…as hoodlums invade community, beat Village Head
Ogun State Government has reassured that it would not tolerate the activities of land grabbers in the state, vowing to deal with anyone found culpable with the full wrath of law.
The State Commissioner For Information and Strategy, Alhaji Waheed Odusile, disclosed this in Abeokuta on Thursday, saying that the government will not take it lightly with anyone claiming the ownership of another person’s land illegally.
He said: “The activities of land grabbers are not welcomed in Ogun State. The government will not take it lightly with anybody found to be involved in maiming or grabbing of land, they would be dealt with according to the law.
“Governor Dapo Abiodun has said it clearly, and I’m reiterating it, that the law would be used to deal with anyone threatening the peace of the state. So, if it is land grabbers that are threatening the peace of the state, they will be dealt with through the instrumentality of the law,” Odusile said.
Odusile’s comment was coming on the heels of recent activities of some alleged land grabbers, who were said to have invaded Adumbu community in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the State with about 50 thugs, injuring two people and beating up the village head.
It was alleged that one Mojeed Solabi, a notorious land grabber, invaded the town with thugs armed with dangerous weapons including cutlass, broken bottles, axes, chasing people away from their homes and ancestral lands in the community.
The residents of the community in a “Save Our Soul” letter to the police titled, “Case of Conspiracy, Threat To Life and Invasion of Adumbu Village By Land Grabbers”, and jointly signed by an Elder in the village Dr. Dele Onatade and the Secretary, Chief Ranti Falola, asked the police to come to their rescue.
They alleged that Solabi and his cohorts through the backing of one Mutairu Owoeye, had been terrorising and threatening the peace of the community for over 10 years, since 2013 when they invaded the village and sacked the entire community including the late Village Head, Chief Olalekan Ogunjobi over 4000 hectares of land.
The residents said Solabi, who was earlier declared wanted by the police, ran away, only to resurface this year to continue his land grabbing activities, by first trying to take over the possession of seven acres of land meant to build primary school for the community and later claiming the possession of other people’s lands.
According to the residents, all efforts by the new Village Head of the Community, Chief Kayode Falola to restore peace was thwarted by Solabi when he allegedly led thugs to a block-making factory owned by the village head, beat him to stupor and arrested him with the aide of some police men allegedly from Zone 2, Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos.
Speaking on the matter, Falola alleged that Salabi also went with his thugs to attack the secretary of the village, Chief Ranti Falola, at his house, manhandled him and tore his cloth before they dragged him into the same police vehicle they put him in and drove both of them off to zone 2, Onikan, Lagos.
The village head also alleged that the duo of Saula Sobogun and Riliwon Adegbayo were beaten and inflicted with machete and plant cuts on their body by Solabi and his hoodlums whom they accused of supporting the village elders while claiming that all land in the community belongs to Solabi.
The Village Head also alleged that the thugs equally visited the office of Sobogun and descended on him heavily, inflicting machete cuts on his body and left him fainted only for some good Samaritans in the village to rescue him.
Falola said: “Adegbayo went out to buy something in the community and the thugs saw him, they accused him of being one the village supporters, they also descended on him and beat him up with planks, inflicting injuries in some parts of his body.
Noting that he had reported the case to the Olu of Itori, Oba Akorede Akamo, he said he is yet to see any meaningful results as Solabi’s thugs have continue to disrupt the peace of the community.
He however appealed to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to rescue the community from the land grabbers.
He said: “Mojeed Solabi led some thugs numbering about 50 to my block industry in the morning and asked them to beat me. They beat me mercilessly, accusing me of trying to sell Solabi’s ancestral family land. He also brought some police men from Zone 2, Onikan Lagos who handcuffed me and dragged me into their security vehicle.
“They later went to the house of the secretary of Adumbu village, Chief Ranti Falola, they manhandled him, tore his cloth, and dragged him into the police vehicle and drove us to their police station in Zone 2, Lagos.
“They punished me so much at the station, we spent two days at the station without food or water and was not able to brush my teeth, they later released me on the third third day after paying N500,000.
“I was later taken to the court where i was granted a bail of N250,000.” he added.
But, the alleged land grabber, Solabi, while reacting, denied the allegation, saying that he didn’t lead any thugs to Adumbu village.
“They are only lying against me. I built my house in that community and and I have my family there, it’s not true,” he said.