Aishat Maja, a plumber and engineer in Lagos State, had travelled to Ibadan when she received a phone call around 6.30 am on Friday that her landlord had arrested her younger sister and a friend due to what was described as “illegal accommodation”.
According to the information gathered, the arrest was ordered on the basis of “conduct likely to cause breach of peace”. In simpler terms, Mr Ojomu Bakare, also known as Baba Azeez, the landlord, did not want his tenant to accommodate other people in the same room.
But before Aishat rented the apartment at No 24, Awomodu Street, off Pedro Road, on December 10, 2019, she told the landlord that her younger siblings would be staying with her during the holidays.
Although there was no written or signed agreement, the landlord was not averse to the information. “He even said I was not allowed to stay out of the house to drink or smoke with my friends but I could do that in my room. But then, I don’t even bring friends home,” Aishat told FIJ.
FIJ learnt that Aishat’s sister, Zainab Maja, had been with her since November last year, when she began her mandatory Industrial Training (IT). And because of the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, she has not left. On the other hand, her friend only joined her in April 2022.
Prior to the arrest, the landlord threatened to throw them out of the house, and Aishat reported him at the human right department of Pedro Police Station, Palm Groove, Lagos.
She said, “He threatened to send us out of the house because he needed money. He and his son planned to set their last born to frustrate us so that when we reacted, his sons would beat us up.
“On September 1, I reported him at the station, where they took my statement and his own too. They made him sign an undertaking that he wasn’t going to threaten us again. Since then, he has stopped a bit, but his wife has been the one pestering our lives with insults and using foul languages on our parents. She complains that we don’t greet and are not well-trained.”
What baffles Aishat is the fact that she is not the only tenant with roommates. Since the landlord didn’t show signs of animosity when she first moved to the house, she feels there is more to the issue than meets the eye.
“Even the ones that are up to six in the room are not being threatened like this. It seems he has a personal beef with me, and I don’t even know why,” she noted.
While Aishat’s sister and her friend were released following the intervention of the human rights department of the police station, the matter is yet to be resolved. As of the time of filing this report, Aisha was still in Ibadan, and she is expected to report to the police station when she returns to Lagos on Sunday.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach the landlord for reaction proved abortive as he neither answered his call nor responded to the message sent to him.