A businessman, Gabriel Okafor Uzondu, has been remanded in the Ikoyi center of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), by a Lagos State High Court.
He was remanded by the order of Justice Serifat I. Sonaike, after he pleaded not guilty to the charges of alleged conspiracy, forcible entry, procured armed hoodlums land grabbing and breach of public peace, made against him by the men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (ForceCID) Annex Alagbon-Ikoyi Lagos.
The businessman and others said to be at large, according to the prosecutor, Barrister Morufu Animashaun, had on September 25, 2019, at International Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, invaded and forcefully take over the possession of land being occupied by a traders group, the Association of Progressive Traders of Nigeria, within the complex.
The defendant was also accused of hiring armed hoodlums and thugs, who used violence and forcefully invaded and take over the land without lawful authority, for the purpose of securing entry into the Land that was being occupied by the members of the Association.
Animashaun also told the court that the acts of the defendant and other now at large, led to break down of law and order in the market.
The defendant’s actions, according to the prosecutor contravened Sections section 411; 52 and 168(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. And sections Section 2 (3); 3 (1)(3)(b)(4)(a)(b)(1) and 7 of the Properties Protections Law, 2016.
Following the defendant plea of not guilty, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him in the custody pending the hearing and determination of the charges.
However, counsel to the defendant, informed the court that he was yet to file his client bail application. He therefore asked the court for a short date.
Justice Sonaike, while adjourning that matter till November 14, 2022,for trial, fixed October 11, for the hearing of the defendant’s bail application.
The judge consequently, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the NCoS’ custody, till the hearing and determination of his bail application.