Magodo Estate: Malami confirms he is involved, instructs Sanwo-Olu

Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has condemned the attack on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government and the Police over Magodo Estate in Lagos.

 

On Tuesday, a Chief Superintendent of Police told Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu that he and others officers could not vacate the Estate.

 

“Call your superiors in Abuja and tell them that the governor is here, as the Chief Security Officer. You don’t have any business being in my state and I want you to disengage right now”, Sanwo-Olu said.

 

But the police team leader explained that they were there at the instruction of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, through the AGF.

 

“I am too small or too low to call them. Your Excellency sir, you can call them sir”, the CSP politely responded.

 

Reacting on Wednesday, Southwest Governors lambasted federal authorities and Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

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In a strong rejoinder Wednesday night, the AGF reminded them that his office “belongs to the Executive arm of the Government, while the Supreme Court belongs to the Judiciary”.

 

He said the role of the executive is to maintain law and order in due compliance with rule of law arising from giving effect to the judgment of the apex court of the land.

 

Malami decried their “unjustifiable insinuation of impunity” over execution of a judgment of the Supreme Court.

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“The issue is regarding a Supreme Court Judgement that was delivered in 2012 long before the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in office at a time when Malami was not a Minister.

 

“The judgment was a reaffirmation of the judgments of Court of Appeal and High Court delivered on 31st December, 1993,” he said.

 

Nothing that the governors’ position was a surprise, the AGF called it “a vituperation of ulterior motives of some political class” who derived pleasure in dragging him “to achieve some sinister objectives”.

 

Malami said Sanwo-Olu openly revealed that he spoke “extensively with the Inspector-General of Police and the Honourable Attorney-General, and we’ve resolved all the issues”.

 

The AGF urged the South-West Governors “to unravel the circumstances preventing the Lagos State Government from enforcing the court order despite several attempts from 2012- 2015 and so-called settlement initiative started in 2016”.

 

He maintained that some of the cardinal pillars of democratic Government are the doctrine of separation of powers and obedience to the rule of law inclusive of Court Orders.

 

“It is a common knowledge that execution of the judgment and orders of Courts of competent jurisdiction, and the Court of last resort in the circumstances remains a cardinal component of the rule of law.

 

“The office of the Attorney General wonders how maintenance of the law and orders in the course of execution of the judgment of the supreme can be adjudged by imagination of the governors to be unruly,” he declared.

 

The statement by Malami added that the sanctity of the rule of law was not a matter of choice.



But What Did South West Governors say?

The Southwest Governors said that police officer’s disrespect to Sanwo-Olu is an unacceptable intrusion.

 

In a statement signed by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu SAN, Chairman South West Governors Forum, the governors advised Sanwo-Olu to “deploy the Regional security outfit in the State to protect the lives and property of the people.”

 

The statement reads;

“We are in possession of a video which has gone viral on the social media concerning the disgraceful exchange between a police officer, a CSP, and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, the supposed Chief Security Officer of the State, at the Magodo Residential Estate.

 

“The content of the video is very disconcerting, and this is being charitable. The utter disrespect, which underlines the response of the officer to the Governor establishes, beyond doubt, the impracticability of the current system, dubiously christened “Federalism”. An arrangement, which compels the Governor of a State to seek clarifications on security issues in his jurisdiction from totally extraneous bodies or persons, is a sure recipe for anarchy.

 

“We condemn, very strongly, this brazen assault on decency. We call on the IG to explain the justification for this intrusion. This is not acceptable. Any expectations of rapprochement between so called federating units and federal security agencies are becoming forlorn, progressively, due to deliberate acts which mock our very avowal to ethics and professionalism.

 

“We condemn, in very clear terms, the role of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami SAN in this act of gross moral turpitude.

 

“We, on our part, will continue to interrogate the current system, which treats elected representatives of the people as mere prefects, while appointed office holders ride rough shod over them as Lords of the Manor. If the purported Chief Security Officers of the States of the Federation require clearance from the office of the IG on matters within their areas of jurisdictions, only hypocrites will wonder why the current security crisis deepens and there appears to be no solution in the foreseeable future.

 

“We stand by our brother, the Governor of Lagos State. We advise him to deploy the Regional security outfit in the State to protect the lives and property of the people.

 

“We call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to rein in the excesses of certain elements bent on acting in a manner capable of eroding the bond of trust existing between the people and the Federal Government. It is preposterous for political appointees to seek to undermine the very structure of service upon which their appointments rest.”

 

Meanwhile, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has set up a committee to identify plots of land in the state in order to resolve the crisis over landed property in the Magodo Phase 2 Estate.



Addressing journalists after meeting with representatives of the Shangisha Landlord Association, Magodo Residents Association, Nigeria Police Force, and other stakeholders, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, the governor said his administration would ensure justice and fairness in the matter.

 

He said, “We have been having meetings with stakeholders and representatives of Magodo Phase 2 and they listened attentively, stating that the issue had been the well laid out 549 plots of land to the Shangisha Landlord Association.

 

“It has been well resolved that the committee already set up should identify available plots and additional plots at mutually agreeable areas.

 

“We will ensure that the injustice complained about by the Shangisha Association of Landlords is addressed and there will be a de-escalation of the crisis on the estate.

 

“We want to assure residents and landlord associations that in no distant future, we will all work in our various capacities to ensure that fairness, equity and justice are shown and we will see to it that all the stakeholders with me are happy and the residents are also happy with the government.”

 

The Chairman, MRA, Bajo Osinubi, said Sanwo-Olu agreed to give the judgment creditors plots in the low land area of Magodo, adding that the governor said the development would make the policemen to disengage from the estate.

 

Osinubi said, “We told him about the continuous presence of policemen on the estate and the governor said he expects the police to tell their superiors that there is no fight and that they should disengage.

 

“The Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, was there and he should be able to brief the Inspector-General of Police. They should not expect them to start giving them the land today, but the governor said they will start work tomorrow.”

 

The Chairman, SLA, Adebayo Adeyiga, said he had submitted his demands to the governor.

 

“It is only when these demands are met that this is settled. This is the beginning of the engagement towards solving this problem, but it depends on how they handle it. But I will be willing to engage all the way,” he added.



The landlords and residents on Magodo Phase 2 Estate protested against the continuous presence of policemen on the estate on Tuesday.

Magodo Estate: Malami confirms he is involved, instructs Sanwo-Olu
Magodo Estate: Malami confirms he is involved, instructs Sanwo-Olu

The policemen had accompanied members of a family to claim possession of the land on the estate.

 

The group had marked buildings and were about to invade the estate with a bulldozer when the estate management ordered a closure of the gates.

It took the intervention of Sanwo-Olu before the gates were reopened as the IGP, Usman Baba, reportedly promised to withdraw the policemen.

 

The refusal of the policemen to leave the estate led to another protest, as the estate management expressed its grievances against the continued presence of the policemen.

 

Calm returned again when Sanwo-Olu said a meeting had been scheduled with the judgement creditors and other stakeholders.

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