Residents and homeowners of 1004 Estate in Lagos has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver them from the hands of criminals terrorising the estate and allegedly abetted by the police.
The estate’s Acting Chairperson, Mrs Lola Ademola, told a news conference that the call had become expedient as their efforts to stem criminality in the 41-year-old estate were frustrated and had not yielded the desired result.
According to her, the Divisional Police Officer of Bar Beach Police Station, CSP Isa Lawal, allegedly abets the perpetrators of crime, who have now turned the estate into a haven for criminals, especially electricity thieves and other lawbreakers.
She said that the residents were calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene and come to their aid as the highbrow residential estate on Victoria Island was now home to over 5,000 residents of different nationalities.
She said, “To stem this tide of power theft and avoid infrastructure collapse, 1004HORA deployed agreed community sanctions against the thieves. These measures have brought the association on collision with those engaged in electricity theft, the chief amongst whom is one Mathew Ibadan, a tenant who has used his position as the chairman of the Victoria Island Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) to cause mayhem in the estate, brazenly steal power, aid and abet others to steal power and promote general lawlessness in the estate with the active support and connivance of the DPO, Bar Beach Police Station, CSP Isa Lawal.
“One would expect the Nigeria Police to support 1004HORA and apprehend thieves and criminals in the estate; however, what we observe is that the Bar Beach Police DPO is always in aid of the power thieves in 1004 Estate while punishing those trying to uphold the law. On numerous occasions, the DPO of Bar Beach Police Division has ordered the arrest and detention of 1004HORA officials and staff for disconnecting apartments involved in power theft.
“For instance when one Mrs Eno Eniang was found to be involved in power theft and disconnected, Mathew Ibadan mobilized CSP Lawal and his men to forcefully reconnect the apartment. Also, on May 8, 2020, the DPO ordered the arrest and detention of the HORA Operations Manager for disconnecting an apartment involved in power theft. This action by CSP Isa Lawal in aid of criminals has emboldened other persons within the estate to steal power at will without fear of repercussion putting a strain on the estate’s power supply.
In the latest display of his abuse of power as a police officer, Lawal on August 6th, 2020 again arrested and detained the 1004HORA Operations Manager at the behest of the chief culprit of power theft, Mathew Ibadan who in his attempt to cover up his power theft, removed his issued meter.
“On the 9th of August, 2020, Mathew Ibadan against the estate Byelaws, brought in a petrol generator to power his apartment thereby exposing the block of 127 apartments on 14 floors and indeed the entire estate to the risk of fire outbreak akin only to the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London. This is a real and present danger, which must be averted if we are to safeguard lives and property.
“All efforts to get him to remove the generator from the estate was resisted by Mathew Ibadin supported by CSP Isa Lawal who provided a team of armed policemen to guard the apartment and prevent the removal of the generator which is not only a cause of pollution but a threat to lives and property in the estate. The generator is still powering Mathew Ibadin’s apartment till date, despite being served a notice by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency – LASEPA to remove it from the estate. The DPO has made it impossible to enforce the directive of LASEPA. Mathew Ibadan has become a law unto himself with the support of the DPO.
With the support of the Bar Beach DPO, Mathew Ibadan continues to threaten and harass 1004HORA exco members and staff as well as other residents while also engineering their arrest and detention both at the Bar Beach Police Station and Police Zone 2 Command Headquarters, Onikan, over his continuous use of the generator in the estate.
“To secure a reprieve for its exco officials, staff and residents from constant arrest and intimidation, 1004 HORA obtained a court injunction, restraining Ibadan, the Bar Beach DPO and the Nigeria Police from further arrest and harassment. However, in flagrant disrespect of the court order, DPO Isa Lawal continues to harass and threaten 1004HORA officials and staff, claiming that no court in the land can prevent him from doing his job. He tells whoever cares to listen that Mathew Ibadan is his friend of over 10 years and he will do everything to protect Mathew’s interest.
“On 16th September 2020, in flagrant disobedience of the order of the court, DPO Isa Lawal, again at the instigation of Mathew Ibadin invited 1004HORA officials and staff to appear before him for interrogation. It must be noted that only the previous night (September 15), the same Mathew Ibadan in the company of Wale Adebayo, Shile Adebayo and others, armed with cutlass and other dangerous weapons had caused criminal damage to the estate’s power supply and property and dared anyone to stop them with the threat of death or grievous bodily harm. In a bizarre twist, the resident who challenged him on his criminal behaviour was arrested by the DPO in the morning on September 16, 2020.”