BBA Traders Condemns 3 am Invasion Of Their Market , Alleges Foisting Of  New Leadership With Thugs Backed By Heavily Armed Police Officers 

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By Daniel Ohamadike

The Caretaker Committee,ICC of Balogun Business Association ,BBA, International Market, Lagos State, has condemned the  alleged invasion of their market on Wednesday  3am, by armed thugs, who were accompanied by yet to be identified detachment of police officers.

The Association  vowed To  restore the democratic principles and rule of law by Throwing Out the Illegal leadership forcefully foisted on the traders at the wee hours of the day by the alleged invaders.

This is as traders  at the crisis ridden Balogun Business Association International Market, BBA, Lagos State ,have condemned the wee hours invasion, property destruction , colossal damages to sections of their market and wounding of market security officers by armed thugs, who were said to have been backed by  heavily armed police  detachment .

Our Correspondent who visited the market around 11 am yesterday, reported that the visibly Angry, obviously shaken and traumatized traders,vowed to resist the new but unpopular Chief Oscar Odogwu’s led  leadership, which they said was unlawful foisted on them by the invaders on Wednesday, November 22nd , 2023.

They however commended the rare high  level of maturity , civilization,Safety consciousness and law abiding attitude exhibited by the legitimate Care taker committee of BBA, led by Hon. Chief Anselem Duru ,  during the Wednesday 3am alleged unlawful invasion and forceful take of the market leadership and Secretariat by Oscar Odogwu and Alex Obi – Odunukwe’s Thugs and police,who allegedly invaded the market to foist an illegal market leadership.

According to one of the visibly Angry traders, Chief Polycarp Nwankwo, “the refusal by Hon. Duru Led ICC to resort to self help and confrontation with thugs, but resigned  to rule of law, was the saving grace that avoided Imminent Bloodbath , Possible Breakdown Of Law And Order, As Heavily Armed thugs backed by Police Officers Besiege BBA Lagos Market Complex to Enforce Controversial court Order”

Our investigation revealed that thousands of angry Traders at the Multi billion Naira BBA International market, located at the Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, along the Lagos/Badagry Expressway, Lagos, were vexed over the forceful foisting of what some described as a new unwarranted and unwanted leadership on them .

They also condemned the alleged manhandling of their legitimate Chief Security Officer, CSO of the market , Chief Chinaedu Ezebuadi and his security colleagues, who were said to have been brutally beaten by the alleged invaders , who stormed the market ,3am,  early Wednesday morning , using  hired thugs , accompanied by a detachment of heavily armed Police officers, suspected to be from  the State Command, whose mission they said , was to Unlawfully foist a new leadership in the crisis ridden market.

According to our Correspondent , there are palpable fears, with tension running high,  as some alleged breakaway members of the Association led by one Chief Oscar Odogwu, allegedly backed by  over 300 armed police officers ,  “on a mission to enforce a dubious and questionable court order , in a very dangerous attempt to foist an unknown and unrecognized members of the Association on the teeming traders in the market, in contravention of subsisting orders and decisions of the Federal High Court”.

The traders are envisaging a total breakdown of  Law and Order, if due process and rule of law that has been truncated, is not restored immediately,which they fear may lead to bloodbath, as it had once happened in the same market years ago. 

They therefore called on the Inspector General of the Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to intervene and call the Lagos State Police Command to order. 

Speaking, the legally recognized Caretaker Committee CTC, led by Honourable Anselm Dunu and the Secretary, Chief Leonard Ogbonnia, they had Stated in an interview earlier that  the new phase of the  crisis that had been rocking the market association started after Chief Okey Ezeibe allegedly took some of his loyalists to an obscure area  outside the market and  Conducted  an illegal election in which unpopular and unrecognized persons, including Chief Oscar Odogwu,were purportedly elected as leaders of the association to the chagrin of other members who felt the reign  of Chief Ezeibe as President and Board of Trustee,  BOT Chairman,  had lapsed and therefore, conducting an election outside the market runs contrary to their Constitution.

“It was this kangaroo and unlawful election in a hotel outside our market,that Oscar Odogwu and his co- travellers , used in initiating a court proceedings against individuals. For record purposes and emphasis, Odogwu’s court case was not with our organization called BBA , not with the caretaker committee.They deceived the court, the police,collected illegal Judgement with which they came to our market by 3am in the morning , broke into the security office, destroying things, manhandling our security personnel and Unlawfully took over leadership of the market .How can police Officers invade a market at the wee hours of the day, when market had long closed to enforce a questionable court Order . IGP Kayode Egbetokun, The Judiciary,Federal and State governments, should urgently intervene, so as to restore the democratic Hope of common man and our genuine traders”, The oldest Member, BBA Board Of Trustees, BOT, Chief Nick Okeke, lamented.

