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Jungle Justice: 80-Yr-Old Landlady, Son Hire Thugs To Beat-up Tenant

Kayode Adelowokan

Despite the laws of Lagos State government warnings landlords/landlady in making life easier for their tenants, it is sad and heartbreaking to realise that, a lot of landlords still treat their tenants like they themselves were never tenants before becoming house owners. Some of these so-called landlords never even bought a land but inherited the house they now own and managed.

One of such landlords is Mrs Grace Olowu, an 80-year-old woman, who allowed her son to terrorise her tenant, Ms Adelumoye Tina, as if she too doesn’t have parents.

Ms adelumoye Tina, of 75, Aina street by Ojodu Grammar school, Lagos was on Saturday, May 10,2014, beaten with several injuries on her bodies by some thugs who claimed to be soldiers led by the son of her landlady, one Emmanuel Olowu.

Belongings of Ms Adelumoye, worth hundreds of thousands were thereafter thrown outside under a heavy downpour.

Tina who moved into Madam Grace Olowu’s apartment in 2010, alleged that the landlady’s reception to her has been hostile since she refused to follow the ‘unchallenged’ order of the landlady.

“I moved into the house in 2010 and it has always be from one problem to the other from my landlady to the extent that before the one half year rent payment I made for the house was due, the woman have been going about telling people that I am a thief, that my rent has expired and I don’t want to pay and must leave the house.

“Meanwhile, the whole problem started when we (the tenants) discovered that there were cases of missing power generating sets in the house. One day, I caught mama landlady opening the door for the people that come to steal the generators, I made her to see me so as know that I saw her. Then, the following day, I called her privately and told her that she should please leave my generator of out her stealing plan because I just bought it and that I just moved into the house.

“The following day, she gave me quite notice and I went to report the issue at the Ojodu Grammar school police station and also involved my lawyer who intervened in the matter.” Tina explained.

According to information gathered, Tina was said to have been seriously thinking and planning leaving the house because of the landlady’s troubles in 2013, but was surprised when she came back from work to find out that the heavy rain that poured that day had affected the building and parts of the house had collapsed and had damaged her properties.

“As if looking for another accommodation so I can leave mama’s house because of her wahala wasn’t enough, I came back from work one day to see that the heavy down pour that day had collapsed part of the building destroying my properties in the process. Since I have not found a new place, I had to repair the roof and other parts of the house that were affected by the storm.”

“Though, when I wanted to repair the damaged part, the landlady refused and she wasn’t making any attempt to repair the damaged place and I couldn’t let my remaining property be left in an open place to avoid more damage. So I went to police station again to make complain but before I came back, mama and her cohorts had entered my room and destroyed a letter box where I kept a sum of seven hundred and forty thousand naira (N740, 000.00) which I collected from a client for my business. I immediately went back to report at the police station and the case is still pending at the police station till now. I had to buy sink, asbestos, my air conditioner, gas cooker and repaired many other things spending over one hundred and seventy thousand naira to repair the house without an input from the landlady.” she narrated.

Meanwhile, it was also gathered that the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) handling the case ordered that Tina should repair the collapsed part of the house that has affected her own room only.

After repairing the collapsed part of her room, Tina was said to have started receiving series of death threats from the landlady, the threats that was said to have been reported at the same police station.

Unknown to Tina, the landlady and her son, had already concluded plans to carry out their death threats. And so, on Friday, April 18, 2014, (Good Friday), the landlady’s son, Emmanuel with a strange lady and three men stormed Tina’s apartment and without waiting for her to properly dress up, opened the door, they forcefully pulled down the door and pointing a gun at her head, Emmanuel ordered her to park her belongings out that moment or risk being killed with no trace of her dead body.

“My landlady son, Emmanuel Olowu, brought a lady and three other guys to my apartment asking me to open my door else if I refused, they will pull the whole door down. I shouted his name (Emmanuel) that why did he bring strange people to my door step, he said if I don’t open the door now, they will kill me and nobody will ask after my corpse. Then, I pleaded with them to allow me put on a cloth but they forced the door opened, opened my wardrobe and started packing out my clothes and ordered me to start packing my things out of the room with gun held close to my head and the lady that followed them was holding a knife.

