This was contained in a public letter directed to the governor and published on page 10 of The PUNCH of Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
In the letter entitled, ‘Open Letter to Mr Governor’ and signed by ‘Concerned Residents of Oniru Private Estate’, the residents said before the coronation of Oba Lawal last month, there had been no issues in the relatively “peaceful and harmonious” estate and “no one has challenged our titles to their properties until now”.
Addressing the governor, the resident stated, “Sir, the Oniru Chieftaincy Family is the beneficiary of the Certificate of Occupancy No. 83/83/1991AW dated 30th December 1991 and it was from the Family that we all derived our title. We reiterate that there had been no issues regarding the title to our various properties, until the surprising emergence of the present Oba of Iruland (Oba Abdul Wasiu Omogbolahan Lawal).
“It is unlawful, uncustomary and illegal for the new Oba to be challenging the acts of his predecessors from which we derive our proprietary rights. His predecessors acted pursuant to the authority of the Family as a whole. More so, sealing up of properties within Lagos State is an executive action that can only be done by your office or its agents/personnel pursuant to existing laws and/or a court order. The Oba is neither an agent of your office acting pursuant to existing law which permits him to seal up any premises nor is he acting pursuant to any court order. The Oba’s actions are illegal.
“This Oba has been forcefully invading, hijacking and grabbing developed and undeveloped lands within the Estate, with the use of thugs and miscreants (bearing charms, machetes, guns and other dangerous weapons)…Legitimate owners are now being harrassed, intimidated and beaten up. In the spirit of running a parallel government, the new Oba is also abducting persons found on construction sites and illegally detaining them at the palace.
“This ugly development has brought about a sense of insecurity in our once safe and peaceful community. We are now worried about the safety of our lives, properties, and investments as we now find ourselves in a situation where the new Oba has assumed executive, judicial and legislative functions.”
The residents added that going by Section 36 of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Laws of 1981, the allegations were enough to depose Lawal.
When contacted, a representative of the new Oba who did not want to be mentioned made clear on Wednesday that Lawal’s lawyers were handling the matter.
Efforts to reach one of Lawal’s lawyer, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, however, proved abortive.
There had been disputes between Lawal and the family of his predecessor over some properties said to worth billions of naira.Gbolahan lawal has no right to seal properties, residents petition Sanwo-Olu.