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Why Nigerian lady cries out for help

Nigerian lady cries out for help after suspected

A Nigerian lady, Maria Laguda, has cried out for justice after some men she described as ‘’land grabbers' invaded her property located on Number 4, Sere close in Illupeju, Lagos state, with the intent to take possession of it, over claims that her grand-father willed it to a mosque before his demise.


Recall that a few weeks ago, LIB shared videos of a woman who started a fire on her fence after some men attempted to break into her family's building in Lagos. Read here.

Nigerian lady cries out for help after suspected

In an update sent to LIB, the lady said the ‘’landgrabbers'' returned to the said property last Thursday, June 22 and forcefully carried out their invasion while she was being detained at Zone 2 police station in Onikan, Lagos. She said her fifteen year old daughter was the only one in the apartment when the men armed with sledge hammers, broke into their home. 


In a written statement sent to LIB, Ms. Laguda said she was born out of wedlock 37 years ago and was raised by their grandparents who she looked up to as her parents. She said she lived in the said property with her grandparents until they both died. She said that her grandmum who was a former Commissioner of Police, was a Christian, while her Grand dad was a Muslim. She said her grandmum was diagnosed with Dementia in 2011 and as a result of the loneliness he suffered following the seeming ‘absence’ of his wife of 55 years, her grandfather became a frequent visitor at the Mosque close to their home. She said her grandfather became quite close to those at the mosque especially four men and a certain lawyer who allegedly helped write his will.

Nigerian lady cries out for help after suspected

She said it was a shock to everyone in her family that after his demise in August 2018, the lawyer brought out a will reportedly signed by her grandfather where it was stated that her grandfather had willed an extension of the property to the Muslim community in the area. She said when the will was contested, a deed of gift was presented. She claimed that the ‘’validity of the purported last will and testament is doubtful as it refers to a large extent to Sharia law which should not be applicable to the right of succession in an interfaith family.'' She also stated that the ‘‘validity of the will is further doubtful because it seeks to preordain the management of the house by keeping executors and trustees in perpetuity, instructing them about their course of action’.'


She disclosed that according to the will allegedly signed by her grandfather, she is to move out of the property if she does not convert to Islam or marry a Muslim man.

She said they are in the process of contesting the ill and even place a Caveat to prohibit the grant of probate. According to her, the Will only mentions that that part of the property had been transferred to them in his lifetime. She said that the ‘landgrabbers’ have a deed of gift from 2008 but that the family have a tenancy agreement on the same property from 2011 signed by her father to one of them who was a tenant in the said building. She wonders why a deed of gift was given and then rent still being collect to one of the parties.


Read her statement below


‘’My name is Maria Laguda. I am 37 year old and  reside in Nr. 4 Sere close  together with my 15year old daughter.

Born out of wedlock, I was raised by my grandparents as their own direct child and am therefore a daughter/granddaughter of the testator who was a lawyer.

Until his death, on the 29th of August 2018, the testator also resided in the family house at 4 Sere Close, Ilupeju, Lagos, Nigeria, where I have  lived to this day.

My parents/grandparents fell in love and were married under the Marriage Act in the State of Ibadan for about 55 years. He was a Muslim, and she a Christian, which did not stop them from going ahead to contract the marriage.

My mother/grandmother, the legal and only wife of the testator, was a retired Commissioner of the Nigerian Police Force. In 2011, she was diagnosed with dementia and I cared for her from 2011 in the family house until her death on 24 April 2022.

 Being that I was living in the family home while the three other children resided abroad it was agreed that I would be responsible to assist and care for my parents.

My father/grandfather had become lonely as his wife, my mother/grandmother was bedridden with sickness. My father/grandfather became a frequent caller (5 times every single day) at a local mosque just a stone’s throw away from the house. Over time, his relationship became more intensive to  (Mr Shamsudeen Adeniyi Mr Sikiru Gbenga Abdulraheem – , (Mr Oduguwa), including his tenant (Mr Abdulwasiu ) (Ustadth Afis Olatunji), and the lawyer (Mr Saka Mohammed – who prepared his last testament, he believed them all to be righteous and have his best interest at heart.

As my father/grandfather seemed very pleased to receive the said individuals as visitors, they became an almost constant presence in the house.

 All children of the testator were shocked when the last will and testament allegedly signed by my father/grandfather on 28 January 2018 was read after his death.

