•Community leaders appeal to Lagos, Ogun govts to intervene
By Kehinde Aderemi
In the beginning, they were one united family. Members of the Loti Mogun-Oja Descendants Family of Ijomu, in Ikorodu area of Lagos State, are joint owners of an expansive land located at Igode, a developing community in Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Igode is about five kilometres from Maya in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
For several years, the family members claimed joint ownership of the land. They sold portions of the land to interested buyers. But today, all that is history. Some members of the family are accusing one of their kinsmen, Rasaki Ademoye, popularly called Shibek, of laying claim to the land. There is tension in the once peaceful community, as residents can hardly sleep with their two eyes closed.
Shibek has, however, insisted that all is well, noting that there is no crisis in Igode.
But his kinsmen told the reporter that those that had previously bought plots of lands from the family are now being told to make fresh payments of huge sums to repurchase their land, while those working on their sites have been asked to either pay the sum of 250,0000 as ratification fee or discontinue work.
Head of the Loti Mogun-Oja Family, Alhaji Jimoh Lawal, spoke about the situation. His words: “I became the Olootu in the year 2007 after the demise of Alhaji Olabinjo, who was the Olootu (leader) of the Loti-Mogun-Oja Descendants family. The late Olabinjo, during his reign as the head of the family, handled the issue of boundary disputes and the allocation of lands to all family members. He was the one that asked all members of the family to contribute the sum of five thousand naira each for the allocation of the land, which we did and every member of the family was given plots of land at Igode. We all benefited from the arrangement and there were evidences for this. Besides, Rasak Ademoye, who is the son of the former Olootu, was one of the signatories to this arrangement made by the family.
“The row over the disputed 34 hectares of land began in May 2015 and got to the climax in October of the same year. Suddenly, Rasak and his siblings said they would be collecting land fees from whoever buys plots of land from the family as well as residents of the community. They said they had already engaged the services of an agent, who would take charge of the activities at the site and that they had also paid the sum of N300,000 to the agent. The family had objected to their plan and arrangements to invite a third party to monitor activities on a family land. However, in a bid to ensure peace in the community, we decided to refund the sum of N300, 000 that they claimed to have given to the agent. The family later appointed three representatives each from the three branches that make up the Mogun-Oja Descendants family. Members were drawn from Igu Asemuti, Odunume and Mebude branches to monitor activities at the site,”
He explained that the arrangement did not go down well with Rasak Ademoye and his siblings, adding that they chased the representatives of the family away, took over the entire land and claimed that the land belonged to their father.
Daily Sun gathered that none of the members of the extended family can access the land, as they are allegedly being threatened and intimidated. One of the residents, who did not want his name in print, said hoodlums, armed with various weapons, often invaded Igode community, claiming they are the rightful owners of the vast area of the land. Many of the residents have already vacated the community.
The reporter learnt that several efforts made to resolve the issue amicably within the family had failed, as such moves were allegedly turned down by the other party.
“We brought the issue to the Iga Eluku Court, which is the highest organ for disputes resolution in Ikorodu, and even that of the Igode Community Leaders Council, but the issues could not be resolved. After several attempts to settle the issue amicably failed, we have taken the case to court. We have served them the court processes. We took the step in the interest of peace, but when we observed that they were still causing a crisis in the community, we are crying out because there is urgent need to curb their illegal actions before it degenerates into loss of lives.’’
He said the entire family was composed of peace-loving people, totally unhappy with the situation. He said the family decided to call on the Lagos and Ogun State governments to urgently stop the activities of their kinsmen.
“As a family, we are enlightened people. We don’t want the family name spoiled and we don’t want to be involved in controversies. That is why we have resolved to follow the due process in order to ensure peace in the interest of the entire family and that of those who bought land from us. As far as we are concerned, there are several evidences to prove our case beyond reasonable doubt, even, in the court of law. But we want peace in the family and we don’t want this to degenerate into any further crisis. That is why we are appealing to the Lagos and Ogun State governments to help stop our kinsmen from their unlawful acts that could lead to avoidable crisis and even deaths,” he said.
Also speaking on behalf of the family, Mr. Kayode Mabunmi, an engineer, said the other party should not take their meekness for granted. He added that the global and perimeter survey and layout of the entire land specified that parts of the land had been allocated for community school, health centre, police post, town hall and market for residents of the community and its environs.
Other members of the family present at the meeting were Elder Odufeko, Mr. Nurudeen Gafar, Kamyosi Igu, Lasisi Musiliu, Alhaji Moshood Awesu Kamyosi Igu, Luqman Gafar Kamyosi Igu, Taiwo Onayinka and Yahyah Ogunkoya.
But the man accused of taking possession of the family land, Mr. Rasak Ademoye, has described the entire allegations as a tissue of lies.
While denying the allegations, he insisted that there was no crisis in Igode, describing the community as peaceful.
He noted that the only crisis in the area was in Maya in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area, and not in Igode, as alleged by other members of the family.