By Wahab Akinlade
Lagos State Ministry of Justice has described allegations against the Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo by one, Lai Omotola, as unfounded, false and a calculated attempt to manipulate and evade prosecution.
Mr. Omotola had on Monday June 13 2022, at a press conference accused the Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice of collaborating with the Police to forge and relied on forged documents to initiate criminal proceedings against him at the High Court of Lagos State.
Reacting to several online publications on the matter, in a statement signed by the Director Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Lagos State, Mrs. Grace Alo, denied all the allegations by Mr. Lai Omotola, saying its unfounded, false and a calculated attempt to manipulate and evade prosecution.
According to the statement, the Task Force on Land Grabbers received a petition dated 25/06/19 initially accusing one Mr. Fatai Okesiji of land grabbing, illegal encroachment of a land situate at No 63 Iju Road, Agege. By subsequent petition on the same land dated 28/9/19, the petitioners alleged that Mr. Lai Omotola of Master Reality International Concepts Ltd and Mr. Fatai Okesiji were the ones who illegally grabbed their land.
“Upon conclusion of investigations based on the petition and cross-petition received by Zone 2 Police Command, from Lai Omotola and Estate of Moshood Aremu Olatokunbo, the case file was forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for issuance of Legal Advice.
“DPP findings revealed that a prima facie case had been established, the DPP subsequently issued Legal Advice dated 27/10/20, which indicated that a prima facie case of Conspiracy and Willful Damage to Property and Securing Entry to Property by Violence was disclosed against Mr. Lai Omotola.
“Based on the foregoing the DPP’s office filed a four count charge against Mr. Lai Omotola before the State High Court and a letter dated 8/07/21 from the law firm of Lukman Iman & Co (solicitors to Mr. Lai Omotola) acknowledged that the charge sheet was served on Mr. Omotola contrary to the allegations of non-service of the charge sheet on him during his press conference.
“The matter came up at the High Court of Lagos State for the first time on 22/3/21, but Mr. Omotola was absent.
“Owing to his absence in Court on that day, the Court issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
“However, the bench warrant was revoked on the 25/10/21 when Mr. Omotola appeared in court accompanied by his lawyer.
“On subsequent adjourned dates, Mr. Omotola failed to appear before the Court and was absent on 9 occasions before the Court issued another bench warrant on 8/06/22, directing the police to arrest him and produce him before the court to answer the charges against him. On all these occasions, Mr. Omotola’s lawyers were in Court.
“Rather than present himself before the Court to answer to the charges levelled against him, Mr. Omotola deployed all manner of antics to delay and frustrate the trial of this matter. The latest of which is his press conference.
“The allegations by Mr. Lai Omotola are therefore refuted and unfounded. Furthermore, by his actions, Mr. Lai Omotola is now a fugitive and anyone who has information about his whereabouts should inform the nearest Police station so that he can be arrested and brought before the court” MoJ narrated