“After a thorough search, a guy among them asked for my money, he said because that is the only thing I will be allowed to leave with then, I told them I don’t have any money on me because I don’t know what they may do to me if they found any money on me. They had damaged the wardrobe because it is a leather wardrobe and when they were eventually leaving, they warned me that if by eight days they returned and I am still in the house, they will kill me and bring a bus to pack my things away. I immediately went to the police station to report the incident, the DPO, Ibrahim Zango, CSP, immediately gave me an officer named, Mr. Bulamat, to follow me to see the extent of the things damaged in the house. The police officer gave me his phone number to call him in case those guys come back as promised”, she sobbingly narrated further.

However, Emmanuel and his gang, it was gathered, did not show up until Saturday May 10, 2014, around 10:30pm. They were said to have forced Tina’s door opened gave her the beating of her life with a belt.

“I was sleeping on Saturday when I heard the door being tampered with and before I knew what was happening my door was wide open and Emmanuel entered my room with some people and started beating me with belt, as they were beating me, I was shouting in pain and trying to dial the IPO’s number but they were struggling the phone with me and never allowed me to make the phone call. I kept on shouting until my co-tenants ran out and pleaded with them to leave me alone before they stopped the beating. After they had stopped beating me, I tried escaping but they dragged me back because they knew I wanted to go to the police station.

“Meanwhile, they had packed all my things out of the room to the open compound and when one of them who claimed to be an Army officer was trying to move my belongings to the main road, my co-tenants pleaded with them to please leave it where they have packed them instead of moving them to the main road. A lady that is living in landlady’s apartment gave them padlocks to lock up the apartment”, she explained.

An eye witness, who also lives in the same compound with Tina, said it was about 12am Sunday morning before Tina fully gained consciousness as a result of the merciless beating meted to her.

The thirty – six (36) year old lady was said to have gone to the police station with one of the neighbours to make a report and the officers on duty promised them that somebody will come around when day break as it was late for them to go out at that time but they didn’t show up until Tina went back to the station and finally came back with the police to the scene where the incident had taken place and also took pictures of the damaged properties because another heavy rain had poured, destroying all Tina’s belongings that were thrown in the compound. The downpour that was said to have lasted for over three (3) hours.

After Emmanuel and his mother had spent hours behind canter at the Ojodu Grammar School Police Station, the DPO, Ibrahim Zanga, invited the two parties involved and blamed the 80-year-old Madam Olowu Grace for taking laws into her hands even when the matter is still pending in court.

While making peace between the parties, he said that the aged woman has complicated and implicated herself and family as a result of her lack of patience.

“If you know the gravity of what you have done, which are; criminal trespass, breaking and entry, illegal possession of arms, assault, malicious damage, conspiracy, attempting murder among others, because if you know the consequence when you get to court, you wouldn’t try what you did. If I were you as an old woman, I will not allow this matter to get to court level because of what you will suffer at the end.

“You made a huge mistake, you ought not to send anybody there, whenever a matter is in court, always exercise patience, the property belongs to you, whether the occupant likes it or not, one day, he/she will leave.

“On this case, thank God you have agreed to repair and replace anything that might have damaged in her property”, Zanga had said.

Zanga however, appealed to the two parties to allow peace to reign and forget all that have happened in the past.

“Honestly nobody is happy with what has happened, but let us leave the matter to rest like that”, he submitted.

Mama Olowu Grace agreed to all the allegations but claimed she had no knowledge of what happened in the house when her son went to beat up Tina.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Mr. Makinde, expressed disappointment with the lawless attitude put up by madam Olowu and her son, using thugs to beat up a tenant even when the matter is pending in court.

Now, should a landlady like Madam Grace Olowu, and her lawless son, Emmanuel, continue to live in Lagos state freely without producing the thugs that beat Ms Tina mercilessly, African Examiner online asks?



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