The Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CDHR) has urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to wade into the 2018 alleged illegal invasion of Ori-Oke Alala in Makoko area of Yaba for justice and mercies’ sake.
The National President of the group, Mr Alex Omotehinse, who made the appeal at a news conference on Friday at Right House, Ikeja, urged Sanwo-Olu to show mercies on the families of the victims.
According to him, being a father and lover of the masses, the victims are expecting to benefit from the “governor’s milk of kindness” having being unlawful treated by land grabbers.
Omotehinse recounted that on May 10, 2018, the Lagos State Task Force on Land Grabbing, allegedly mobilised policemen to invade the Act of the Apostles Church, Ori-Oke Alala, Temidire area of Yaba.
He said that the invasion resulted in deaths, injuries, displacement of residents.destruction of properties while the community was also burnt for yet to be identified reason.
According to him, two innocent residents, namely: Mr Kolawole Iwalokun and Mr Seyi Akintimehin were gruesomely murdered by a trigger happy police officer.
Omotehinse said that all petitions to the commissioner of police, Lagos State House of Assembly and other relevant agencies as well as peaceful processions including the one to the state CID have not yielded any positive results.
He said that the then Deputy Commissioner of Police, Panti, DCP Yetunde Longe, told the rights group that the state police command did not send policemen nor approved any team to the said operation, but only heard about it on radio.
The right activist recalled that Longe said that the Commissioner of Police had set up a panel of inquiry to investigate those involved and promised to bring perpetrators to book.
He said that another petition was on Oct. 4, 2018 written to the Inspector General of Police in an effort to get justice for the victims, saying that though some perpetrators were invited by FCIID, Alagbon, they were later released on bail.
Omotehinse said that the rights group was disappointed by the dilly-dally in the case, especially by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice and the Directorate of Public Prosecution since then.
The rights activist, who called for urgent intervention in the prosecution of the perpetrators, saying that there has not been any record that the DPP office was ready to prosecute the culprits used by land grabbers.
According to him, the ministry of justice, through the office of the DPP should activate mechanism to ensure justice for the poor victims.
Omotehinse said: “Those innocent souls, that were sent to early grave by the trigger-happy officer, left behind wives and children.
” Other victims are alive and still nursing the gun injuries they sustained on the day of the incident.
“The CHSR and other well-meaning civil society organisations hereby demand that the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State should as a matter of urgency mandate the DPP to charge the matter to a court of competent jurisdiction in the interest of justice.
“This has become imperative so as to restore hope for the families of the deceased and the wounded victims. When will justice come their ways?”
According to him, though the act was perpetrated during the administration of Sanwo-Olu’s predecessor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor should show kindness to the victims, who are still calling for justice.
“Nothing should stop the governor from looking into the matter and compensate the families of two innocent residents killed and those injured in the invasion by land grabbers. Gov. Sanwo-Olu has been doing well and we appreciate him.
“Our issue is not about land now but the lives of people lost and those injured in the illegal act.
“The number one right of an individual is the right to life and if this is breached we cannot keep quite,” the rights activist said.
He said that if the government failed to given attention to the matter, rights groups would defy the Omi5 variant of Covid-19 to stage another mass protest to the ministry of justice.