Thugs reportedly led by a man popularly known as Pastor have ejected tenants at a building on Nosamu Street in the Ajegunle area of Lagos over alleged failure of the landlords to pay an annual levy of N1,000 charged on the land.
The yearly levy is reportedly collected by Ojora Family which claimed to have leased the land on which the building was erected and accused the landlords of defaulting for over two 20 years.
But two of the landlords in charge of the house, Tunde Omoyinmi and Mrs Oriyomi Akinsemoyin, said their grandfather bought the land from the Ojora Family, lamenting that their property was forcefully taken over.
City Round learnt that the hoodlums invaded the building on July 29, 2021, and removed the roof in a desperate attempt to take possession of the land said to have been sold to a woman.
It was gathered that the invasion was reported to the police at the Ajeromi division and a team was deployed to the scene. Two of the thugs were reportedly arrested but released later in the day.
A tenant, who sells electronics at a shop in the building, Emmanuel Ohia, said Pastor approached him and other tenants sometime in June and gave them one month to vacate the building.
He said Pastor offered them N100,000 as compensation but he and two other tenants rejected the offer.
Ohia said, “I am an electrician and also sell electronics at the shop. Some people led by Pastor approached us and told us to vacate the house. They said the land had been sold and gave us one month’s notice to quit. I told them my landlord (Omoyinmi) did not tell me the house had been sold but they claimed he was aware.
“I called the landlord and he said he didn’t sell the house. After one week, they came with thugs to harass us. They offered us N100,000 to leave the house but I rejected it and told them I can’t get any shop for that amount. Some tenants who owed rents collected the money and moved out.
“They asked the rest of us that didn’t collect the money to stay away from the building. Since then, I have not opened the shop for fear of being attacked. We involved the police at the Ajeromi Police Station but did not get any positive result.”
Ohia, 45, lamented that continued closure of his shop had impacted negatively on the welfare of his family, adding that he had approached a magistrates’ court sitting in Apapa to get an injunction against his forceful eviction.
Another tenant, Tayo Ewegbemi, who sells drinks in the building, said she had been struggling to feed her family since her shop was shut.
She said, “That is my only means of livelihood. I learnt the Ojora family accused the landlords of not paying N1,000 annual due for several years.
“The landlord asked them to calculate the dues so he could pay but they declined. They sold the land to someone else and came to eject us. Some thugs came on July 29 and removed roofing sheets. Up till now, we can’t resume work. There are six shops in the building.”
One of the landlords, Omoyinmi, told City Round that he was shocked when he visited the house and discovered its roof had been removed.