Following incessant disruptions of the peace by suspected land grabbers, thugs and criminal elements, who were laying claim to the ownership of land, the Itusi Royal Family of Ipetu Baba Ode, Itusi – Ilogbo in Ado – Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, who are claimants to the disputed Baba Ode land located near Ilogbo Ashowo in Ogun State, as well as several property owners in the community, have send a ‘save our souls,’ SOS, plea to the acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Bala Alkali, the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Edward Ajogun and the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Members of the Itusi Royal Family and several property owners of Baba Ode community insisted that the activities of land grabbers and their thugs have not only caused them bodily harms, but has led to their abandoning their properties and run for their dear lives, as a result of constant attack by gun – wielding thugs, who constantly wreck mayhem whenever they come to attack them.
Speaking with CompassNG, a representative of the victims, Akeem Fadairo, said that the thugs recently destroyed his N25 million paint producing factory.
He said, “The gun – wielding thugs came to destroy my paint producing factory and send my workers away. They later looted the factory, and as I am talking to you, I can no longer access my property.”
Also speaking, the Head of Itusi Royal Family, Chief Taofeek Oduasanyin, said that his house was destroyed and they resold one of his buildings.
He added that he has run away from Baba Ode and he is currently in hiding for fear of his previous life.
Chairman of Arinu Prayer Ministry, whose worship centre is in the disputed land, said that very recently, worshippers were sent away by thugs carrying guns and cutlasses. He said that since then, the worshippers could not go back to the worshipping centre due to fear of attack.
Explaining his own ordeal, 49-year-old Mr Taiwo Oyedele, said that the land grabbers and their thugs sold his uncompleted building to another person.
Oyedele, who is a technician, said that he bought his land from the Itusi Royal Family in 2012 and carried out all necessary land processes.
Another victim, Mrs Alimat Agboola, said that on April 6, 2021, the thugs attacked her shop and destroyed her freezer, shot into the building and carted away the sum of N250,000.
When contacted, the lawyer to the Itusi Royal Family, Chief Adekunle Funmilayo, confirmed the development, saying that he was aware of the attacks and that they had reported several attacks to the police.
Maintaining that the activities of the thugs have been reported at the Federal Criminal Investigating Department, FCID, Abuja; the Police Gender Unit, the Anti-Cultism Unit, the Ogun State Police Headquarters at Eleweran, Abeokuta as well as the Area Command of the Nigeria Police, in Ogun State, Funmilayo said the thugs are the notorious ‘Owoeye Boys,’ saying they are known within Ota and Ifo areas of Ogun State.
He said, “The thugs are not spirits and we know them. They are the notorious ‘Owoeye Boys’ and the principal thugs are Nurudeen Obasanya, Fatai Ogundimu, a.k.a Fatech; Monsuru Ogundimu; Moses Igidaduro; Azeez Ali; and Sikiru Agbelaya, a.k.a Agbas.”
The legal practitioner averred that what is surprising to him is that anytime they report the attacks, the police would carry out arrests and another set would come.
“I don’t know why the police have refused to arrest the sponsors of the thugs. I got information that the thugs usually mentioned their sponsors to the police after each attack, but the police have refused to arrest the sponsors.”
He said the the Itusi Royal Family has judgement on their family land at Ipetu Baba Ode in Ado Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State and they have executed the judgement.
He added that surprisingly, the Adelupo family, led by one Yahaya Alayande Are, invaded the land with hoodlums fully armed with guns, claiming they have judgement on the land, whereas the judgement they possessed was on another property at Iju Ota.
He said the case was appealed and it is at the Ibadan Division of the Court Appeal.
Funmilayo said that the police have advised the Adelupo family to also execute their judgement, which they have not been able to do.
He continued, “The question we need to ask the Adelupo family is: why are they resorting to self help through the use of land grabbers and thugs, when the matter is still pending in court? We have a judgement which we have executed, why can’t they execute their own judgement?”
He revealed that recently, the story about the community made headlines in national dailies over the shooting of an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, and a Police Inspector, who were seriously injured by suspected land grabbers, on their ancestral land, Baba-Ode/Onibuku community in Ado-Odo/Otta Local Government Area of Ogun State last week.
He said the injured policemen, ASP Tajudeen Adeleke, aka Otunba and Inspector Babatunde Olayiwola, were part of the team mobilised by CSP Bamidele Job, the DPO, Onipanu Police Station, to the troubled community, in response to a distress call about the rampaging gunmen.
The Head of Itusi Family, Chief Oduasanyin appealed to law enforcement agencies to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter to unravel those behind the unfortunate incident, saying, “As owners and residents of that community, we have suffered untold hardships from these elements, who claim to own the land, using brute force, intimidations and gun battles to keep dislodging us from Baba Ode.
“We want the government to help in preventing them discontinue their incessant attacks on our family members and all the legal occupants of the land.”