Lagos tackles real estate mogul, denies filing case with forged documents

Onigbanjo and Omotola

The Lagos State Ministry of Justice has described as false allegations that the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, relied on forged documents to file charges against the Group Managing Director, CFL Group, Mr Lai Omotola.

PUNCH Metro had reported that Omotola made the allegation during a briefing in Lagos during which he also revealed that he was tagged a land grabber by the state after his property in the Agege area was demolished by officials.

He stated that a forensic test showed that his statement was forged by the police.

The Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit in a report asked the Zone 2 Police Command to withdraw the  suit against Omotola before the Lagos High Court due to “shoddy investigation.”

However, the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Lagos State, Mrs Grace Alo, in a statement, said Omotola was only attempting to evade prosecution.

The statement read, “The Task Force on Land Grabbers, ‘Task Force’ received a petition dated June 25, 2019, initially accusing one Mr Fatai Okesiji of land grabbing, illegal encroachment and forcefully taking over possession of land situate at No 63 Iju Road, Agege. By a subsequent petition on the same land, dated September 28, 2019, the petitioners alleged that Mr Lai Omotola of Master Reality International Concepts Ltd and Mr Fatai Okesiji, were the ones who illegally grabbed their land.

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“After investigating the allegations contained in the above petitions, the Task Force found merit in the petition and restored the petitioner (Estate of Moshood Aremu Olatokunbo) into possession, having discovered that Mr Lai Omotola and Mr Fatai Okesiji forcefully took over possession of the land, contrary to the provisions of the Lagos State Property Protection Law, 2016.

“Having been dispossessed of land which did not belong to him, Mr Lai Omotola proceeded to make verbal accusations of corruption against the Coordinator of the Task Force (Mr Arole). Mr Omotola was then informed through his lawyer to put his accusations in writing to enable investigation.”

The ministry said Omotola petitioned the attorney general’s office and a committee was set up to look into the matter.

After sittings, the state claimed that Omotola could not substantiate the allegations.

“Contrary to Mr Omotola’s allegation that the outcome of the committee’s decision was not made available to him, the outcome was communicated to him by a letter dated February 21, 2022, which was received in his office on February 28.

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“Still dissatisfied with this outcome, Mr Lai Omotola proceeded to start harassing and intimidating the coordinator of the Task Force with all sorts of frivolous petitions, as a result of which the coordinator was dragged before Zone 2 Police Command, EFCC and IGP’s Monitoring Team, Abuja,” the statement added.

The ministry said at the conclusion of investigation, a duplicate case file was forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice, which indicated “a prima facie case of conspiracy and wilful damage to property and securing entry to property by violence.”

The DPP was said to have filed four counts against Omotola.

The state said the mogul was not consistent in court and at a point was absent on nine occasions, forcing the court to order his arrest.

The ministry stated that Omotola used different antics to delay the criminal case against him.

“Furthermore, by his actions, Mr Lai Omotola is now a fugitive and anyone who has information about his whereabouts should inform the nearest police station so that he can be arrested and brought before the court,” the statement added.

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