The Lagos State Government has officially announced its intention to take over the ongoing land dispute between industrialist Chief Cletus Ibeto and Sir Daniel Chukwudozie. This decision was communicated through a letter signed by Dr. Babajide Martins, Director of Public Prosecutions, on behalf of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State.
The letter, addressed to the Registrar of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, references the ongoing case with the charge number ID/2149C/2023, titled “Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Chief Cletus Ibeto & others.”
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This development comes after Sir Chukwudozie petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding the land dispute. The EFCC subsequently filed a 10-count charge of alleged N4.8 billion fraud against Chief Ibeto outside the jurisdiction of the matter.
The Lagos State Attorney General’s Office has invoked Section 211 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) to take over proceedings in the case. This means the Lagos State Government will now handle the prosecution of Chief Ibeto and others named in the charge.
This decision has drawn mixed reactions. A group of lawyers under the aegis of International Human Rights Protection Initiative (INHURPI) criticized the EFCC for involving itself in what they believe is a civil matter. They further condemned the issuance of a bench warrant against Chief Ibeto, arguing that it disregards a previous court order confirming his ownership of the disputed land.
On the other hand, Sir Chukwudozie’s supporters argue that the matter involves criminal activity and should be handled by the EFCC. They believe that Chief Ibeto should face prosecution for the alleged fraud.
The Lagos State Government’s intervention has added a new dimension to the already complex land dispute. It remains to be seen how the case will proceed and whether the new government will pursue the charges against Chief Ibeto or seek an alternative resolution.
The outcome of this case has significant implications for both parties involved. For Chief Ibeto, it could impact his reputation and business interests. For Sir Chukwudozie, it could determine whether he regains control of the disputed land.
The public is watching closely as this case unfolds, with many anticipating the next move from the Lagos State Government and the final verdict from the court.
Source: Independent Ng