‘How Owoeye Invaded Our Ancestral Land, Terrorized Inhabitants’- Respected Monarch, Onilogbo Narrates Experience With Notorious Land Grabber!
The Onilogbo of Ilogbo-Asowo, Ota, Oba Samuel Olufemi Ojugbele has refuted claims by some individuals calling him a land speculator and his families, Oyeyemi Asalu of Iga Isalu land grabbers.
The monarch speaking to journalists in his Ilogbo palace explained that some ‘customary tenants’ were laying claims to some 6000 acres of land owned by his forefathers after so many years of their magnanimity of accommodating them.
The expanse of land in dispute is located along Sokoto road, Atan-Ota, Ogun State. The Onilogbo in his statement said the land belongs to the Oyeyemi Asalu of Iga Isalu, Ota, in Ado-odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State.
Oba Ojugbele, a lawyer before ascension to the throne of his forefathers, further explained that the forefathers of the ‘customary tenants’ who are now laying claim to the land were from Iboro, Imasayi axis of the Yewa part of the state.
He said, “Our fathers assisted and allowed these customary tenants to farm on our land only for them to turn around today and start claiming ownership.”
“Because I am not a man of violence and a respecter of rule of law and by my position as a royal father, we have tried on many occasions to discuss the issue with our customary tenants but they refused to listen to us and remain adamant.
“While we were pondering on how we could resolve the matter peacefully, our customary tenants went unto the land and appropriated about 2000 acres of our family land to a land speculator, one Alhaji Mutairu Owoeye and before we knew, this Alhaji Owoeye overran about four or five villages within the said land, scattered them and occupied the villages with about 80 able bodied men. They put power generating sets and all sort of other things there.
“My treaty to this Alhaji Owoeye also failed. He was brought to me in my palace, we talked but he refused to listen and then I was left with no other option than to go to court.
“As law-abiding citizens, we dragged them to court and we got a judgment after a protracted legal battle between us and Yekini Solabi led family, Alhaji Owoye among nine other defendants. The Oyeyemi Asalu families won the case as the court told them in suit No. HCA/21/12 that the land in question legally belong to Oyeyemi Asalu families,” Oba Ojugbele stated.
The claimants in the Suit HCA/21/12 held on Monday, 29th February 2016 at Ogun State High Court of Justice, Ota before the Honourable Justice O.S.Olusanya were Oba Samuel Olufemi Ojugbele, Alhaji Suraju Olusesi, Babatunde Akinde and Chief Abayomi Ojugbele all representing themselves and on behalf of Oyeyemi Asalu family of Iga Isalu, Ota.
The said ‘customary tenants’ and other defendants in the matter were Alhaji Yekini Solabi, Lamina Solabi, Jimoh Jolaosho Solabi, Fasasi Solabi, Mojidi Solabi, Ibrahim Solabi, Alhaji Mutairu Owoeye, Ganiyu Owoeye, Tunde (a.k.a One Hour), Israel Olubode-Oso and Jimoh Oba Dosumu. It was noted that Olubode-Oso and Oba Dosumu joined by order of the court on 29th July 2013.
We learned that Yekini Solabi, Alhaji Owoeye and others were not satisfied with the verdict given by the State High Court and therefore headed to the Court of Appeal.
Oba Ojugbele in his statement, however, said “while the matter was still in the Court of Appeal and waiting for judgment, Yekini Solabi, Alhaji Owoeye and others invaded our land again and kept selling them to innocent people. And they are not just selling our land but they also attacked our people by beating them blue-black, vandalizing their vehicles and other properties around.
“There was neither any form of resistant nor protest from anywhere while they were perpetrating all these acts.
“But as a traditional ruler and one who values the rule of law, I contacted the police and reported their atrocities and as well as how they have violated court orders. The police arrested some of them while others went at large. Those arrested accepted the charge and made to signed undertaken not to go near the land again.
“But surprisingly, they violated the undertaken made, went back to the land and start selling them again. I did the needful again by reporting them to Police. The police did their job by arresting them again.”
In his statement, the Onilogbo pointed that the Solabi families and Alhaji Owoeye, after some of them were arrested for the second time, started going around smearing his name and that of his family, describing him as a land speculator and calling members of his family land grabbers.
“It is unfortunate now that our dear customary tenants and their co-travellers now resulted to self-pity by alleging that I, Oba Samuel Olufemi Ojugbele is a land speculator and that members of my families are land grabbers. To set the record straight here, I am neither a land speculator nor grabber and so no member of my families is one.
“I, therefore implore the public to disregard their make-believe protest and claims. I Oba Samuel Olufemi Ojugbele is a man of peace who strictly adhere to the rule of law,” Onilogbo stated