“How Two Ibo Men Dispossessed 85 Years Old Yoruba Man of His Land In Yorubaland With The Connivance of Some Yoruba People”
———– Yoruba Rights initiative
By Wilson Macaulay
A Yoruba indigenous rights group, under the aegis of the Yoruba Rights Initiative, has condemned what it alleged to be the dispossession of 1,355 hectares of land in Eti-Osa in Lagos State from an 85 year old man, Pa Faloye Awosika, by two individuals of Southeastern extraction, Samson Nnadi and Jerry Erondu, through their real estate development company, Carter-Tech Ltd.
Addressing newsmen over the weekend in Lagos, the group, through its Convener, Bamidele Adebanjo, and spokesperson, Eniola Fafunwa, alleged a case of gross injustice and naked oppression done to Yoruba people in Yorubaland by certain individuals from the Southeastern part of the country that had recently come to its attention.
The group said:
“This case involves an 85 years old Yoruba elder, Pa C. Faloye Awosika, who has been most heinously duped of his land of 1,355 Hectares in Eti-Osa, Lagos State, by one criminally inclined fellow, Samson Nnadi and his equally crooked business partner, Jerry Erondu, through their criminal organisation masquerading as a property development company, named Carter-Tech Ltd.
“The background to this matter is how building permit could have been issued on land belonging to Pa Faloye Awosika without any challenge to his documentation when the documents were submitted for planning permission, yet somehow those same documents *were later said to be defective after construction had completed on the land and it was time for Samson Nnadi and Jerry Erondu through their dubious company Carter-Tech Ltd to hand over the units belonging to pa Awosika.*
“In fact, the most astonishing aspect to the case is how the same Lagos State Government transferred the rights in the 1,355 hectares of land which the Awosikas bought from Ologolo Family in Ologolo Village in 1996, to none other than their development partners, Mr Jerry Erondu and Mr. Samson Nnadi in the name of Carter-tech Ltd! *We understand this dastardly act was possible through the dubious connivance of a said lawyer Olufon and some senior officials at Alausa who using a copy CoA claimed not to have known for over 2 decades that pa Awosika had encroached on his land*.
“Just imagine officials of a Yoruba state cheating a Yoruba elder and his family of their property and handing it over to the very two Ibo men who had initially approached them for development of their land on a partnership basis!
“We find it totally intolerable that two crooked businessmen can come all the way from the East to Lagos and have the effrontery to dupe an authentic Yoruba man of his property, even to the extent of reducing the octogenarian to tears at the insult meted to him by strangers young enough to be his children.
“The heartlessness and arrogance displayed by Samson Nnadi and his partner, Jerry Erondu, along with other dubious real estate developers from their section of the country, in their various nefarious activities in the real estate sector in Lagos, which has seen them duping several Yoruba people of their property and dubiously taking over their lands, will soon come to a head and create serious crisis in Lagos State if it is not immediately nipped in the board.
“To imagine that these two questionable characters had the boldness to drive Pa Awosika, a pensioner, for that matter, along with his wife and their children from their own land when they came to demand their entitlement under the terms earlier agreed on to develop the property.
“Just imagine people coming from the East to drive Yoruba people from their plot and forbidding them access to their own land in Yorubaland, for that matter!
“Who will tolerate that?
“Will their people tolerate it in their own place?
“Indeed it is a complete disgrace that Pa Awosika has had a pending petition on the desk of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, which the governor has completely failed to treat thus far because apparently the problem of Yoruba people in Lagos is not his priority.
“Why do we Yorubas keep doing this to our own people?
“Even members of the Elegushi Family of Eti-Osa connived with these two rascals from across the Niger to dispossess their own fellow Yoruba brother and cheated their senior brother, of his property!
“What a shame!
“Indeed, at a point, Pa Awosika was in court with the Elegushis only for Samson Nnadi and Jerry Erondu to come to him claiming that they had reached out to Oba Saheed Elegushi and he had demanded N100 million as his settlement to leave his Yoruba brother alone to peaceably enjoy his property!
“Thereupon, they managed to convince Pa Awosika that two houses be deducted from his share of the joint venture and awarded to the same Oba Elegushi as settlement!.
