Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A 51 year-old man, Alhaji Abdulfatai Abereoje and his younger brother, Jamiu Abereoje, 45, were today, arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court, Igbosere, Lagos on charges bordering on conspiracy, felony, forgery, unlawful invasion and conduct likely to cause breach of public peace.
The two brothers and others said to be at large, according men of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investgation Department (FCIID) Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, allegedly conspired among themselves and forged a registered survey documents of Oko-Ado Community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State, in a bid to forcefully and unlawfully take over large expanse of land belonging to the Iwajoba Chieftaincy Family.
The two brothers and others now at large, were also alleged to have stationed some hoodlums who were armed with dangerous weapons on the said land and prevented the rightful owners Hassan Ogwu and Smart Clement, from taking possession of the lands.
The Prosecutor, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, told the court that the actions of the two brothers are contrary to sections 411, 52 and 168( (1)(d) and punishable under section 168(2) of the criminal laws of Lagos State, 2015. And sections 2(3), 4(1)(b), 4 (a)(b)(1) of the Properties Protection Laws of Lagos State, 2016.
Arraigning the two brothers before the court today, the prosecutor, Barrister Animashaun said his department, General Investigation of the Force CIID, received a petition of alleged forgery of land surveys and unlawful invasion of their community by the two defendants and armed thugs from the family head of Iwajoba Chieftaincy Family, sometimes in 2017.
He also told the court that upon investigating the petition, the two brothers were invited for interrogation and found culpable of the allegations contained in the petition and were charged to court on the allegations.
However, the two brothers have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Upon their not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand them in prison custody till the conclusion of the matter.
But lawyer to the defendants, Owoeye Oluwatobi, while urging the court to admit his Clients to bail in the most liberal terms, said the allegations against them are bailable ones.
In his ruling, Magistrate A. Y. Aro-Lambo, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N5 million with two sureties each.
Aro-Lambo also ordered that one of the sureties must be a landed property owner within the court’s jurisdiction.
And that the two sureties must have paid three years tax to the Lagos State government and have their addresses verified by the prosecutor.
The matter has been adjourned till November 16, for mention.