A Lagos -based lawyer, Ehis Omoijiade, has petitioned the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Hakeem Odumosu, over an imminent breakdown of law and order at Ishefun in Ayobo/Ipaja Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of the state.
According to the petition titled “Possible Breakdown of Law and Order at Ishefun, Ayobo over Street Naming”, Omoijiade explained that he was acting as solicitor to his client, Mr Tony Amokeodo, on whose express instructions, the petition, dated 20th February, 2020, was written.
The lawyer, in the petition, alleged that the Ayobo/Ipaja LCDA Chairman, Yusuf Sakiru Adisa, ignored a directive from the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs over street naming controversy in Ishefun.
He explained that the Street in dispute, Tony Amokeodo Street, was dully registered by his client since 2011 and has remained in the same name until sometime in August 2019 when he (Amokeodo) received a call from an official of the council informing him that the council has no record of his registration and that the street belonged to one Mr. Olamilaken Ola.
“Our client immediately took steps by writing a petition to the Hon. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs being the supervising ministry, in response to the petition, the ministry invited all the stakeholders for a meeting at the ministry.
“At the end of the meeting, the council was directed by the ministry to restore the street back to Mr. Tony Amokeodo. Surprisingly, your Excellency, the council in a complete disregard to the directive of the Ministry, invited our client to another meeting vide a letter dated 10th February, 2020 through his lawyer.
“The Executive Chairman, Alh. Yusuf Sakiru Adisa was reminded by Omoijiade who stood in for Mr. Tony Amokeodo and other staff of the council of the decision reached at the ministry, but the LCDA boss insisted that the council will carry out its own investigations. The LCDA boss informed the stakeholders of his decision to visit the street in dispute and another meeting was thereafter fixed for 19th day of February 2020 as the date for the visitation.
“After the visit to the street in question, the Council Chairman invited the two traditional rulers of the two communities – Ishefun and Ijon Camp David for a meeting with the stakeholders which further gave credence to our earlier claim that the street registered by our client is under Ishefun Community not in Camp David Ijon where Mr. Olamilaken Ola house is situated. The traditional rulers identified two separate letters both given consent to Mr. Tony Amokeodo and Mr Olamilekan Ola and for the registration of the street.
“Surprisingly, the Executive Chairman in a most bizarre and one-sided posture, awarded the said street to Mr. Olamilaken Ola.
“Your Excellency Sir, we hold the view that the Executive Chairman’s decision to carry out a separate investigation outside the one already conducted by the ministry was just to formalize a premeditated decision.
“We state further, that the Chairman turned logic on its head when he awarded a street belonging to two communities to one person without the consent of the traditional ruler from the other community which can result in a communal clash between the two communities if not properly managed.
“We have since been informed that the said Mr. Olamilekan Ola, has boasted that as an official of the NURTW, they controlled things in Lagos and there was nothing they could not achieve in Lagos.
“We therefore urge you to urgently intervene as possible breakdown of law and order is imminent on the grounds that a chairman of a LCDA lacks the power to impose one community on another,” the petition read.
Some of the residents, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, confirmed to journalists that the street in question was indeed named after Tony Amokeodo but the pole indicating the name was removed by unknown people.
They also confirmed that the two communities (Ishefun and Camp David Ijon) were separated by a gorge, serving as the boundary between them, which was later filled in order to close the boundary.
When contacted, the LCDA boss, Adisa denied having any interest in the said street, saying that all he wanted was for the two parties (Amokeodo and Ola) to appear at a meeting with the LCDA officials.
Adisa admitted that the traditional ruler in Ishefun issued a consent letter to Amokeodo but claimed that Ayobo Ipaja LCDA has no record showing that Mr. Amokeodo paid into the LCDA’s account.
He, however, appealed that Amokeodo should make himself available for the issue to be resolved so as to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the peaceful community.