Notorious land-grabber to remain in prison

Land grabbers being arraigned by the Lagos State Government

A magistrate, Lateef Owolabi, of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Oshodi on Friday declared the sureties presented by a suspected land grabbing kingpin, Kamorudeen Lamina (popularly known as Sir K Oluwo), as unverifiable and thus unable to stand for his bail.

The State Government, through the Special Task Force on Land Grabbers set up by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration, had on June 16 arraigned Mr. Lamina and others before the court over alleged forceful dispossession of residents from their legitimate rights to land ownership.

In his ruling after their arraignment, Mr. Owolabi had granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N1 million and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties, he said, must be a land owner in Lagos, while the other must be a civil servant not below grade level 15. The sureties must have three years tax clearance and registration with Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA).

The magistrate had also ordered the defendants to deposit N150,000 each with the court, while they are to be remanded in Badagry Prison pending when they were able to meet their bail conditions.

But Mr. Lamina and the other defendants failed in their many attempts to meet the conditions of his bail, by presenting persons that the court has found to be unverifiable to stand as surety.

Mr. Lamina and his gang were said to have been terrorising the people of Ikorodu area of the state for some time before he was arrested on June 15.

Others arraigned alongside him included Omotola Ogunsanmi, Samson Shobule (A.K.A Samson Salau), Biliaminu Orega (A.K.A Biliaminu Salau), Jimoh Aromasodu, Wasiu Orenuga, and Nurudeen Kasali.

In counts one and two, Mr. Lamina, sometime in February 2017 in Mowo Kekere area of Ikorodu Local Government, allegedly took over one plot of land forcefully which was sold to one Ebere Okafor by Ifegbuwa family contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016.

The action was allegedly carried out by Mr. Lamina despite the fact that the sale of the land had been ratified with proof of payment.

In count three, Mr. Lamina was accused of forcefully taking over and remaining in possession of 200 plots of land in Mowo Kekere belonging to Planet Properties Ltd contrary to Section 2 (2) of the same law; while in count five, the defendants were said to have fraudulently sold 60 hectares of land which had been previously sold by the rightful owner contrary to Section 8 (1) (b) of the law.

The fraudulent sale, which was allegedly carried out in January 2017, was perfected by the defendants fraudulently claiming to be the descendants of Ifegbuwa family.

In count six, the defendants were accused of fraudulent selling 25 hectares of land to third parties without any lawful right to do so, an offence punishable under the law.

The magistrate adjourned the matter to July 13.

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