Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor, has described the presence of police officers at Magodo Estate Phase 2 as “illegal”.
Briefing pressmen at the estate on Tuesday, the governor said he wondered why the police remained in the estate when their duty was to maintain peace in the country.
“As the chief security official of the state, I don’t know what other interests the police have beyond keeping peace of the country. This is not an expectation that I will expect them to keep peace because they don’t have any business here,” he said.
Addressing the leader of the police officers who had been marking houses for demolition in the estate, the governor said he had written to the Attorney-General of the Federation and he claimed he knew nothing about the continued presence of police officers at the estate.
“The case is between the state government [and the Shangisha Landlord Association] and I am the governor standing in front of you,” he said.
He also said he would make a phone call to the IGP who would give an order for the police to leave the estate. He also charged the leader of the police officers to know the number of his men to prevent breakdown of order.
“Why I am asking you to know your men is that I want to be sure that every man you brought to this estate, you can account for them before there will be a complete breakdown of law and order, and you will be held responsible for it,” he said.
“Gentlemen, give me five minutes. I will make those two phone calls.”
Meanwhile, Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, ordered the police in the estate to release everyone they had arrested since they began to mark houses for demolition.
Police officers from the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Respond Squad arrived the estate two weeks ago with bulldozers to enforce a Supreme Court order giving ownership of over 500 plots of land in the estate to the Shangisha Landlord Association. Residents of the estate, who feared demolition of their houses, resisted the officers, but they have refused to leave the premises since then.
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