Meanwhile, Chief leonard Ogbonnia,  frowned at what he described as Odogwu’s group deception and love for illegalities, “considering that just on Monday all parties in several Federal High Court cases, including this invaders, were in court for peaceful settlement and resolutions of cases and issues in the market “

According to a press release signed by Hon. Dunu and Chief Ogbonnia, despatched to our Correspondent, titled: “THE EVENTS AT BBA/ICC TODAY, WEDNESDAY, 22ND NOVEMBER, 

2023″, it reads: 

“Greetings beloved and greet fellow members of BBA/ICC.

The Caretaker Committee of BBA uses this opportunity to address you on the 

regrettable and ridiculous events of today, Wednesday, 22nd of November, 

2023 when the duo of Mr. Alex Obi-Odunukwe and Mr. Oscar Odogwu broke 

into the hallowed grounds of our Shopping Complex under the flag and color of 

enforcing an alleged order or judgment of court.”

“It is imperative that you, resourceful and glorious members of Balogun Business 

Association, hold very closely to your noble hearts the very vital information 

that the purported judgment under which cover Mr. Alex Obi-Odunukwe and

Mr. Oscar Odogwu invaded the sacred grounds of our complex is one they 

fraudulently contrived and invoked in a stale and illegitimate lawsuit in which 

neither our dear Association, Balogun Business Association, nor members of this 

Caretaker Committee are parties.”

“In other words, Balogun Business Association, either in its plain name or in its 

capacity as a body corporate and registered Association, is not a party to the 

suit.

And neither this incumbent Caretaker Committee No any of its members are 

parties to this abusive and contemptuous lawsuit.”

Mr. Alex Obi-Odunukwe and Mr. Oscar Odogwu, consumed and propelled by a 

combustible mix of inordinate ambition and desperation have done the 

unthinkable by brazenly deceiving, misinforming and manipulating both the 

Court and the Nigeria Police Force to levy execution of a purported judgment 

against Balogun Business Association, the Caretaker Committee of the 

Association and members of the Caretaker Committee of the Association who 

are not parties to their contemptuous lawsuit!”

“And to make matters worse for these two desperado and their confederates 

who claim to have been “elected” as members of a phantom “executive council” 

of their own imagination at an hotel in Mile 2, Lagos, their illegitimate lawsuit 

was wangled by them and unleashed on the Court AFTER the Federal High Court 

had specifically in Suit No.”

 FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2021(Incorporated Trustees of 

Balogun Business Association & Others versus Inspector General of Police & 

Others) and Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021(Incorporated Trustees of Balogun 

Business Association & Others versus Corporate Affairs Commission & Others) 

made orders, decisions and pronouncements which effectively invalidated and 

nullified the comedy of errors that masqueraded as “elections” at Villa Park 

Hotel!The above two suits and the orders, decisions and pronouncements made by 

the Federal High Court predated the now infamous and contemptuous lawsuit 

of Mr. Oscar Odogwu, Mr. Alex Obi-Odunukwe and their confederates, and the 

orders, decisions and pronouncements of the Federal High Court in the above 

two cases(Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2021 and Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021) 

are still subsisting!”

“In fact the two suits came up before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, 

20th of November, 2023 and have been further adjourned by the Court to the 

19th of December, 2023!

In the circumstances, we hereby advise our beloved members, stakeholders, 

affiliates and esteemed customers to remain calm and law-abiding while this 

Caretaker Committee, in exercise of its lawful management and administration 

of the Association and the ICC, attends to the toxic and noxious shenanigans of 

these fifth columnists who by all indications are mere scouts for some ambitious 

predators that have in recent times set their sights on the ICC and the 

Association under various covers, including false environmental and sanitation 

concerns.”

“The Association and this incumbent Caretaker Committee is backed and 

sustained not only by the subsisting orders, decisions of the Federal High Court 

in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/579/2021 and Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/451/2021, but by 

subsisting judgments of the Federal High Court in Suit No. 

FHC/ABJ/CS/215/2021 and the Lagos State High Court in Suit No. 

LD/5458GCMW/2018.”

“We call on all our great members, affiliates and stakeholders not to dignify these 

renegades with any iota of legitimacy.”

“It is imperative to state that no individual or group of individuals should enter 

into any form of contractual, transactional or official relationship with these 

renegades in any colour, flag, guise or representation that these desperate 

individuals are officials and or representatives of Balogun Business Association.”

“As earlier stated, we urge you to remain calm and law-abiding and hold on to 

the strong conviction that sanity, common sense and the rule of law shall surely 

prevail.

Hon. (Chief) Anselm Dunu. Chief Leonard Ogbonnia

(Chairman, CTC) (Secretary, CTC)”

Attempts to get comments from Chief Odogwu’s group was rebuffed, as our Correspondent reports that the market was tensed and traders appeared uneasy.

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