The will stated that just the main building of the family house was part of the estate while the adjoining semi-detached building had been transferred to the Final Trust Muslim Community, Ilupeju.

 The said individuals, after being asked repeatedly to prove their claim, eventually produced a deed of gift in July 2022, allegedly signed by my father/grandfather on 14 August 2008, ten years before his death, purporting to transfer the residential lease of the semi-detached building to USTADTH AFIS OLATUNJI, MR SIKIRU OLUGBENGA ABDUR-RAHEEM & MR SHASUDEEN ADENIYI as a gift „in trust for the Ilupeju Muslim Community“.

 It is to be noted that

• The transaction apparently never received the consent of the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice for the Governor of Lagos State,

• The transaction was never registered at the Lands Registry of Lagos,

• The testator has never informed his wife or any of his children of the supposed gift inter vivos in his lifetime,

• The testator did not evince any intention or semblance of any gift to the said individuals in his lifetime.

• The testator was the only known landlord of the property. On the basis of a tenancy agreement signed in 2011, three years after the purported deed of gift, he collected rent from the said property until his death in 2018.

On 20 June 2021, the said individuals gained access to the annexed building, using a key in possession of the last tenant, Mr Wasiu Alade, without being able to answer questions about their legal right to stay in the house.

 They stayed on the premises for several hours though I repeatedly asked them to leave. After they eventually vacated the building, I changed the locks and denied them any further access.

The said individuals later lodged a criminal complaint against me at Ilupeju Police Station, from where I was arraigned before the Magistrates‘ Court of Lagos State on charges of assault.

This false and malicious accusation led to my imprisonment for three days, but the court eventually dismissed all the charges brought against me.

On 22 May 2023, the same group of individuals forced their way into the annexed building by sawing and breaking open the padlocks securing the doors, thereby invading and occupying part of the premises.

When challenged to produce a court order to justify their behaviour, the individuals did not respond but proceeded to cut down a tree, destroyed a bamboo screen inside the garden fence, and attempted to dig a hole in the ground, apparently seeking to find water.

I addressed the local police station at Ilupeju to report the incident and seek assistance, but was turned away as officers refused to intervene or record a complaint.

 Thanks to the intervention of my neighbours, the individuals stationed at the premises finally left in the morning of Wednesday 24 may 2023 after two days.

That same day, 24 May 2023, the same individuals reappeared  at about 5: 20pm from Jamaatu Islamiyya Central Mosque with Monsuru Alarape -Shamsudeen Molade -) and a number of men carrying sledgehammers who proceeded to break down the perimeter wall of the premises, continuing even as I was standing on top of the wall, asking them to desist.

The attackers only withdrew when I, in an act of desperation, started a fire on the wall to drive them away.

The aforesaid behaviour constitutes a number of criminal offences such as forcible entry, trespassing, causing damage to property, and endangering the health and safety of a person.

 The attack was reported to Area F Command of the Lagos police in a written deposition signed by an attorney. The police have acknowledged receipt of this statement without taking further action.

Two days later, 26 May 2023, my fathers’s/grandfather’s paternal half-sister, Mrs Nura Akinyele  appeared accompanied by a police officer and two other individuals, apparently to intimidate me, but I denied them access.

The validity of the purported last will and testament is doubtful as it refers to a large extent to Sharia law which should not be applicable to the right of succession in an interfaith family.

The validity of the will is further doubtful because it seeks to preordain the management of the house by keeping executors and trustees in perpetuity, instructing them about their course of action.

This leaves the heirs with the responsibility of ownership but without access to its proceeds.

The will states that heirs not professing the islamic faith should be „taken as having voluntarily disqualified“ themselves from inheriting the estate, thus discriminating against the non-Muslim members of the family who have no intention to change their beliefs.

According to the will in question, I was to move out of the house  within six months of my mother’s/grandmother’s death, if I do not convert to Islam or marry a muslim man.

Thus I and my 15-year-old daughter have been threatened with eviction from my own inheritance, my family home where I have lived almost all my life with my parents/grandparents until their demise and the only home my daughter has known from birth.

The said will violates the fundamental rights of freedom of religion and non-discrimination guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria and international law.

We have written to the Executors as well as the Probate office informing them that we intend to contest the purported WILL and a Caveat  has been placed.''


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