Landlords under the aegis of Rimax Estate Landlords Association (RELA), Meiran, Lagos State, have raised an alarm that their lives are endangered by incessant threats they said they have been receiving from thugs suspected to be acting on the orders of the estate owner, Chief Livinus Okwara, over the blockage of the access road to the community.
Chief Okwara was, however, quick to dismiss the landlords’ allegation, describing it as untrue.
At a briefing addressed yesterday by the chairman of the estate association, Pastor Osazee Obazee, the landlords claimed that a part of a vacant parcel of land serving as an access road to the community which connects it to the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway was recently sold and a fence constructed to block the access road.
Obazee said members of the community ran into trouble with the estate owner when he was confronted that the other access road that connects the community to Meiran road was narrow and waterlogged, thus preventing easy accessibility in and out of the estate.
“Chief Livinus Okwara sold the land to us on freehold from the portion of land on which his closed-down Rimax Institute was located. Since we bought land from him we have had no peace. He harasses us with thugs. He singles out landlords that oppose his oppressive attitude and subjects them to victimisation and intimidation.
“Our community has at several times been invaded by armed robbers, from which residents suffered pain and emotional trauma, which had led to some residents relocating to safety. He and his cohorts have threatened to beat us up. They have done that to me and have even threatened to burn down my church, the Inner Spirit Church.
“Furthermore, Chief Okwara closes the gates leading to the community at will. The only entrance to the estate now is narrow and waterlogged, which makes vehicular movement difficult. LAWMA vehicles can no longer enter the community to evacuate refuse because the two access roads approved by the state government have been closed permanently,” Pastor Obazee said.
But Chief Okwara said a part of the vacant parcel of land described as an access road was actually a part of a larger land bought from him by another client.
He insisted that there were two other access roads leading to the community.
“The fact that your property is close to the main expressway does not mean there must automatically be a road connecting you to it. What is being called access road is part of a larger property bought by someone else. That’s why the entire place is fenced. And we have two access roads to the community and not one. They have been owing LAWMA and that’s why its officers are no longer coming to cart their refuse away,” he said.