From Sylva Okereke Lagos
Managing Director, Zuma Rock Products Limited, Engr. Bob Ufomadu has expressed serious concern over incessant harassments, intimidation and persistent arrests by officials of Adron Homes & Property Limited, over spurious moves to force him to surrender his landed property to them. In a press statement issued by the engineering company, the firm noted with dismay, several attempts by officials of Adron Homes in conjunction with some security officers to kidnap its chief executive in a bid to forcefully take over his landed property located in Shimawa, Ogun state. Explaining the genesis of the crisis to the media, Ufomadu recalled that, in a letter dated August 20, 2020, Adron offered to relocate his farms from Ewuoje to Agerige village in Shimawa, Ogun state on the guise that his 12 acres of land is surrounded by the land already purchased by Adron.
The letter signed by the Head, Legal/Client Services department of Adron, Mr. Idris Akande read in part, ‘Our Company is thereto very much interested in acquiring the said land in order for same to properly aligned with our already acquired land bordering and surrounding your land. We are ready to replace your 12 acres of land with 15 acres at Agerige, Shimawa, Ogun state.”
Reacting, Zuma Rock in a reply to the letter, dated September 28, 2020, said “We are yet to understand the import of such proposal to relocate us to another community, when we have not indicated any need to do so”.“Kindly, be informed that we acquired our 12 acres of land over 10 years ago for our business purposes.
We have within the period under reference spent huge sums of money at local and international levels in consultancy services for the proposed projects. This much, we disclosed to your emissaries at our preliminary meeting”, the letter further stated.
Continuing, it stated, “We had already spent more than Three Hundred Million Naira (N300m) to develop the land over the years, excluding economic trees like plantain and banana as well as vegetables on the land.
“We acquired the12 acres of land from Osogayan Oromuti Oje family, 61 Isote Street, Makun Sagamu local government area of Ogun state in 2011 and we made the acquisition based on general layout produced by the family surveyor.
“We went ahead to process our own registered survey. We took possession of the land immediately and have continued to occupy the land and having peace since 2011 without any disturbance from anywhere.“Our property is completely fenced and gated with a building for our workers.
We have over the years, maintained access road to the land without confrontation from any quarters. The access road is equally used by other land owners in the area for years without hindrances from anybody”`.
He said Adron’s blocking of access road has made it so difficult to harvest their crops, thereby making the crops to rot away in the farm, urging them to open the public access for easy egress and ingress.
Ufomadu said since after their meeting in August 2020, Adron has been using all manners of threats to life and property, including ‘sms’ messages from known and unknown phone numbers, inviting us to meet the third party and so on.
According to his statement, “at exactly 8:15 am on the 16th day of March 2021, as I drove out of my house to go and drop my child in the school. Not knowing that some unknown people had laid ambush in front of my street, Otunba Runsewe Street, Journalists Estate, Phase 1, Arepo, Ogun State.
‘’As I drove out of my house gate, I noticed that there was an Adron Homes branded SUV with registration number KWL-31HC, which moved to block my path and before I knew what was happening, two hefty men jumped out of the vehicle and ordered me to wind-down my glass.“Instantly, a second vehicle blocked me from back and the only thing that came to my mind was that Adron Homes had sent hired assassins to kill me, as we had previously refused their offer”.
He said when he saw the developing situation on ground, he picked his phone to place a call to his wife, and he was prevented, as one of them immeiately jumped inside his car and forcefully snatched his phone and continued to pin him down his vehicle.
But reprieve came; when he shouted on top of his voice and his house-help heard it and informed his wife, even as the noise attracted his neighbourhood, who prevailed on the officials, not to whisk him away that early morning.
The Warewa Police station was called immediately and their intervention saved the situation, as it was discovered that the move to arrest him did not follow due process, as there was no warrant for his arrest.Investigation reveals that there was no authorization from any quarter to arrest him, even as the said petition was trumped-up by Adron along with other land owners.“If somebody writes a petition against someone, is it not the duty of the Police to invite the person, does it call for any arrest, unless the person refused to honour Police invitations. They did not even invite other land owners. Why only me? Because they are desperate over my land”, Ufomadu stated.
There was alleged complicity between the Police and Adron officials, as the IPO handling the case, Inspector Abu Sikiru deceived his legal adviser as well as his wife, directing them to go to Alagbon Police station, Lagos for the bail, instead of informing them that they were taking him to Abuja.He said, they drove straight to Muritala Mohammed International Airport and bundled him inside a Dana flight to Abuja, which took off by 9.30pm and landed at about 10:45pm”.
According to him, one of the listed suspects in the purported petition, Mr. Kayode Johnson showed-up at Warewa Police Station, but was not arrested. “This goes to demonstrate how far Adron Homes in conjunction with the Nigerian Police were ready to intimidate, harass and threaten my life”, he noted.
The IPO, according to him took him to Zuba Police Station, Abuja and dropped him in an overcrowded cell, instead of taking him to Force Headquarters, Abuja as promised. This according to him is to dehumanize and punish him, as directed by his pay masters.“
Just imagine a (4 x 4) meter cell accommodating over 30 people overnight, endangering my health, especially at this moment of Corona virus pandemic and other airborne diseases. The IPO was told of my health condition.
Nowhere to stand, nowhere to sit, I will not wish my worst enemy to spend 5 minutes in that cell. This has caused emotional trauma and the experience would remain indelible from my mind for the rest of my life”, he added.“
I was later granted bail and requested to come back to Abuja on March 24, 2021 with the original papers of my land, possibly to seize all my land documents and subsequently force me to surrender the property I laboured for to Adron”, he quizzed.
Beyond this, another land owner, Mr. Patrick Udeh has disclosed how Adron Homes encroached on his land, erecting walls and gates around his land and adjoining plots.
He said the estate firm is using its contacts and financial power to intimidate land owners and helpless land buyer.“
I am calling on people of the mass media to help me and make my voice heard before Adron Homes exterminates all of us in order to possess our land against our Will and without consideration for our rights to own properties”, he stated.