disclosed
From the document issued by the High Court of Lagos which the church made available to the media, being an interlocutory and mandatory injunction read “The motion was filed by the claimant (Lords Chosen) dated 11th October, 2018 for interlocutory injunction restraining the second Defendant including Transerve from, taking possession, entering, erecting, trespassing or dealing with the land described as plot 16, 18, and 52 measuring 753,308, 1204. 625 and 1080.465 situate in Idi-Apa, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and shown on Survey plan No. LA/213/2012/096 dated 7th June, 2012, in any manner inconsistent with the status of the land as at the time of the institution of this suit and pending the determination of the suit.”
The question in the mind of the church is who is the task force working for?