–Accuses Chinese firm of hiring soldiers to harass, intimidate Nigerians in Ogun
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
A businessman, Mr. Denis Balogun has lamented that about ten ‘unknown soldiers’ allegedly hired by a Chinese firm, confronted him at Greenfield Estate OPIC Ogun State and threatened to kill him.
Balogun, who said that he was the owner of a plot of land at the estate, has pleaded with the Ogun State Government to come to his rescue and other people that bought land from the Greenfield Estate but at the verge of losing their property as a result of encroachment by a Chinese firm with the collaboration of some persons in government.
Though he said that the alleged illegal allocation of land to the Chinese did not happen under the watch of the present government in Ogun State, he added that the government of the day has a duty to ensure justice, fairness, protection of lives and properties and engender confidence in people about government and in governance.
“Therefore, I call on the Governor of Ogun State, His Excellence Dapo Abiodun without delay to intervene and ensure justice. I also call on the military authorities to rise to the occasion to ensure Soldiers are not engaged in illegal duties or civil matters by unmasking the so called ‘Unknown Soldiers’. Sinoki Systems must be made to account for this uncivil barbaric action by disclosing the identities of the Soldiers and others involved in these ignoble actions, harassment, threat to life and attempted kidnap.”
Narrating his ordeals in a statement made available to newsmen, Biodun, who claimed that he has genuine documents for ownership of the land in contention said, “On Wednesday July 7, 2021 at about 10:45am, our Site Engineer Godswill called to inform me of disruption of our ongoing construction works on Plot 8 (dully allocated to Adeniran Adewumi and Plot 9 (dully allocated to Balogun Abayomi Dennis) located within Block AL Scheme 1 Residential Area 1 OPIC Estate off Lagos Ibadan Expressway.
“Both Plots of Land were fully paid for with receipt and allocation letters issued by Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC).
“I left home for the site and on arrival, some boys accosted me and in the course of our discussions Soldiers and others dressed in mufti numbering over 10 with about 6 armed to the teeth arrived the scene. On arrival, they came for me pointing guns at me with one of the civilians shouting I will be killed alongside the boys working on site for me.
“I requested to know their identities and who was leading the illegal operations involving soldiers in a land dispute and civil matter. One of the Soldiers came over to point gun at me for daring to ask questions and also requested to have my phone as he claimed I took pictures. I heard another young man whom I suspected is a staff of the Chinese Company spoke to this soldier in Hausa to shoot me and nothing was going to happen!
“Fortunately, I understand and speak Hausa fluently. Immediately I responded to him in Hausa to ask what he just said. Then a Soldier came for my phone forcefully, took it from me and handed it to their leader while he held me at gunpoint
“Their so-called leader searched through my phone in breach of my privacy. After thorough search of my Phone, he handed it back to me. They insisted I must follow them which I vehemently refused telling them they have no name tags, they are unknown, no warrant of arrest and as far as I know military are not to be involved in land matters and by my estimation, they are kidnappers
“Eventually their leader in this illegal operation who identified himself simply as Emmanuel (no name tag on him) informed me they were from Ikeja Cantonment. I requested of him if he as a Soldier as claimed, if they are allowed to embark on an operation like this? Surprisingly about 6 of them surrounded me wielding guns and no name tags on their uniforms as well.
“He said to me if I have heard of unknown soldiers and that I can be killed with the boys working for me and nothing will happen and they will disappear without trace. I was able to get him to calm down by speaking Hausa to him informing him of my land documents if he cares to look at it.
“I asked him if he had seen the documents of the Chinese which he responded in the negative that they were bringing it. I said to him you haven’t seen their title document and you brought loads of gun wielding soldiers to harass and threaten an innocent civilian.
“I also informed him how ignoble his act was by making the military a cash and carry commodity for the Chinese. eventually he was able to see reason and I requested we have a private talk.
“He insisted I must leave the site to enable the Chinese continue work there. I told him I have not prevented the Chinese bricklayers from working, as the site they were working has nothing to do with my plot of land or my friend’s. At that point, he requested to understand the location of our Plots.
“I showed him, and the young man that had earlier spoken in Hausa holding a gun and threatening to shoot me came over charging at me. At this point I stepped out to call Ojodu Abiodun Police Station to inform the DCO of the unfortunate developments. He told me he wasn’t in the office but he will speak with his assistant to come over to ensure we were not harmed.
“Just before leaving for Ojodu Abiodun Police Station, I overheard the same Sinoki staff making call to some unknown people saying I was on ground and that on arrival they should bundle me away. Other people also heard this dangerous conversation and threat of kidnap of my person.
“Today, for me was a sad day to be a Nigerian. Same for all the boys working on site who witnessed the illegalities and our harassment in the hands of those who swore to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and respect the civil authorities. Sadly, they did and engaged in abominable acts with their uniforms and guns all bought with tax payers monies.
“They made themselves a willing tool and cash carry Soldiers in the hands of the Chinese company. The staff were boastful of how powerful the Chinese are and how they have everyone in Nigeria high authorities in their pockets and payroll. This they proved to me with the involvement of Military men in land matters as supposed to be engaged in fighting terrorist and bandits terrorizing Nigerians and our territorial integrity. The ignoble acts by these Soldiers very unfortunate for Nigeria and it people.”