A Commanding Officer, 174 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Odogunyan, Ikorodu, Lt. Col. Seyi Sholotan, has declined a second invitation from the Lagos State Taskforce on Land Grabbers.
Sholotan is in a legal battle with Adewole Adeleye, an engineer, over the title of a plot of property in Alagomeji, Yaba, Lagos State.
Adeleye had petitioned the task force after Sholotan allegedly invaded the territory with soldiers on three separate occasions.
Sholotan was first invited to a hearing at the meeting room of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice Annex on March 23, 2022, by the task force’s Coordinator, Owolabi Arole.
But the military officer was said to have been absent after which the hearing was adjourned until April 13.
Again, on April 13, Sholotan was absent from the hearing of the task force as Adeleye urged the Army hierarchy, particularly the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile, Arole said another chance would be given to Sholotan to appear before the task force as the matter was adjourned until May 11, 2022.
The army officer said that he purchased the property from Ahmed Olorunmbe.
Adeleye, who claimed to be the legal owner of the land with a registered title in Alausa, had also reported Olorunimbe for suspected encroachment to the Force Criminal Investigation Department in Alagbon in March 2021.
The police summoned Olorunimbe for questioning, and he was eventually released on bail.
Sholotan claimed ownership of the land, saying he purchased it from Olorunimbe in 2017 before being deployed on a military operation in the North-East.
He said when he returned to Lagos, he visited the land and Olorunimbe told him someone else (Adeleye) was claiming it.
The army officer said the case had been investigated by the military police and that he was found to have validly bought the land.
Sholotan, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent, vowed not to honour the invitation of the task force until the military authorities ordered him to do so.
“This same Adeleye went to my Army division to report me, and when an investigation was initiated, they discovered that I am the true owner of the land,” he added. I shall not report to any task force unless my division instructs me to do so.
“I was in Port Harcourt at the time of the task force’s last invitation. I shall not report to any task force unless and until my division directs me to.”