The situation in Idedo Village via Onibuku, Ota, Ogun State is tense as two families appear ready to damn all consequences as they battle over ownership of a land in the community.
According to the police, the clashes, which had been going on for long, leading to many being injured and maimed, were becoming more frequent and daring.
The recent battle caused the injury of so many people from both factions, said the police.
The police said: “The two families hired thugs and stationed them on each of their lands.
“With such a situation, you can bet that there would always been clashes.
“It was because of the constant clashes that police had to step in.
“We couldn’t stand and watch them take the law into their hands and start killing one another.
“The fight is not so much over land, but over boundary.”
The battle is between the Isadare/Olakotan and Alayande families.
Indeed, distraught members of Isadare and Olakotan family of Ijumo Compound, Idedo village, Ota, Ogun State have petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, alleging threat to their lives.
They also urged the senior policemen to save them from frequent attacks on the land, which they described as their “ancestral land.”
The petition to the police chiefs was signed by their solicitors, Remi Adeoye of Destiny and Lawlords Chambers.
In the petition, they explained that four members of their family were attacked on January 13, 2020 by persons suspected to be working for Alhaji Mohammed Yaya Alayande, who is contesting the ownership of the land with them.
The petitioners said the victims were brutalised and machete cuts inflicted on them during the violent attack on them.
The petition reads in part: “The Isadare/Olakotan family which obtained various judgments on the entire land located, situated, lying and being at Idedo Village, Via Onibuku, Ota, Ogun State, in suit No: HCT/119/2003, delivered on the 27th June 2011 and Appeal NO.CA/I/322/2011, delivered on the 7th November 2014, alleged that Alayande, who had been parading an invalid judgment documents had been persistently attacking their tenants on the sites of their land with dangerous weapons like guns, machetes, clubs and knives, while reports to the Sango Police Area Command yielded no result, as no arrest was made. On January 13, 2020, Lukman Dabiri and Ayinla Adebowale, who are brothers to High Chief Moroof Owonla, a land buyer from the Isadare and Olakotan family were attacked and machete cuts inflicted on them by some persons identified as Monsuru, Akeem, Fatai, Yaya, Nurudeen, Ali and others at large. These men were allegedly armed with guns and machetes, while they were at the site to supply construction materials to workers.”
According to the petition, the case was immediately reported at Sango Police Area Command where Lukman and Ayinla were issued police medical referral request to seek medical attention at the General Hospital, Ota, but after that, the police team led by Mukaila, alias Obulegbe, and the Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Wasiu, have not made any arrest.
Instead, they were allegedly threatening and intimidating the complainants.
The petition stated further: “Investigations, however, revealed that upon the application for police investigation into the land dispute, the Special Investigation Panel (SIP), office of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Abuja was asked to look into the matter. The panel, in its report dated 30th January, 2018, revealed the fact that the petitioner, Alhaji M.Y. Alayande, lost a land case to his brethren on another land entirely in suit No: OT/842/10 which was filed at the customary court Ota, and the Appeal filed at the High Court, Ota in Suit No: HCT/1A/11. Alayande, who later got a judgment allegedly based on falsehood against his brethren was advised in the police report, to maintain peace and status, quo with his family, only for him to jump on our client’s expanse land which shared boundaries with them and continued to perpetrate his nefarious land grabbing act.”
Reacting to the allegations leveled against him, Alayande denied attacking anyone on the land, noting that those who claimed to be victims were actually the ones who attacked people they met within the vicinity of the property.
He explained that there was a court judgment obtained in 1983 in favour of Adelupo family, which he belongs to, arguing that there was no pending appeal on the judgment.
His words: “I’m not a land grabber!
“I am the head of Adelupo family and my family has not trespassed on any landed property.
“We share common border with the Isadare and Olakotan families on the land in Idedo.
“However, the Isadare and Olakotan family encroached on my family’s land measuring about 200 acres despite the 1983 judgment which they did not appeal against.
“We took them to court again, but instead of waiting for the outcome of the case, they hired a property agent, who sent his boys to the land to attack people.
“The matter was reported to the police and they were arrested.”
A policeman, who had been following the case, gave further insight into the matter: “The issue is about a land.
“The two factions have a boundary issue.
“Both of them have properties that are lined side by side and they are accusing each other of encroaching into each another’s property.
“They were asked to get their documents from Land and Survey that will certify the boundaries of each of them.
“We got interested in the matter because there was violence.
“Right now, both parties have written petition to Assistant-Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2 and to the IGP, Force headquarters, Abuja.
“The police at Sango Area Command have concluded plans to transfer the matter to Force Headquarters. Abuja.
“The truth is that both parties are always having clashes, that was why the police had to go into the matter, otherwise, they would kill themselves and end up killing innocent people, who knew nothing about the matter or fight.
“The parties have been having clashes for long.
“When you have two lands that are lying side by side, and you put thugs on either side, it’s going to continual clashes.
“As a police, we keep quiet and allow them to continue fighting because it’s a land matter, they would kill themselves.
“We couldn’t just ignore them.
“They were even asked to go and get documents and all that.
“There was a time we even made arrest from both sides.
“We arrested thugs from both sides and they pleaded that they were going to settle.
“They probably said that because they wanted their men, who were then detained, to be released.
“We released those guys to them and urged them to go and discuss and ensure peace reigns.
“We didn’t know they had a hidden agenda.
“Now, each of them is going about, writing petitions and asking that the case be moved.
“We had even wanted to charge the case to court.”
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the matter.
Oyeyemi added: “It’s a case of assault and two suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“It is not the business of the police to determine ownership of disputed landed property.
“It’s the court that will do that.
“Therefore, the two suspects are currently being detained at the Ota Police Area Command for further investigations.”