From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
Olode, a community in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State turned riotous after its Baale (Head), Chief Lukman Alao, was removed by the Olubadan-in-Council for some allegations ranging from rituals to high handedness. The Baale was removed from office on January 9, 2017, and Chief Odeyemi Dauda Olayiwola (Ejo 11) was sworn in immediately by the Olubadan.
Alao alleged that for daring to challenge his removal in court, he was attacked on Wednesday 11, 2017 and beaten by suspected thugs. He said he was beaten to stupor when he went to deposit an injunction he got from the court to inform the members of the community of the impending suit challenging his removal when suspected thugs pounced on him. Alao who was in company of his wife, Rashidat and younger brother were beaten and his Lexus jeep vandalised.
Recounting his ordeal at Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan, the embattled Baale said, the thugs which were too many for him to count ran after him from the community immediately they saw his car close to the market, giving him a hot chase with motorcycles. He said he was eventually caught when his car suddenly stopped working as a result of the roughness of the road couple with the haste he drove.
Aside from his car that was badly damaged with stone, the Baale said N150,000 cash was stolen from him couple with other belongings such as gold necklace, wristwatch, gold ring and his shoes.
Alao, who noted that his removal couldn’t have been less illegal maintained that he was neither informed, called or even shown any evidence or petition written against him before the news of his removal:
“I had gone to the community, where I reside to paste a court injunction I got challenging my illegal removal as Baale when suspected thugs started chasing my car.
“They started the chase from Fatusi but my car broke down and the thugs with about 70 motorcycles carrying thugs pounced on me, my wife and younger brother who were with me in the car.
“We were beaten but because I was the target, I was heavily beaten. My car was damaged, the N150,000 cash in my pocket was stolen. My gold necklace, ring and wristwatch were also stolen. I was thereafter rushed to the Olubadan palace to show the king what they had done to me before I was eventually taken to the hospital.
“My removal was illegal because I was never informed, called or even shown any evidence or petition written against me before the news filtered around town.” He contended that the allegation of being ritual was false: “It was an attempt to dent my image.”
He described how some people brought some dried bones of animal, “which they called human bones to implicate me, but was dismissed by the police after thorough investigation.”
Meanwhile, a source from Olubadan palace who spoke under condition of anonymity said it is true the embattled Baale was removed by the Olubadan-in-Council saying there were series of allegations leveled against him. These were ritual, high handedness and among others adding that there are documents in the palace that confirmed the allegations to be true.
He said it was also alleged that the deposed Baale terrorised members of his community with police: “Even there was a time Olubadan instructed him to release some of the community residents he locked up in police custody.
“Because of these and among others things that Olubadan-in-Council removed him after causing protracted crises in the community.” He added that palace received information on how he was beaten by some people but said, “the allegation was that he attempted to trap some residents in the community with evil charm, a reason he was attacked.”
Daily Sun spoke with the new Baale on phone: “I knew nothing about how he was beaten by a mob in the community, but I was told he was trying to be fetish by laying trap.
“I want to tell you that contrary to what he said, I was the one that rescued him from the mob. Somebody called me that he was about to be lynched to death when I contacted DPO of Sanyo to help me send some of his men to rescue him.
“Also his wife tore my banner which made residents to challenge her and reportedly beat her.” Olayiwola added that the allegation that he has a ritualist den is true saying when members of the community discovered this den, he was smart to remove all that could implicate him before police visited the area:
“But we were smarter because we have taken the pictures of the place before the police arrived at the venue. I promise to avail you with the pictures.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed that police received a petition on the matter from Area 11 of the state command. He said he would need time to respond to the matter.