A businessman, Timi Popoola, has said that he sought the intervention of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to stop his alleged intimidation by the Chairman, Peace Valley Zone in Magodo Phase II, Lagos State, Ayobami Olubiyi, whom he accused of using security guards to harass and deny him access to his property in the estate.
It was earlier reported that residents of the estate condemned the attempt by policemen from the IGP Monitoring Team to arrest Olubiyi last Wednesday.
The policemen, numbering six, were said to have been mobilised by Popoola and laid siege to Olubiyi’s residence around 6am in a bid to arrest him, but their efforts became futile as some residents in the zone and others intervened.
Olubiyi had said that despite explaining to Popoola that the estate was strictly residential, he allegedly converted a building he purchased to a hotel.
Refuting this claim, Popoola stated that the building was not converted to a hotel, adding that trouble started between him and the chairman when he commenced the renovation of the property.
He said, “I bought the house purposely for my expatriate partners, who back me up in my oil and gas insurance business. The expatriates said they would not be coming as usual again, because they didn’t want to lodge in hotels due to COVID-19; so, I suggested getting an apartment for them to stay whenever they come and they agreed. I was doing internal renovation in the house when I received a call that a truck conveying sharp sand to the house was denied entry by the estate’s security guards.
“I quickly went there and asked why they denied the driver access and I was told they acted on the instructions of the chairman. The chairman denied giving such an instruction when I called him; I also asked if it was about my annual dues and he said no, and the truck was granted access.
“Surprisingly, I was coming in one day to inspect the work done when the guards said they were told not to be opening the gate for me except I open it myself and that none of my visitors would be granted access into the estate. I had to be opening the estate gate by myself until Mr Wale Taiwo, SAN, intervened to resolve the matter during a virtual meeting.”
Popoola, however, stated that the estate management petitioned the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, the state police command and the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department regarding his property, adding that despite honouring every invitation to defend himself, Olubiyi and his executive refused to honour invitations from the Zone 2 Command and the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
The businessman said, “Can you use a four-bedroom flat for a hotel? I just made a place where two or three people can stay and not a hotel. When one of my expatriates in Oxford wanted to come to Nigeria, he asked to view the place where he would stay and we sent pictures to him, but he said he wanted a platform that was legally recognised. My son uploaded it on a website for him to view, but I told him to pull it down when the place was sealed.
“They have been using security guards of the zone to intimidate me. I have pictures of me opening the gate myself despite the guards being there; my 90-year-old mother came to pray in my house but the guards denied her access into the estate. I have been honouring every of the invitation from the state police command, the FCIID and the state government, but decided to write to the force headquarters to intervene, because they never honoured the Zone 2 Command’s invitation.”
When contacted, Olubiyi said, “He (Popoola) had unhindered access; we only asked what he was using the place for because people were coming in and out of the place. I never threatened him; we have documents highlighting everything that has happened, including the link of where people book online to use the place, but he has pulled it down.
“We don’t have anything against him; we have written to the IG’s office. I am 60 and have not been going anywhere because of COVID-19 and safety issues.”