The ongoing land dispute at the Magodo Phase II Estate in Lagos took a new twist on Tuesday as a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), who is the leader of the police team that has laid siege on the estate, publicly defied the order of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to vacate the premises.
Sanwo-Olu, who visited the estate in the company of some members of his cabinet, amid protests by residents of the state, engaged the yet-to-be-identified CSP who led the police team on the operation from Abuja and asked them to vacate the estate.
However, the defiant police officer maintained that they would only leave the premises on the directive of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Inspector General of Police who had deployed them on the assignment.
According to a monitored report from Channels Television, the governor said that he had earlier spoken to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police and had resolved the issues.
What transpired between the Lagos State Governor and the Police Team Leader
The governor who was surrounded by government officials, residents and journalists said, “Please, can you call your superior in Abuja that you need to deactivate, and you need to leave Lagos now?
“Can you call your superior in Abuja and tell them that the governor is here, and I am the Chief Security Officer, and that you don’t have any business being in my state right now and that I want you to disengage forthwith from here?”
In his response, the defiant officer wearing a green polo shirt and a brown cap said, “Thank you very much, sir. Your Excellency sir, I’m not here on my own order.
“I am here on the instruction of the Inspector General of Police through the AGF. I am too small or too low to call them. Your Excellency sir, with due respect sir, you can call them directly sir so that they can tell us to come.”
Despite being informed by Governor Sanwo-Olu who hinted that he had contacted the AGF and that the latter said he had no knowledge that the police team was still at the estate, the CSP insisted that it was not his duty to call because he is too low to do that.
When asked by the governor to give an account of the number of policemen at the estate, the leader of the police team said, “I have several of them, sir. I cannot precisely tell you how many we are,” the CSP replied the governor. “I know the number of my men here sir, we sought for some other people to join us. But for security purposes, I cannot say this is the figure, sir.”
A visibly angry governor, while reacting to the response and action of the defiant police officer, declared the presence of the security team at the estate as illegal.
He also questioned the motive behind the operation, stressing that the issue only involved the state government and had nothing to do with the residents in the first place.
Sanwo-Olu said, “It is a very illegal operation. They (policemen) are not from the Lagos State Police Command. They said they are from Abuja, and I don’t know what other interests they have beyond keeping the peace of the country.
“This is not an expectation that I would expect for them because they don’t have any business here at all. The case is between the state government, and I am the governor standing in front of you, not with my residents.”