The residents of Odobo Estate, Ogba-Ikeja, owned by renowned businessman, Chief Nuel Ojei are in tears as they watch helplessly their valuable properties being destroyed by hoodlums who claimed to be working under the instruction of one Col. Anthony Ojei (Rtd.)
We were unformed by the residents that the said ex-military claimed to be the only son of the businessman and want to reclaimed the property of his ailing father. Narrating their ordeals, the ill-fated residents said the entire estate went through hell at the hands of the said Col Anthony Ojei.
Reacting to the incident, the estate spokesperson, Mr. Afee explained that most of the residents in the estate moved into the place early 2000 and the estate comprises of 40 flats. He further narrated that all the residents were living as one big family not until year 2007 when the agent in charge of Chief Nuel Ojei’s company informed the residents that Chief Ojei had instructed him that occupants of the estate should cease paying their rents. Afee squealed that they were not told why the entire residents should stop paying.
According to a source also, the decision was made because Chief Ojei was not in good health condition and perhaps his family has decided to change the ownership of the said property.
The source reiterated that in year 2012 some set of agent shew up claiming they are from Nuel Ojei’s office and that they have been authorized to be collecting all the rents in Odobo Estate which they complied. In 2015 another agent came on board and said no payment must be made because Chief Nuel Ojei has directed them since 2007 that no tenant must pay. He said the agent whose name is Femi did not give concrete reasons for the decision.
However, the estate spokesperson said in May 2015, about four trucks of Mobile Policemen from the Lagos Task Force in conjunction with some area boys stormed the estate with a team led by Col. Anthony Ojei (retd.) threatened residents with all kinds of arms that all the residents must vacate the property.
He said the CDA of the estate has tried in their capacity to alert appropriate authorities but were disappointed at the way the matter was handled by the Lagos State Police Commissioner despite their petition to the commissioner. He explained that the Local Government Authorities (LCDA) had been briefed on the development while the commission saddle with the affairs of land grabbers will soon be briefed as well.
Mr. Afee disclosed that in February this year he was arrested by the police in Area G under the directives of Zone 2: “I was arrested alongside my wife, we were chased with machetes by some hoodlums brought into the estate by Col. Ojei before we were taken to the police station. But the mother of all threats happened on Wednesday March 21st, 2018 at about 6:45am when over 200 area boys stormed the estate and destroyed houses, beat residents and carted away with valuables. One of the residents said N200,000 was taken from his bedroom, properties worth over 600 million were destroyed.”
Meanwhile, some of the residents have started packing out their belongings from the estate. One of residents who would not want her name to be mentioned said: “Those hoodlums are so terrible, they can even kill someone. So, the best thing we could do was to run for our dear life. Many houses were vandalized, so we are crying out to the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode as a matter of urgency to come to our aids. Maybe he should set up a panel of inquiries to know the main reason why these land grabbers should be threatening us on the properties we are occupying.”
The residents lamented that if the governor did not act fast, this man claiming to be the son of Chief Nuel Ojei may kill all of them in one night, because he comes to the estate with area boys and no one can predict his next actions.
They also petitioned the Inspector General of Police to caution the activities of some of the policemen being used mischievously because of what they will collect. The Odo Estate residents also urged the IGP to investigate the matter and should not spare anyone found guilty.