Police from Zone 2 Command of Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Lagos, on Thursday, arraigned four men before an Igbosere Chief Magistate Court, Lagos, on offences bordering on conspiracy, land grabbing, conduct likely to breach public peace and unlawful conversation of fund.
Those arraigned before Chief Magistrate Abimbola Komolafe led-court are: Babagbemiga Olaiya, 48, Ismaila Babatunde, 51, Babalola Nofiu, 50, and Abiodun Ariori.
Police in a charge marked C/18/2015, filed before the court by Barrister Daniel Apochi, alleged that the four defendants had between 2005 and 2017, conspired among themselves to forcibly and unlawfully took over a large expanse of land, at Akowonjo, area of Lagos state, belonging to one Alhaji A. R. Tijjani.
The police also alleged that the defendants and other still at large, at the same time and place, without lawful claim, and with the used force and self-help to take over and hold on to the possession of the said land in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace.
They were also alleged to have without lawful authority sold off some parts of the land and converted the sum of N100 million, being the proceeds from the land to their own use.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Barrister Apochi, are contrary to under sections 410, 52, 53, 2, 8(1)(c), and 278(1)(b); and punishable under Sections 2(3), 285 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.
All the Defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following their plea of not guilty, the presiding Magistrate, Mrs. Abimbola Komolafe, admitted each of them to bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in the like sum.
The Magistrate also ordered that each of the defendants’ surety who must resident of Lagos state, must also show to court evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State government, and have their addresses and means of livelihood verified by the prosecutor.
The Magistrate however ordered that all the defendants be remanded in Prison’s custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.
The matter has been adjourned till May 30, for trial.
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