Police Not to Involve in Land, Other Civil Dispute: Human Rights Group, HURMA Cautions Lagos DPO at Noforija, Epe – Rights Monitors

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The Divisional Police Officer of Noforija in Epe, Lagos State has been cautioned to limit his activities to the work expected of a police officer and not dabbling into civil matters to infringe on fundamental Human Rights of citizens.
This advice was given in a live broadcast on a radio Nigeria station at Bond FM on Tuesday, January 23 by the Executive Director of Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA Global Resource Initiative), Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak while addressing general complaints on human rights violation from the general public to HURMA office.


According to the presentation, a letter was sent to the office of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) by one Mr. Salami Idris Adebanjo, a lecturer at Lagos State University of Education over a continuous threat by the DPO of Noforija Division, Gregory Ikpehkia and continuous invitation to the Police Station over a land matter already pending in Court.

Mr. Salami Idris in his letter to the DPO of Noforija Divisional Headquarters and copy sent to HURMA office explained why he cannot honor the DPO’s invitation and this is due to lack of trust among others.


“the case of Okereta land is pending before Lagos State High Court, Epe Division instituted by the Complainants in 2017. For the avoidance of doubt, I, as a law abiding citizen did not and will not engage in any act of encroachment rather I legitimately and legally bought land at Okereta from two different individuals with duly executed Deeds of Assignment which the complaints speçifically referred to in their court summons.

“It is pathetic, disgusting and disheartening to mention that the office of the DPO and the Noforija Divisional Police Headquarters cannot be trusted by me as a result of recent happenings where the DPO invited me through phone call for mediation on the Petition written by me to AIG, Zone 2, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State and Commissioner of Police Lagos State against hoodlums/land grabbers for threat and malicious damages on my Land and that of my family, Adesada Oganjugbe Family at OTARA in Igbo-oye and the DPO conspired with the reported hoodlums/land grabbers to fallsely alleged me of involvement in BUNKERING ACTIVITIES which occasioned my unlawful and illegal detention at NOFORIJA and ZONE 2 COMMAND.

“Further to this, my house was burgled and forcibly entered by the personnel of Noforija around 2am on November 20, 2023 the adjourned date for the criminal charges against the reported land grabbers while the Police officers from Noforija continuously harass, intimidate, victimize me and members of Adesada Oganjugbe family turning the Patrol Van of the division to be the Special Security guard of the reported notorious hoodlums/land grabbers who is expected to face criminal charges pending against him in court. This situation put our mind in an unrest situation due to unlawful support to the hoodlums/land grabbers wherein the Police officers and the Patrol Van had turned to be escout of a land grabber.

The Executive Director of HURMA, Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak expressed appreciation to the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force at various formations who have constantly caution police officers from involving themselves into civil matters. He also pledges to use every medium available to remind and at the same time caution officers from going beyond their limits.

“As a friend to the police, the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) wishes to remind our friends in the Nigeria Police Force that general principle of law which has received judicial approvals in a plethora of cases is that the Police are not legally empowered to dabble in civil matters. Kure v Commissioner of Police (2020) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1729) 296, Nkapa v Nkume (2001) 6 NWLR (Pt. 710) 543.

“Section 4 of the Police Act 2020 has clearly explained the primary duty of the Police, and this is the prevention of crime, investigation, and detection of crime, and the prosecution of offenders.

“Police officers are expected to know that they are not meant to dabble in civil matters. It is as well important for the general public to know that rather than seek intervention of the Police, the proper authority to determine a civil dispute is the Court of law. In Mangai v CP Plateau State & Ors (2021) LPELR-55145(CA), the Court held that: “the law has since been settled, that the Police does not and is not allowed to involve itself in purely civil disputes, especially one touching on land ownership”.


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