On Tuesday, the Lagos State Judicial panel summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu over alleged land theft by operatives of the force.
Adewale Adewuyi, a man who appeared before the panel on a stretcher, claimed in a petition that the police had seized his 26 acres of farmland for the past 8 years.
He said the farmland located at Age-Mowo, near Badagry, was seized from him December 17, 2013
The petitioner’s lawyer, Debo Adeleke, who spoke on his client’s behalf, asked the panel to summon the IGP to compel the police to release the property to his client.
Adeleke added that the alleged destruction of the farmland had led to deterioration of his client’s health, whom he said could hardly fend for himself.
The lawyer narrated that despite a ruling from a federal court in 2017, ordering the police to release the farmland, the police have remained adamant about the order.
He recalled that the court had also ordered the police to negotiate with his client on the amount to pay for damages and physical assault, but that the police allegedly chose alternative dispute resolution.
He asked the panel to use its credibility to summon the IGP, the commissioner of police in charge of the legal department, force headquarters, assistant inspector-general of police, co-operative police college, Ikeja, and others mentioned in the petition to compel them to release the farmland.
“That order is needed, although I’m not supposed to say this but this is a fact-finding panel, we need to summon the IGP, so that he can tell the commissioner of police to release this land to us. They are not using the law, it is just there.
“Everybody fears the Lagos state judicial panel on restitution. We will be grateful if my lord will issue the order,” he appealed.
The police counsel, Cyril Ejiofor, however, asked that the panel to give the force two weeks to resolve the issues with the legal department.
But in her verdict, the chairperson of the panel, Doris Okuwobi, ordered that parties mentioned in the petition to be served summons. The case was adjourned till March 30.