•They took over my uncompleted building, sold it — Oyedele
•How my hand was cut — Victim
By Gabriel Olawale
The residents of Ipetu Baba-Ode Itusi-Ilogbo in Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State are currently living in fear over series of attacksby thugs which was facilitated by a land dispute between the Adelupo family led by Yaya Are Alayande and the Itusi Royal Family led by Chief Taofeek Oduasanyin.
While some residents have fled the area for safety, others who have no place to go were forced to live in fear.
When Vanguard visited the community, some of the residents shared their ugly experiences in the hands of the thugs even as they made it clear that the thugs threatened them with constant attack just to force them to vacate the land they are occupying.
It was with tears that Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, 49, whose building was forcefully taken over by land grabbers and sold to another person to complete his ongoing building construction, narrated his ordeal.
Oyedele said: “I bought a plot of land from the Itusi Royal family in 2012. As an artisan, I was building the house with my little savings gradually with four shops in front of it. Since the house was yet to be completed, I was not living there.
“One day, I received a call from people living around the place that they have sold my house to another person and they have started building on my ongoing project. I was so sad and informed one of my brothers who is a soldier. He accompanied me to the place and we reported the case to the police.
“The Area Commander was so angry and told the police officer in charge of the case to organise a meeting between all the parties involved. But the police officer in charge of that case didn’t make that happen; he prevented me from seeing theArea Commander, while they kept on building on my house.”
How my hand was cut—Victim
Also speaking, Farouq Obitusi, 21, who tried to prevent the thugs from looting his mother’s shop, was brutalized and sustained a deep cut on his left hand.
Obitusi said: “I couldn’t stand by and watch while my mother’s shop was looted. I thank God that I am alive. They were about 12 in number with different dangerous weapons.
“When somebody shouted that people should call the police, they boasted that police cannot do anything to them, that they are Owo eye boys. I don’t know what they meant by that. But we eventually reported the case to Oinpanu Division in Ota.”
Narrow escape from a stray bullet
On his part, a man who identified himself as Najimu narrated his narrow escape from a stray bullet that nearly took his life.
He explained that when the case was reported at the FCID Gender Unit in Abuja, some policemen came to investigate the matter but since they did not know the location, he volunteered to lead them to the said land in dispute.
Najimu said: “On getting to the location, only God knows those who informed the thugs guarding the land that we were around, they came in large numbers and the policemen were able to escape and in the process, I sustained stray bullet injury.”
We got judgment from court— Itusi Royal Family
When contacted, Chief Adekunle Funmilayo, who is the legal consultant to Itusi Royal Family said that they got judgment from a court in their favour and instead of the other party to appeal the case; they resorted to victimizing people who are residing on the land.
Funmilayo said: “We have Form O which is a certificate of execution. After the judgement, we took possession of the land until the people we defeated, Adelupo family led by Yaya Are Alayande, invaded the land with suspected thugs known as Owo Eye boys and unleashed mayhem on the residents.
“We are law-abiding citizens and so, we wrote a petition to Inspector-General of Police who sent policemen from the gender unit in FCID Abuja to investigate the matter. They were attacked with guns, the policemen narrowly escaped and it was there that Najimu sustained a gun injury. Three of the thugs were caught with guns.
“The thugs mentioned those who sent them and they were invited to Abuja. One of them that showed up, Yaya Alayande was made to sign an undertaking to maintain peace, but yet, they continue to come to the land with guns and cutlass.
“The Commissioner of Police in Ogun State apprehended another nine of them again and recovered about two other guns.
“Our Appeal to the Ogun State government and Federal Government is to arrest those perpetrating this atrocity so that residents of Ipetu Baba-Ode Itusi-Ilogbo in Ado-Odo Ota, Ogun State can continue to live in peace.”