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Family accuses businessman of land grabbing

Members of Igbaro Oteshade Royal Family of Oko Addo in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, have accused a businessman of fraudulently taking over their large expanse of land.

They said the land, about 30 hectares, situated at Oko Addo Village, was inherited from the first traditional ruler of Lagos State, King Addo.

The family has appealed to the Lagos State Government to save them from the said businessman, who they said have started erecting structures on the land. Land But responding to the allegation, the businessman, Mr Emeka Onugha, said the land in question is a government acquired land and that it was Lagos State Government that sold the land to him.

Onugha said that all the title documents on the land were issued to him by the Lagos State Government. Onugha said: “I am not ‘omoonile,’ I bought the land from the owners and went to Alausa to perfect the papers but government told me that the land is government land.” Told that the family claimed that he did not buy the land from them, he said: “The question is that the land belongs to the government. It is the government acquired land.

That the person who sold the land to me was not the right person and that he is not a member of their family, the question is that the land does not belong to the family, it is government acquired land and when I wanted to perfect my papers, the government told me that it is their land.

I have evidence to prove that. Ugwuanyi: Imminent coronation as the campaign ends in style “Now, the owner of the land which is government, sold the land to me and gave me all documents including Certificate of Occupancy, so where did I commit an offence? “Thank God, these people said I bought the land from omoonile.

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Whether it is the right omoonile or not, that’s not the issue. The issue is that I bought the land from ‘omoonile. I am an Igbo man, I can’t jump into people’s land.  I’m an investor who has been in real estate business for over 25 years. I have gazette which the government used in acquiring the land.” Onugha said the royal family lost in all the places they took him, adding: “That is why they resorted to the media.”

However, the family insisted that they were the owners of the land from time immemorial, saying it was inherited from the late King Addo but taken over by Onugha, who they said, claimed to have bought it from an unknown family in Ajah. The family’s secretary, Prince Malik Oteshade, who spoke to newsmen during a protest, said:

“The said parcel of land was fully excised in favour of the family in September, 2015 vide a publication from the Lands Bureau pursuant to our client’s application for excision in File No. KL10255. “Our family has been in quiet and unencumbered possession of the said parcel of land until lately when one Onugha who claimed he got title from a family of Ajah, began to forcefully trespass on the land.

“We petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Lands Bureau and the Office of the Surveyor- General, Lagos State wherein the family’s title to the land was affirmed. “

The report of the Investigation Activities from the Office of the Surveyor-General dated January 24, 2018 showed that Plans with nos. LS/D/LA1412A; LS/D/LA3849 and LS/D/LA3806 dated December 18, 2003,  January 19, 2016 and September 22, 2015 respectively in favour of Oteshade Family were approved from the Office of the Surveyor-General. The investigation activities further showed that the record copies of Plans Nos. DHC/2266/AO45/2016/LA. DHC/AO44/2016/LA and DHC/2266/A043/2016/LA all dated June 29, 2016 respectively, said to belong to Onugha were not lodged as required by law.

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“Furthermore, the report showed that the record copy of Plan No. TEO/2225/003P/2016/LA dated  February 22, 2016 also in favour of Onugha was also not lodged. Curiously, the area covered by the four survey plans aforementioned and said to belong to Onugha largely falls within the excised 20 hectares in favour of the Oteshade Family as shown in Plan Nos. LS/D/LA1412A; LS/D/LA3849 and LS/D/LA/3806 dated  December 18, 2003, January 29, 2016 and September 22, 2015.”

The secretary explained further, however, that Onugha has fraudulently and probably in conspiracy with some officials of the Lands Bureau procured two Certificates of Occupancy Nos. 39/39/2017AG and 29/29/2017AG with the same defective Plan Nos. TEO/2225/003P/2016/LA and DHC/2266/A043/2016/LA with threats now to demolish structures on the area covered by these fraudulent Certificates of Occupancy.

He added that the family will never negotiate their land title with anybody, while advising the businessman to stop parading the “defective and incompetent” certificates of occupancy.

Source: By Innocent Anaba

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