Oba of Lagos apportions blame over Ibeju-Lekki land conflicts

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu has cast the blame for the deadly conflicts over land in Ibeju-Lekki communities on the Lagos State Government and traditional rulers of the area.

Oba Akiolu revealed this at a coroner’s inquest at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja where he spoke on Saturday, December 26.

The inquest was set up to find out the root of the crises in Ibeju-Lekki community that has let to several people dying.

One of the more recent deaths was of Tajudeen Disu, chairman of the Lekki Free Zone- which oversees development in the disputed land area.

In his testimony, the Oba blamed state government officials, saying that the greed in their hearts fueled the crises.

He further said that some government officials were far from sincere and their insatiable desires led to actions that were against good conscience and the interests of the residents of the community.

He also indicted the traditional rulers in Ibeju-Lekki, stating that they are only concerned about selfish interests while accusing them of engaging in deals over land instead of planning for the development of the community.

Oba Akiolu’s testimony suggested that some staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Lands and Survey were complicit in issuing of certificates of land ownership.

He however praised the residents of the community, adding that they resisted the taking of their land by state officials who do nothing to help displaced residents.

Even so, Oba Akiolu criticized the inhabitants for using the wrong methods in their fight, noting that they lacked exposure and were therefore easy to manipulate.

While giving his testimony to the coroner, Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, Oba Akiolu said: “The land belongs to the dead, the living and the unborn” while he challenged any local ruler to oppose his stand on the issue.

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