By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
Two men, Jimoh Salami, popularly called Popular, 60, and a 50 old Shafiu Lawal, were today arraigned before an Igbosere Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, for charges bordering on conspiracy land grabbing, threat to life and conduct likely to breach public peace
The two men and others at large, according to the police from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (ForceCIID) Alagbon-Ikoyi, Lagos, had between February and May 2018, invaded Okunlofi Village, via Ise, in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government area of Lagos State and forcefully took over large expanse of land belonging to Mrs. Idowu Okuniyi and others.
The police also alleged that the defendants after forceful take over the og the land from the actual owners, allegedly threatened to kill her and others if they they enter the said land.
Arraigning the defendants before the court today, the prosecutor, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, informed the court that his department received a petition from the affected family and upon investigating the petition, the two defendants were invited for interrogation.
He also told the court that upon conclusion of the investigation, they were found culpable of the allegations of conspiracy, land grabbing, threat to life and conduct likely to breach public peace.
The offences according to the police lawyer, Morufu Animashaun are contrary to sections 411, 56(a) and 168(1)(d) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015 and 2(2) (3) of the Private (Property) Protection Laws of Lagos State, 2016.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, their lawyer, Clinton Okorie, urged the court to admit them to bail in the most liberal terms.
Though, the prosecutor, Animashaun, stated that granting bail is at court’s discretion, he however, stated that the court should admit defendants with conditions that will ensure their presence in court.
Ruling on the bail application, Magistrate Azeez Alogba, admitted the two defendants to bail in the sum of N200, 000,00 with two sureties in like sum.
He also ordered that one of the sureties must be a family to the defendants with evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State government and means of livelihood.
Alogba further directed the prosecutor to verify all the conditions, while adjourned the matter till June 14, for mention.
Charges against the defendants read: “that you Jimoh Salami A.K.A. Popular, Shafiu Lawal and others at large sometimes in February and May, 2018, at Okuniyi Family Land situate, lying and being at Okunlofi Village via lse, Ibeiu-Lekki Local Government Area, Epe, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District, conspired among yourselves to commit felony to wit: forceful land takeover land and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015.
Another count reads: ” that you Jimoh Salami, A.K.A. Popular, Shafiu Lawal and others at large sometimes in the month of May. 20l8 at Okuniyi Family Land situated, lying and being at Okunlofi Village via lse, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area, Epe. Lagos In the Lagos Magisterial District, without lawful authority used tome to take over the land which was In actual and peaceable possession of Madam ldowu Okuniyi and other members of her family by placing a sign post therein and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2 (2) and punishable under Sub Section 3 of the Private (Property) Protection Law of Lagos State 2016.
Another count reads; “that you Jimoh Salami A.KA. Popular, Shafiu Lawal and others at large sometimes in March, 2018 at Okuniyi Family Land situate, lying and being of Okunlofl Village via Isa, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area, Epe, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District sent a word of mouth to Madam ldowu Okuniyi and others members of her family that you would kill her and her family members whoever seeing on the land and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 56 (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The last count reads: ” that you Jimoh Salami A.K.A. Popular, Shafiu Lawal and others now at large of sometimes In February and May 2018 at Okuniyi Family Land situate, lying and being at Okunlofi Village via Isa, Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area, Epe, Lagos in the Lagos Magisterial District conducted yourselves In a manner likely to cause breach of peace and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 168 (d) of the criminal laws of Lagos state of Nigeria, 2015″.