Land Tussle: Dangote Company Dragged to Court Over Forceful Land Acquisition
These are happy times for news bearers across Nigeria, especially those that find the greatest delight in peeking over the fence of the rich and mighty.
It started with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state fundamentally digging into the affairs of the Dangote Group until he effectively terminated their operations in Kogi. Now, the trend has gotten to Lagos and newspaper-stand analysts are just eating it up.
Dangote Industries Limited, the main branch of the Dangote Group operating in Lagos, has gotten in trouble with the Lagos state government over the ownership of land in Pakiti Iberu community, Eyin Osa, Epe, Lagos.
The gist is multilayered but the fundamental idea is that the land originally belonged to the Iberu family and community and was later appropriated by the Lagos state government and given to Dangote Industries Limited.
The story dates as far back as 1993 when the Lagos state government revoked the rights of the community to the land.
However, the community people allegedly only found out in 2008 and immediately made moves to recover it after complaining to the government at the time.
Apparently, their complaints did not yield any significant fruit. This was the case in 2014 when the parties involved were able to gather together in an attempt to hash out the issue.
Unfortunately, they could not reach an agreement and all had to go their separate ways.
The community people, especially the Iberu family, have now taken Dangote Industries Limited to court, hoping to reclaim their supposedly ancestral lands.
According to them, these lands (which measure a little over 35 hectares) are not only their ancestral lands but a hunting area for their livelihood. So, considering the critical nature of the matter, a Federal high court sitting in Lagos has decided to adjourn the case till November 23, 2022.
Hopefully, the matter would be put to rest then.
These really are harsh days for Aliko Dangote and his managers. It seems as if the tussle over land and related property assets is increasing in scale and variety.