“As a proper Yoruba “Omoluabi”, he felt he must defer to a Yoruba monarch and forfeited the houses only for these same two common criminals to steal the entire property from him!
“To even worsen matters, the Awosikas had briefed one Barrister S. A. Oshodi of Ade-Oshodi and Co as their lawyer to represent them, protect their interest in the matter and ensure their just entitlement comes to them.
“Despite being paid fully for his services, both his spoken and body language gradually began to change while he began to seem more interested in protecting Nnadi and Erondu, the adversaries of his clients, rather than advancing the cause of the Awosikas, his fellow Yorubas, who had briefed him and even somehow managed to cough out a whooping sum of ten million naira, the bulk of which they had to borrow, in order to pay him!
“Even our elder statesman, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, was later briefed by the Awosikas to monitor the case for them when they lost confidence in S. A. Oshodi and began to suspect him of throwing them under the bus.
The Awosikas even also managed to borrow heavily to pay Chief Clarke for his services only for them to wake up one morning to realize that the same Barrister Oshodi they had asked him to monitor for them had somehow succeeded in merging his law firm with Chief Clarke and made the legal luminary his consultant to the extent of using Chief Robert Clarke’s name in his various correspondences!
“This is what Yoruba people are doing to Yoruba people in Lagos, Nigeria!
“Whereas the Awosikas are adamant to reclaim their land through the prescribed judicial process, we find it unconscionable what they have suffered at the hands of those who describe Lagos as a NO MAN’S LAND in connivance with supposedly authentic Yoruba people they had trusted to see justice done to them.
“The Awosikas even decided to brief yet another lawyer entirely to take up their case given the highly suspicious conduct of S. A. Oshodi, only for the same Oshodi to refuse handing over the documents in his possession to the new lawyer unless the 87 year old Pa Awosika coughs out an additional 47 million naira for all kinds of imaginary fees with nothing to show for his phantom services!
“In short, Barrister Oshodi is asking the Awosikas to pay him a grand total of 47 million naira for doing absolutely nothing for them, while, from all indications, having stabbed them in the back whilst sleeping with their enemies all along!
“If we may ask, what has happened to the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, For God’s sake, that we now have so many lawyers behaving like questionable characters these days?
“Pa Awosika rightfully bought the property in question from the Ologolo family, its original owners in 1996, a purchase thereafter ratified by a Deed of Assignment issued to him by the same Ologolo Family dated 4th December, 2003 and registered as No. 44 in Volume 2087 at the Lands Registry Office, Lagos.
“Yet it is the same Lagos State authorities, led by the Registrar Of Titles, that connived with two brazen and highly arrogant criminals from the South East claiming to be property developers and hiding under that canopy to dispossess Yoruba people of their land all over Lagos.
“Can any Yoruba man be so bold as to go to Iboland, pretend he wants to help an Ibo man to develop his property as a partnership only to then connive with their own government officials to dispossess the Ibo man of his hard-earned property and chase him and his family out of the land?
“Will any Yoruba man dare try that in Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia or Ebonyi?
“If not that Yorubas have sold themselves to outsiders, can Ibos ever dare to try such nonsense in Delta State or even Edo State or Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom or even Cross River?
“We can assure you that there would have been serious crisis by now but we the Yorubas are just too tolerant of rubbish for our own good which is why those from the East think they can just keep coming over here and taking our people for a ride.
“We say “No more!” Absolutely no more.
“We are not taking this lightly and insist that Pa Awosika and his family be given justice immediately, failing which we will take all necessary, ordinary or extraordinary measures to effect justice in the matter.
“Anyone can call it self-help, if they like but self-help cannot be the watery threat and cheap blackmail of only one section of the country.
“While we are law abiding and committed to the rule of law, we are quite prepared to fully demonstrate that self-help is not the monopoly of people from Samson Nnadi and Jerry Erondu’s part of this country.”
While the Awosikas, themselves, where not available for comments, and Samson Nnadi and Jerry Erondu refused to pick their calls, it remains to be seen how the matter will be resolved in the coming days given the stance of the Yoruba rights group, the insistence of the Awosikas not to be cheated out of their property, and the recalcitrance of Nnadi and Erondu not to relinquish their entitlement under the agreement, especially against the backdrop of recent ethnic tensions in Lagos