A tenant, Mr Kelvin Ani, has petitioned the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmad Abdurrahman, over his alleged forceful eviction by his landlord as well as the destruction of his business and property despite the fact that his tenancy will not expire until December 31, 2020.
Ani, in the petition by his counsel, E. M. Offordile, dated July 17, 2020, said he was a tenant to one Mr Nnamdi Izundu, who lives abroad, but gave instructions to Nnamdi Sheriff and one Ndubusi; and was in lawful occupation of the property known as Sunny Side Guest House at No. 4 Akulueuno Street, Obinagu Road, Abakpa, Nike, Enugu, under a yearly tenancy agreement, where he was carrying out his catering services since October 2015.
He said despite the regular payment of the rent, he was served a notice to quit on June 29, 2019, for possession to be yielded to the landlordon December 31, 2020.
Ani stated that the notice to quit, which he attached to the petition, was filed in court and served on him by the court bailiff and stated that he should deliver up possession of the premises at the expiration of the notice on December 31, 2020.
He claimed in the petition titled: ‘Re: Conspiracy, threat to life, breaking and entry, forcible entry upon premises under lawful possession of Ani Chibuike Kelvin, stealing, malicious damage to property, assault, forceful eviction of Ani Chibuike Kelvin and conduct likely to cause breach of peace by Mr Charles Nnamdi Izundu, Mr Nnamdi Sheriff, Mr Ndubusi and their cohorts’, that he was carrying out his business, when the landlord, through his agents, on June 30, 2020, stormed the premises and ordered him to yield possession on July 1, 2020, or be thrown out.
The petition read in part, “While our client tried to let them understand that he was served with a notice to quit the premises the previous day and he was expected to deliver possession on December 31, 2020, they instead assaulted him for daring to explain when they have made their order (sic).
“Our client made complainant to the Area Command concerning the threat to his life, assault, eminent (sic) danger to his business and danger of his forceful and unlawful eviction from the premises; and asked that he be protected by the law.
“As they had threatened, on July 1, 2020, they carried (out) their threats as they forcefully entered the premises, chased away his customers, his employees, and destroyed his fittings in (sic) the premises, destroyed his decorative flowers and flower vase/pots, stole his decorative artistic works and portraits worth hundreds of thousands of naira.
“They continued the raid on the premises from July 1 to 4, when he was finally thrown out from the premises without any of his property, including his clothing, except the clothe he had on his body when he was thrown out.”
Ani also alleged that 25 containers of assorted wines were taken away by the agents during the raid.
“So, during the raid oil (palm, groundnut and vegetable), food (both cooked uncooked), beverages, meat, fish and lots of other food items stored in the guest house were maliciously damaged, while the rest were carted away and N170,000 kept, including the N20,000 the employees made before the raid, were stolen,” the petition added.
Ani regretted that despite assurances of the police officer, one Inspector Nonso, who was assigned to investigate his complaint at the area command, he did not showed up when the destruction of his business and property was being carried out.
When the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, was contacted on the telephone, he declined to comment on the issue.