A landlord, Adetoye Adebayo, has been arrested by the police for allegedly breaking into his tenant’s shop over the latter’s refusal to quit.
The tenant, Aanuoluwapo Alonge, alleged that the septuagenarian damaged some of her property and made away with items from the shop in the Ipaja area of Lagos State.
It was gathered that in 2014, Adebayo rented out the shop to Alonge to run her business with the agreement that she must not exceed 9 PM as closing time.
It was also learnt that Adebayo issued his tenant a notice to quit in 2016 when she allegedly defaulted on the agreement.
In her report to the police, Alonge said Adebayo broke into her shop without her knowledge and took some items.
She said, “I got to my shop on August 31, 2018, and discovered that it was in total disorder. My landlord came to my shop without my knowledge. How he got into the shop is still unknown to me, because I neither gave him my key nor know that he had a spare key to my shop.
“The roof of my shop was removed and the fence securing my shop was broken down. When I checked all my property in the shop, they were no longer in good condition because they had been exposed to sun and rain. My business cost me a fortune and now everything is no longer in a good condition. I spent about N1.5m to equip the shop. The items missing in the shop are one LG inverter, air conditioner, OX fan, three Chandelier light fittings, one microwave and one generator.”
The 79-year-old Adebayo, however, said he took the action because the tenant refused to quit despite promising to do so.
He said, “I gave her a notice to quit in January 2016 and I gave her three notices afterward. There was a peace meeting between us and we agreed that she should quit the place for a proper shop to be built on the land. But till date, she refused to quit the place despite several attempts and telephone calls.
“She locked up the place and denied me access without payment. After two years of waiting, I knocked down the fence without her knowledge to build the shops. I took inventory of the things she had in the shop and they are still intact. But I removed the air conditioner and one standing fan and kept them in a safe place. I did not damage anything and I did not steal anything. The aluminium structure is still intact as well.”
Adebayo was, however, arraigned before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on four counts bordering on stealing and unlawful damage.
The charges read in part, “That you, Adetoye Adebayo, sometime in August 2018 at House 31/32 Road, Third Avenue, Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Lagos, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did break and enter the shop of one Aanuoluwapo Alonge, to commit felony; thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 309(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs. S.K. Matepo, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum.
She adjourned the case till November 19, 2018.