Idumota Demolished Building: Alhaji Nollah Acted Correctly, Govt Already Marked Distressed Building, Family Speaks
…Says Alhaja Sidikatu Bello, Other usurpers from Abeokuta are real culprits, Lagos Police Biased.
By Bolaji Gbadamosi
The Late Pa Sadiku Bolarinwa Ogabi Eletu Odibo branch of the Kumeifo Oba Olaribigbe Family has thrown its weight behind Alhaji Olanrewaju Sikiru Nollah, a Lagos based property consultant and Managing Director of Sitak Dynamic Limited and cleared him of any wrongdoings over the demolition of a property at No.20 Church Street, Idumota, Lagos Island.
During a fact-finding visit, the family branch represented by the trio of Mrs Falilat Oluwayemisi Ameen, Alhaji Imam Abdur Rahman Mogaji and Mr Adeshina Balogun who spoke in defense of the property developer popularly known as Nollah insisted that he indeed has the full backing of the branch of the family who are bona fide owners of the property in question to demolish and rebuild.
The move was said to have become necessary to prevent needless loss of life and property and the risk of forfeiting the distressed property to government should it collapse totally.
The family representatives revealed that the Lagos state building control agency had marked the building for demolition and published same in its bulletins after it failed integrity tests.
Other independent tests were also said to have been carried out on the property which also confirmed the government agency’s position on the weak state of the property and the danger it portends to life and property, hence, the family’s decision for Nollah to demolish and rebuild.
The family noted that Nollah remains a forthright, courageous and well loved property consultant who has acted well in this case.
The family added that they personally witnessed the demolition during which no tenants was harassed, harmed or dispossessed of any property.
Our correspondent sighted copies of Lagos state document listing No.20 Church Street, Idumota, Lagos Island as one of the buildings in the state marked for demolition
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Secretary to the family, Mr Adeshina Oladuntoye Balogun aged 65, an insurance professional, revealed however that the real issue was with a section of the extended Kumeifo Oba Olaribigbe family who came in as in-laws from Abeokuta and are now usurping the real owners with fake claims and documents, and have cornered juicy property to themselves because they had lived in the compound for long.
Balogun said they have enticed a few others with stipends and are also attempting to use police to intimidate the real property owners.
Balogun revealed that there has been a protracted crisis caused by selfishness, lack of financial transparency, lack of fairness, and greed over the management of the numerous property in the ABIJOH COURT of the Kumeifo family.
He accused Alhaja Muinatu Aramide Disu and Mr Lateef Bello Bamgbaye as the two culprits causing problems in the family, collecting rents and leasing family property without any accountability and transparency to other members.
Balogun explained that by a family meeting resolution of 26th September, 1998, the property at No.20 Church Street, Idumota, Lagos Island, had been given to the Sadiku branch but was not released until 13th August, 2021 when the other three family branches by family resolution fully ceded and released the property to the Sadiku branch but later illegally and shockingly released same property to Hakeem Olawuyi, a property developer, without the knowledge and consent of the Sadiku branch who are the real owners.
He said the Sadiku branch has already begun legal moves to go to the court over the matter.
One of the family members, Alhaji Imam Abdur Rahman Mogaji, a respected community leader and Islamic cleric who presented several documents backing all their claims to OUR CORRESPONDENT during the visit emphasised that the demolished building was already distressed, and marked by Lagos state government for demolition.
Mogaji added that all tenants were given due notices to vacate, first for six months and an extra month grace during which no payment was collected from them, so, any allegations of sudden ejection amounts to pure lies and mischief meant to cause confusion and disaffection.
A copy of the letter written to tenants of the building dated February 18th, 2022 was sighted by our correspondent. The letter signed by Barrister Andrew Ojo Nweke was acknowledged on same date by multiple tenants.
It was titled RE: NOTICE TO REFRAIN AND OR DESIST FROM PAYMENT OF YOUR RENT TO ANYBODY OR BODY OF PERSONS PARADING THEMSELVES AS DEVELOPERS AND LANDLORDS OF NO 20A CHURCH STREET, ISALE EKO LAGOS ISLAND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Dapo Ola Investment Limited, Mr Hakeem Olawuyi, aka Dapo Ola Developer, had alleged that Alhaji Olanrewaju Sikiru Nollah demolished the said property estimated to have cost about N800 million unlawfully throwing tenants and Olawuyi into loss and confusion.
Police were said to have made arrests following the allegations.
The family however rubbished such claims and clarified that Olawuyi was indeed an imposter who was working for a branch of the family led by Alhaja Sidikatu Disu who are not original owners of the property.
Documents sighted by our correspondent showed that the entire family of Kumeifo Oba Olaribigbe owners of ABIJOH COURT, divided into four branches namely Bello Bamgbaye, Odedina, Giwa Oguntanmi and Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu on August 13, 2021 unanimously ceded absolute ownership of the said property at No. 20 Church Street, Idumota, Lagos Island, one of about fifteen others belonging to the Kumeifo Family, to Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu branch following several complaints of neglect, and lack of financial transparency and fairness.
Another document showed the said property was thereafter given to Olanrewaju Nollah in form of a building lease development agreement by the Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu branch which granted Nollah the full rights to demolish and develop.
INVESTIGATIONS uncovered that trouble however started when after the whole Kumeifo Family had ceded the full ownership rights of the said property to Late Pa Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu branch, some members from the other branches later went ahead and did another building lease development arrangements with Hakeem Olawuyi, thereby causing chaos and confusion among the groups.
Those fingered included Alhajas Sidikatu Bello Bamgbaye, Muinat Aramide Disu, Shakiratu Adams Giwa; Mr Lateef Tiamiyu Bello and their cohorts.
They were also accused by the Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu branch of unlawful stealing from the proceeds of the family estates.
Allegations of criminal conspiracy, forgery, altering power of attorney, possession of fraudulent documents, stealing, illegal sale and mortgage of family property and conduct likely to cause breach of peace and threat to lives were also raised in multiple petitions to government by the Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu family.
Speaking to our correspondent, Nollah corroborated the family’s views, noting that the state government has marked the building for demolition and he had the full backing of Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu family, the authentic owners of the said property to demolish and rebuild.
Nollah said his principals and lessors were Mrs Falilat Oluwayemisi Ameen, Alhaji Imam Abdur Rahman Mogaji and Mr Adeshina Balogun, descendants of pa Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu.
Nollah added that he also gave the statutory notices and considerations to the tenants as prescribed by the law.
He explained that as a law abiding citizen, he was however shocked at the conduct and the obvious bias of the police over the matter and will continue to use legal means to get justice over the matter.
He alleged that on 4th April, 2023, acting in concert with Alhaja Sidikatu Disu, the usurping family member, policemen from the Commissioner’s office arrested and detained his workers including a pregnant lady, Mrs Abisola Bajulu Uthman who sadly lost her pregnancy in detention.
He added that it was a thug, Samson Ajanaku who kicked Abisola violently and handed her over to policemen leading to the eventual loss of her baby.
He noted that on 5th April, Hakeem Olawuyi also invaded the property with thugs and hoodlums allegedly led by Ajanaku and Sheriff Badmus brandishing deadly weapon and threatening bloodshed.
Our correspondent sighted copies of petition letters received by the office of the Inspector General of Police in Abuja as well as the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Akiolu, dated April 11th and 5th respectively about Nollah’s ordeals.
The petition to the IGP Office also accused the Police of unconventionally detaining senior citizens and members of the Sadiku Bolarinwa Eletu family including Mrs Ameen Falilat Oluwayemisi aged 66, and Mr Adeshina Oladuntoye Balogun 65 over the protracted family property crisis.