Two retired staff of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Godfrey Eze and Moshood Kolawole Jimoh, have been arraigned before the Agege Magistrate Court, Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on assault, ocassioining and damage to the agency’s premises at Lagos airport.
The first accused, Mr Godfrey Eze, a former director of engineering with the agency was said to have been allocated official residence at the above quarters while in service.
Upon retirement in 2009, he continued occupying the said residence contrary to the policy of NAMA contained in the condition of service which stipulated that a staff must vacate official residence three months after retirement.
Our investigation revealed that the said Eze, upon retirement in 2009 and after receiving his severance benefits, instead of vacating the premises, decided to employ legal tactics to continue the illegal occupation.
He took the agency to court in the guise that he paid the sum of N10,000 as expression of interest to buy the property in question.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the presidential implementation committee on the sale of houses had written to the effect that all houses within the proximity of the airport are not to be sold.
On the strength of the above, Eze’s suit against NAMA at both the Federal High Court and recently, the Court of Appeal were both dismissed for lack of merit.
The second accused, Mr Moshood Kolawole Jimoh on the other hand was until his retirement in February 2015 the General Manager, Equipment /Stores Department.
Our source revealed that upon his retirement, the agency served him several quit notices after the mandatory three months of grace which he pleaded wth the agency to allow him collect his severance benefits to enable him arrange alternative accommodation.
According to our source, when Jimoh was paid the said entitlements, he did not only refuse to vacate the premises but went ahead to sublet the flat in question to some tenants.
It was learnt that when officials of NAMA made an effort recently to repossess the premises from the two former staff, the said Eze and Jimoh went to town and mobilized thugs and miscreants inflicted varying degrees of injuries on NAMA staff with the use of machetes, clubs and daggers.
Following this assault on NAMA staff, the duo of Eze and Jimoh were arrested and charged for the said crimes. It was gathered however that upon their release on bail, one of the accused persons, Mr Jimoh a few days ago forcefully regained entry into the premises by breaking the locks, even as the matter is still pending in court.
Investigation has shown that it is becoming fashionable for staff of NAMA to retire and refuse to vacate their official premises under the pretext that they are in court.
It was also learnt that other aviation agencies have considerable number of retired staff holding on to their official quarters on grounds that they are in court to acquire the houses.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get NAMA side proved abortive as The Travel Port was told that it will be sub-judice to discuss a matter that is still pending in court.