Posted by News Express | 26 September 2020 | 2,313 times
The 1004 Homeowners and Residents Association (1004HORA) of 1004 Estate Lagos has cried out for help to President Muhammadu Buhari and “all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene and come to the aid of law abiding citizens and foreign nationals residing in 1004 Estate and deliver us from the hands of Mr Isa Lawal (CSP), the DPO of Bar Beach Police Station who has turned the estate into a safe haven for power thieves and violent criminals.”
1004 Estate, a highbrow residential estate in Victoria Island, is home to over 5,000 residents of different nationalities. It is managed by the 1004 Homeowners and Residents Association (1004HORA).
1004 Estate provides 24 hours electricity supply to its residents using a combination of public and privately generated power supply. The design of the Estate makes it a necessity that there must be constant supply of electricity as water, lifts, cooking and other utilities are dependent on power.
Lamenting their woes, Barr. Lara Ademola, 1004HORA Acting Chairperson, said in a statement, a copy of which was made available to News Express on Friday:
“In recent times, 1004HORA’s ability to provide 24hrs electricity in the estate has been threatened by the activities of residents engaged in power theft, which is not just a breach of the Estate’s byelaws but also a criminal act under the laws of Nigeria.
“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 Ibadin, 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, Mr. Isa Lawal 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, Mr. Isa Lawal on August 6th, 2020 again arrested and detained the 1004HORA Operations Manager at the behest of the chief culprit of power theft, Mathew Ibadin who in his attempt to cover up his power theft, removed his issued meter.
“On the 9th of August, 2020, Mathew Ibadin 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 Environment Protection Agency - LASEPA to remove it from the estate. The DPO has made it impossible to enforce the directive of LASEPA.
“Mathew Ibadin has become law unto himself with the support of the DPO.
“With the support of the Bar-Beach DPO, Mathew Ibadin 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 generator in the Estate.
“To secure reprieve for its EXCO Officials, staff and Residents from constant arrest and intimidation, 1004 HORA obtained a court injunction, restraining Ibadin, 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 Ibadin 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 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 Ibadin 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 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.
“Also on the night of 15th September, 2020, one Paul Okoye alias Paul-O, found to be involved in power theft and disconnected stormed the apartment of the 1004HORA Acting Chairman with thugs and dangerous weapons to physically assault her. The door to her apartment was severely damaged as they attempted to gain entrance forcefully into her apartment.
“This case of criminal damage and threat to lives was reported at the Police Area Command, Lion Building, Lagos but was frustrated by DPO Isa Lawal who convinced his boss not to attend to us.
“We have written several petitions on the unprofessional and illegal activities of the Bar Beach DPO in aid of criminals and law breakers to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, the AIG Zone 2 Command and the IG of Police but have received no response or respite.
“The Law officer in Victoria Island who should be our first point of refuge has become our tormentor, refusing to protect law-abiding Homeowners and Residents.
“We have attached copies of our various petitions and video clips of Mathew Ibadin and his gang’s violent atrocities and assaults on the estate over a period of one year.
“We cannot see why DPO ISA LAWAL’s blind loyalty to his PCRC friend, Mathew Ibadin, should overshadow his responsibility to maintain law and order in a just and equitable manner.
“We have therefore called this press briefing to cry to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid and free us from the oppression of DPO Isa Lawal and his PCRC Chairman, Mathew Ibadin, since they have become above the law.
“We request the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to free us from this scourge and order the Police especially the Bar-Beach DPO to uphold law and order and protect law abiding residents from brigandage and oppression.”
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