Mrs. Olajoke Adesipe is a textile business woman,who happens to be a tenant at a shop at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja. Musician, Onyeka Onwenu happens to be the Director-General of the centre. Mrs Olajoke has accused Onyeka of assault, saying that she was forcefully evicted from her shop on Onyeka’s orders. Mrs Olajoke has written a petition to the National Human Rights Commission dated March 3, 2014, to this effect. Read excerpts of what she disclosed in her petition:
“I am a yearly tenant and my current tenancy would not end until December, 2014, yet they tried pushing me out. On January 21, 2014, I heard that the DG might likely eject me even when my rent is still valid.
I got a letter to vacate the premises within three days on January 28,2014, while another letter was given to me on February 4. I wrote a letter to Onwenu on February 6, and sent her a text message three days later seeking an audience.
She gave me an appointment for the following day and after narrating her story, the DG apologized and said that a formal apology letter would be written by the centre to her. Onwenu said I should vacate the shop but promised that I would be relocated to the shopping complex within the premises. I agreed but insisted that I would only vacate the shop when given an allocation letter.”
However, on February 13, Mrs Olajoke allegedly got a call from Onyeka asking her why she had not moved out of the shop.
“I told her that nobody had given me an allocation letter for the new shop as she promised. She said if I failed to move out by February 14, she would send for the State Security Service to chase me out. On February 14, I was at the centre early. I heard that Onwenu, in company of her security personnel, had forced my shop open. I ran there and saw her supervising the forceful ejection without any prior court or police order.
While trying to take pictures of the scene with my phone for evidence, Onyeka Onwenu ordered her men to confiscate my phone. In the struggle for the phone, I was beaten and dragged on the ground, while my cloth and bags were torn.” Adesipe disclosed in the petition.
The Legal Adviser of the centre, Mohammed Suleiman, explained that Adesipe was not a legal tenant. He also added that she has been allocated another shop which she refused to accept.