|Hon FUNMI TEJUOSHO|
|Prince Kayode Tejuosho|
|The house in contention|
This is truly not the best of times for the family of the of the impeached Former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Funmi Tejuosho as they are fighting what can be termed a tall battle now and the toll on them is both traumatic and terrible. Just imagine being forcefully ejected from a house, that you have come to call home after more than a decade!
The family has come out to cry foul against the forced eviction and perceived injustice. Read the prepared speech by the head of the family, Prince Kayode Tejuosho and the terse response from the representative of the Lagos State Government, Commissioner for Information, Steve Ayorinde.
“I am constrained to address you on the above subject, not out of any joy or excitement but simply to put the facts straight in the public domain. I have heard and read so many things in the social media and the conventional media that are substantially untrue.
Let me first of all say that as at now that I am talking to you, my wife who is an Honourable member of the Lagos state House of Assembly is just on her way from the official assignment of the State Government. It is on record that she is spending her 14th year serving this State. I am sure it is no more news that my wife and I, along with our children have been forcefully and brutally evicted from our home and rendered homeless by the Government after days of tortuous siege on our residence due to no fault of ours but out of what I consider sheer political persecution and uncommon vendetta.
“Let me quickly lay the facts bare to correct the falsehood being peddled by the Government to justify their unlawful act and outright violation of our rights. During the administration of former Governor Bola Tinubu, the Lagos State Government adopted the Federal Government’s property’s monetisation and redevelopment policy by offering several of its properties to public/civil servants occupying same for sale as well as companies under redevelopment schemes.
“This monetization policy was continued by the Babatunde Raji Fashola government, as a result of which several officials benefited, including the present chairman of the Lagos chapter of the APC, Mr. Henry Dele Ajomale.
More after the break.
“In furtherance of this policy, my wife and I being the present occupiers were equally afforded the same opportunity of acquiring the property which we chose to do through a company in which we have interest. This Company called Debam Mega Solutions Limited, by a letter dated November 21, 2008 addressed to His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Debam Mega Solutions Limited sought the concession and approval of the Governor to acquire the right of occupancy over the property at 3A, Sasegbon Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.
“At the time Debam Mega Solutions Limited sought the concession of the Governor, the property housed a dilapidated and abandoned structure. Further to the said application and by a Lagos State Government, Ministry of Housing letter dated March 26, 2010 with reference No. MHEST/627, the Lagos State Government offered to sell the property to Debam Mega Investment at the ultimate agreed purchase price of N150,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira). This amount was eventually fully paid to the Government on the 28th day of May 2015 thereby concluding the sale of the property from the Government to the company.
“Since the completion of payments, the property no longer belongs to the Lagos State Government as it has become the private property of Debam Mega Investment. Upon the acquisition of the right of occupancy over the property, the company continued to be in active possession of the property through Prince and Honourable (Mrs.) Funmilayo Tejuoso who improved the property to its present state. It is important to state that the improvements you are seeing on the property today that is being reffered to by the Government as Deputy Speaker’s official residence were constructed by us. The meaning of which is that, what basically we obtained from the Government was parcel of land.
“Since the acquisition of the property, Debam Mega Solutions Limited enjoyed quiet and undisturbed possession of the property until about 11:00am on Friday, 3rd of November, 2017, eight years after, when policemen from the office of the Governor of Lagos State, led by one Mr. D. Abutu, without an order of court, invaded the property, evicted some of the occupants and imprisoned the others, who have remained imprisoned since. Also, the property was sealed since the 3rd day of November 2017 with fierce police officers stationed within and outside the premises with my daughter and other aides inside.
“On Monday the 6th day of November 2017, the police officers extended their unprecedented ignominious conduct to horrifying proportions when, acting on the specific instruction of the Lagos State Governor according to them broke the doors and walls of the house, in Gestapo style. They also vandalised the property and harassed the children who are occupying it, and who had been imprisoned in the house since the 3rd day of November 2017. As at now, some of our properties has been pilfered.
“Contrary to the lies being peddled by the Lagos State Government that the building is the official residence of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, the two previous Deputy Speakers before my wife, Honourable (Mrs.) Funmilayo Tejuoso were Farouk Oshodi and Toun Adediran whilst the two after her were Bola Badmus and Kolawole Taiwo. None of them ever lived here at No. 3A, Sasegbon Street. I MAKE BOLD TO SAY THAT NO DEPUTY SPEAKER HAS EVER LIVED IN THIS PROPERTY. Let them mention if any otherwise. A former Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Budget, Mrs. Dawodu handed the place over to us and it was only a colonial building with wooden deck that was there then. My wife and I improved the property to what it is presently.
“Even if we are squatters or trespassers on No. 3A, Sasegbon Street, by the provisions of the Lagos State Tenancy Law, the Lagos State Government ought to have obtained an order of court before hijacking the property and/or imprisoning the occupants.
“The actions of the Lagos State Government amount to a resort to self-help contrary to the laws which govern this state. Let me also state that prior to this invasion, there is an existing litigation already initiated by the Company since the 3rd of August and for which the Government has joined issue.
The state Government is fully aware of this and the suit number is FHC/CS/1200/2007 BETWEEN DEBAM MEGA SOLUTIONS LIMITED V INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, LAGOS STATE MINISTRY OF HOUSING AND ATTORNEY GENERAL OF LAGOS STATE.
“We urge all men and women of conscience to condemn this rising tide of impunity because we are the ones at the receiving end today, Nobody knows who is next tomorrow. My daughter who went through the entire trauma with her eleven year old brother locked out will now reveal her experience. This is just to put the record straight. Let me assume that the Governor probably is not aware of these details, hopefully if you are able to inform him adequately through this medium, he might reconsider his position. Before I close, let me also state that I have tried unsuccessfully to reach the Governor but hopefully when my wife returns, she will be able to access him. Again, I reinstate that ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION WAS PAID WITHIN THE PERMISSIBLE PERIOD .”
Steve Ayorinde in his own statement said: “Being neither an official of Lagos State nor the purported beneficiary of the government property on No 3A Sasegbon Street, Ikeja GRA, we ought not to dignify Mr. Kayode Tejuosho’s befuddling statement to the press with a response.
However, in order not to have the public misinformed, it’s important to make the following clarifications:
“1. That the matter in question does not involve the governor’s office as being erroneously alleged but a tussle of ownership on a government property between an interloper and the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“2. That while a couple has stepped forward to claim ownership of the said property, this is a misdirected claim as the couple did not make any purchase on the property. The company that made the purported purchase did so in error and is yet to step forward to challenge the cancellation of the purchase since the company – a certain Debam Mega Solutions – which paid only a portion of the offer price never compeleted payments on it that would have entitled its full take-over and access to Certificate of Occupancy. The incomplete payment has since been refunded to the company and the property retrieved so that it can continue to serve as the official quarters of the Deputy Speaker of LAHA.
“3. That while government acknowledges a form of monetisation policy that allowed certain levels of government officials and political appointees to purchase official quarters in their individual capacity on owner-occupier basis, this policy never extended to companies like Debam Maga Solution which being no government entity could not have legally made a bid for a government property.
“4. That the names of the two directors of the said company are never Lagos State officials and the media is encouraged to investigate the names of those directors with the Corporate Affairs Commission whether the company is owned by the Tejuoshos or not as claimed by the husband.”