Four months after his commercial farm in Badagry, Lagos was allegedly demolished by policemen, Mr. Adewanle Adewuyi, an entrepreneur and Chairman/Managing Director of Adewanle Adewuyi Agricultural Farm, has sued the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State Government for N700 million.
The case was filed in the High Court of Lagos State. The defendants are the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Governor of Lagos State and the Attorney General of Lagos State, who are the first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively.
Adewuyi’s 30-year-old commercial farm was allegedly demolished by the Nigeria Police on Monday, December 16, 2013, at the Agricultural Zone, Age-Mowo village, Badagry, Lagos.
The cops reportedly invaded the community with six bulldozers and 250 fully armed policemen on the fateful day to reclaim their land from purported trespassers. But Adewuyi said his farm only shared boundary with the land belonging to the police.
Adewuyi, through his lawyer, Mr. Debo Adeleke, of the Maritime, Commercial and Immigration Law Chambers, Lagos, sought for a declaration that he was entitled to the statutory or customary right of occupancy of the 10.014 hectares of land allocated to him for agricultural purposes by the Agricultural Land Holdings Authority (ALHA) via a letter dated August 12, 1988 with reference number ALHA/AGRIC.2100/11, and as delineated in Survey Plan LS/D/BG 234 dated December 2, 1991.
He also sought for an order that would set aside the Certificate of Occupancy said to have been issued to the Inspector General of Police and Commissioner of Police Lagos State by the Lagos State Government, adding that the court should declare the first and second defendants’ act and conduct of invading and destruction of Adewuyi’s farm as an act of trespass.
The claimant’s claim against the defendants jointly or severally included N50 million against the first and second defendants for the purported trespass and N650 million as special damages for the destruction of the farmland.
Adewuyi stated that since the first and second defendants overran his farm, he had been ruined economically, found it difficult to maintain his family, unable to pay school fees of his four children in higher institutions, unable to pay the mortgage of his houses in Lagos and Ile-Ife in Osun State as well as interest on the loan he obtained from a commercial bank was still running.
Adewuyi stated that the Lagos State governor was also sued because he holds the land within Lagos in trust for the use and common benefit of Nigerians, while the Attorney General was joined in the case because he is the chief law officer of the state.