Sun News reports that the many residents of Ipetu Baba-Ode Itusi-Ilogbo in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State are currently living in fear following a series of attacks by hoodlums in the community.
The violent crisis was caused 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 escaped from the area for protection, others who have no place to go were forced to live in fear.
The inhabitants of the community said they experience constant threats from the thugs, who try to force them to vacate the land they occupy, Vanguard reports.
One of the victims, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, 49, shed tears when narrating his ordeal.
He said his building was forcibly seized by land grabbers and sold to another person to complete his ongoing building construction.
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. But since the house had yet to be completed, I was not living there.
“One day, I received a call from people living around the place that they had sold my house to another person and 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 the Area Commander, while they kept on building on my house.”
Another man, Farouq Obitusi, 21, while speaking said he tried to prevent the thugs from looting his mother’s shop, but was brutalised.
He 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 Owoeye boys. I don’t know what they meant by that. But we eventually reported the case to Oinpanu Division in Ota.”
In his own narration of the ugly experience, a man called Najimu said he narrowly escaped 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.”
When the newspaper visited Chief Adekunle Funmilayo, who is the legal consultant to Itusi Royal Family, he said they got a verdict from a court in their favour and instead of the other party to appeal the case; they resorted to victimising people 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.”