For more around a decade, land grabbers who specialize in seizing and selling off lands have made life unbearable for the Adeyoruwa family of Agunfoye – Idiorogbo in Igbogbo, Ikorodu community, a suburb of Lagos Mainland.
In the last few years, land grabbing activities have thrived in parts of Ikorodu with communities such as Odogunyan, Igbogbo, Ijede, Agura, Imota, and many others witnessing the presence of land grabbers at different times in their area.
InsideMainland gathered that trouble started for the Adeyoruwa family around 2006 when land grabbers who were interested in the family’s large expanse of land located in Agunfoye – Idiorogbo community stormed the area.
At that time, the elders in the family resisted the attempt to seize and take over the family land by the impersonators who claim to be working on the orders of a top ranking member of the Adeyoruwa family, InsideMainland learnt.
However, events took another turn when the land grabbers allegedly influenced the arrest of an influential figure in the Adeyoruwa family sometimes in 2016.
Commenting on this, an elder in the family, Chief Kolawole Ogunlana, said after his complaints on the actions of the land grabbers on the family land, they influenced his arrest and that of some of his family members.
The octogenarian said: “The Adeyoruwa family is the owner of the land. Despite being the customary owner of the land which was also established by court judgments, I was remanded in prison custody on allegations of murder for over three months.”
He further disclosed that he was arrested in commando style in his home on allegations that was later cleared by the court.
“I was applying medication to my eyes when these land grabbers and some police officers came to bundle me into a vehicle on the allegation that I killed someone, on April 23, 2016.
“I was taken to court on June 7, 2016, on a fictitious allegation, only to be discharged on September 6, 2016, following a Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) advice which cleared me of the allegations.”
He, however, said that despite four judgments of the Ikorodu High Court which was in favour of the Adeyorua family, the land grabbers are not deterred and have relentlessly attempted to seize the land.
Ogunlana narrated that: “The case had been to court four different times and the verdict had always been the same. The cases with suit numbers IKD/16/2006, between Ogunlana and others against Bolowotan Kuti; IKD/87/2006 Kolawole Ogunlana, Raimi Elegberu against Oba J. O. Fatola, Akin Alagbala Folami and Ganiu Elegberun Akilo and others, and IKD/2/2007 between Chief Ganiu Onabanjo and others against Ishau Kolawole Ogunlana; were decided in our favour by Justice H. A. O. Abiru.
“Justice A. O Williams, in another case IKD/71/2010, decided in our favour the suit between Chief Kolawole Ogunlana and members of Adeyoruwa family against Ladele Olugbode, and others.
“Despite all these judgments, which we have also presented to the Lagos State Task Force, we are still being harassed by the land grabbers”.
Ogunlana, however, sought the help of the Lagos State government to save his family from the incessant oppression by the land grabbers who he said are bent of taking over the family land.