Rocky Oil And Gas Services Ltd is seeking justice following its forceful eviction from its business premises at Plot 10 Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island Lagos by police officers on the orders of one Mrs Ngozi Areh.
In a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police and Chief Judge of Lagos State, the company said police officers stormed the premises on April 14 and sealed up the place after which some items were allegedly looted.
The letter reads partly, “Kindly use your good offices one way or the other to investigate the above-stated matter for the purpose of bringing to justice the perpetrators of the above-stated dastardly act.
“On the 14th day of April 2022, on the instruction of one Mrs Ngozi Areh, the alleged owner, policemen from zone 2, Lagos authorised by one A.S.P. Oluyode Segun, the Bar Beach Police Station led by the S.O and Mrs Ngozi Areh’s House Agent, one Segun Ashogbon, invaded the premises at 10 Adeola Odeku Road, Victoria Island Lagos, occupied by our client invaded and sealed up the place purportedly acting on a court order.
“The occupants of the said premises were driven out and the following items were forcefully removed and stolen from the property after the occupants were forcefully driven out by the armed policemen led by the S.O: 10 units of Panasonic 2Hp cassette type split Air Conditioners.
“2 units of 100KVA Mikano soundproof generators. 1 unit of Siemens transformer. 400 cartons of ceramic tiles and 2 units of fireproof file cabinets (4 shelves). 3 units of 3 HP standing Air Conditioners (LG). 1 unit of fire/ burglary proof vault containing many valuable documents.
“One bundle of 70mm 4 core armoured cable (500meters). 600 bags of Dangote cement.100 bags of white cement.”
The letter signed by Andrew Tsekiri for the Itsekiri and Associates firm noted that the invaders claimed they were acting on a purported court order whereas there is a pending action at the Lagos State High Court before Justice Abdulahi.
According to the letter, the invaders were there with “bailiffs” who claimed they were from the Lagos High Court donning blue garbs with the Lagos High Court inscription and wearing jackets belonging to the office of the Deputy Sheriff of the Lagos High Court.
“When they were further challenged to produce the court order from the court or the warrant from the office of the deputy sheriff authorizing them to carry out the execution, the armed policemen in their company became fierce and warned everybody at gunpoint to keep off, or they would be dealt with.
“At the end of the operation, our client’s items on the premises were looted, the locks were all changed and replaced and the abovestated properties were carted away purportedly to be taken to the office of the Deputy Sheriff of the Lagos High Court, with the occupants driven out of the premises into the streets.”
However, further enquiries from the office of the Deputy Sheriff, Lagos High Court showed that no warrant for possession was issued from the office of the deputy sheriff.
“That also, no bailiff of the court went to that particular address for the execution of any court order or judgement and that the said bailiffs were impostors and too that the above-stated properties stolen and other items looted were not brought to the court premises which is the usual practice
“The said information received from the office of the Deputy sheriff, confirmed initial fears that we have a case of armed robbery on the instructions of Mrs Ngozi Areh, the alleged owner of the premises and armed policemen from zone 2 and the bar beach police station led by the S.O.
“There is a pending action at the Lagos High Court before the Hon Justice Abdulahi relating to the said premises at 10 Adeola Odeku street involving breach of contract and occupation of the said premises in which the said Mrs Areh and her company Ronfaid are parties.
“Further investigations revealed that while the matter was still pending, the said Mrs Areh caused her property Agent’s company, Kaplan Properties Limited, to sue her company, Ronfaid over breach of contract at the magistrate court, for purported sale of the same property by the said Mrs Ngozi Areh, to her Agent’s company.
“The purported breach relates to vacant possession and then her company, Ronfaid entered an out-of-court settlement with the said Kaplan to surrender vacant possession of the said property and then got the magistrate court to endorse the settlement as judgement of the court, consequent upon which the magistrate issued an order for possession of the said property that is the sole subject matter of the suit before the Lagos High Court and which another company, our client, Rocky Oil Limited are in occupation.
“The said Mrs Areh did not disclose to the Magistrate that issues of breach of contract, possession and occupation of the said premises of which herself and her company, the said Ronfaid are parties and sued before the Lagos High Court, is pending before the Lagos High Court.
“The police officer who led the invasion refused to surrender the order when asked to do so and in fact claimed it was a Lagos High Court, Ikeja order.
“The deputy sheriff of the Lagos High Court has disowned the entire process and said only her office has powers to authorize such executions and with officers of the Lagos State Police Command authorised by the state police commissioner and not officers from zone 2 and that the bailiffs that accompanied them were fake.
“It is the reason the armed policemen and bailiffs refused to surrender any court order when they were challenged knowing that they were illegally authorized to throw out the occupants moreso with a fraudulently obtained magistrate court order over a matter pending at the high court resulting in the forceful occupation of the said premises, looting, vandalisation and theft of the above items by purported bailiffs of the Lagos High Court assisted by armed policemen led by the S.O of the bar beach police station, on the authorization of officers from the zone, led by the said A.S.P. Eluyode Segun
“Kindly use your good offices one way or the other to investigate the above-stated claims and bring to justice all the participants in this organised robbery, using the authority of the courts, the office of the deputy sheriff and fake bailiffs from the Lagos High Court and bring the perpetrators to justice and the stolen items recovered and returned to the said premises with those chased out and driven into the streets.”