The police have disrupted the execution of a court order on the management and control of the luxurious 1004 Estates on Victoria Island, Lagos.
A company, 1004 Estates Limited, which was chased out of the estate on December 5, last year, by executives of the Home Owners and Residents Association (HORA), obtained an ex parte order last Friday from the Lagos High Court to resume the management of the estate, the biggest in the country.
Justice Candid Johnson, who ruled on the matter, said: “An order is granted that all parties herein are to maintain the status quo in respect to management and control by 1004 Estates Limited of the parcel of land known as 1004 Estates.”
He added: “An order is granted that the defendants, their men, agents and/or appointees howsoever, including (the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps or their members or other security agencies) are restrained from further presence or activity from the disputed property known as 1004 Estates.”
When the firm moved to the estates on Tuesday to execute the ruling, policemen from the Bar Beach Police Station disallowed them.
Security operatives allegedly assaulted the estate’s workers and locked up the firm’s administrative complex after chasing the officials out of their offices.
Even when the firm’s top executives produced the court order to support their action, the police said they were not interested in any legal document.
They locked the firm’s offices and chased the workers out of the estates.
Managing Director of 1004 Estates Limited, Mr. Samuel Ukpong, described the police action as “very shocking”.
He added: “We are so shocked that police operatives could still work like this at a time the country is clamouring for change. We showed them the certified true copies of the order but they said to hell with us. The same police backed and supported a handful of HORA’s officials when we were illegally chased out on December 5.
“We thought they would be more disposed to executing a court order, as against backing the illegal operation of December 5, which took place without any order or ruling. This is a rude shock and it is very shameful.”
The company chief noted that by their action, the police had allegedly displayed bias in the battle for the estates.
Ukpong said: “As a law enforcement agency, the police are expected to be impartial and comply with a court order. But it appears there is more to this tussle than we know.
“Why would the police support a few individuals to take over a legitimate business and refuse to obey a court order to the contrary?”
He urged Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni to call his men to order in line with the change mantra of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Source: The Nation Nigeria