Lawrence Ifeanyi, a Facebook user, has alleged that John Okechukwu Nwaimo, his landlord, burnt down his pharmacy in the Ogombo area of Lagos, following a series of unresolved problems between them.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Ifeanyi said a neighbour called his wife in tears at 1 am on Tuesday to alert her that the pharmacy was on fire. On getting to the scene, the couple met a crowd trying to put out the fire. All the while, said Ifeanyi, his landlord acted unbothered.
Ifeanyi said his landlord had accused him and his wife of poisoning the water tank in the compound in January. But he rebutted the claim.
“We called our lawyer to report the ugly incident, but he advised us to stay calm and watch for any further attack. I rushed to Ogombo Police Station to make entry. The police immediately mobilized a team to go with me, ” he said.
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Ifeanyi also said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogombo Police Station, who had signalled his boys to go to his house, disembarked from the operation, and called him to explain his earlier encounter with the same landlord.
“He told me how my landlord came to the police station two years ag to accuse someone of poisoning his water, tea cup, and other home appliances,” he said.
According to Ifeanyi, the DPO said he moved with his boys to the scene but found no trace of poison. Then they advised the man to visit the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) if he was not sure of their findings.
“The DPO said this man frustrated him and dragged him to Alausa for no reason. So he won’t be able to handle his case, and I should please report him to a higher police station, ” said Ifeanyi.
Subsequently, Ifeanyi, his wife, and their lawyer appeared before the Area E officers following a letter delivered to them in January. They realised their landlord was at work when they read the letter. Ifeanyi said the inspector in charge of the case had visited the house to question them and take the items the landlord claimed were poisoned.
“He kept forcing the police to eject us. The police said he should refund all the money we paid him in full, but this man said he didn’t have such money. He wanted the police to eject us and he kept pressing on this, ” he said.
“Meanwhile, because it’s in a good location, we rented the abandoned and dilapidated shop space for 1.5m and for 2 yrs (3m for 2 yrs), ten percent each for agent, agreement and caution fee. We renovated the whole building and fixed it to fit in for a pharmacy and aesthetics clinic with over 3m (every dime spent on repairs with receipt).”
Ifeanyi, his wife, and landlord were to meet at the Area A Police Station on Monday, but they did not go because his wife was ill. However, he said, the landlord went to the police station and accused the officers of taking sides with him and his wife.
“Our lawyer petitioned him and transferred the case to the state Criminal Investigation Department in Panti. The petition was signed on Monday, ” he said.
“And on Tuesday, February 1st, at about 1 am, my wife got a call from a neighbour, crying that our pharmacy was on fire. We rushed down to our pharmacy. The whole community was already outside trying to put out the fire, but to no avail.”
“We called the fire service over and over, and they finally appeared when everything had burnt down. This man was inside his house and locked himself up all night, his car parked inside his compound.”
“The Ogombo Police patrol team came to the scene, opened, entered his apartment, and banged on his doors several times, but he refused to open up.”
FIJ contacted CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, Lagos police spokesperson, but he requested a WhatsApp message. At press time, he had not responded to a message sent to him.
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