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Two community leaders in Igbesa, Ogun State, Chief (Hon.) Arimi Agoro Sunmola and Alhaji Kabiru Olatunbosun Ajayi, have shed more light on an accusation levelled against the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in their community, SP Abayomi Adeniji, by one Pastor James Oseni.
The Pastor had alleged in an online medium (name witheld) that the DPO was after his life as a result of a land matter over which he claimed the top Police Officer was working for some “landgrabbers” against him.
The Pastor stated different instances in the story published by the online news platform which looked more like a media hatched job for him to call a dog a bad name in order to hang him, against the Police Officer who has otherwise been described by many in Igbesa as being very diligent and professional in discharging his duties as a security personnel.
While speaking with this medium recently, Chief Sunmola who happened to be a principal member of Itolu Family narrated what actually happened in respect of the allegations by the Pastor.
By the way, Itolu Family is one of the recognised dynasties in Igbesa with the full rights to produce the King for Odan Abuja Sule within the Igbesa populace. So, Chief Sunmola is the current Oojeyi of Odan Abuja Sule Kingdom.
In his response to the inquest made by this medium into the purported threat to life accusation made by Pastor Oseni against SP Adeniji, Chief Sunmola asserted that: “I want to start by saying that Pastor Oseni who is claiming to be a member of Itolu Family, our family, is not. He is not known by anyone to be from our family.
Meanwhile, we have been living peacefully before the sudden arrival of Pastor Oseni into the community. Pastor came to Odan Abuja Sule instigating people who happened to be our customary tenants at Odan against us, the the de jure and de facto landlords.
And this is after we had settled all land disputes between us in court. Pastor Oseni then invited our tenants to “Welcome Hotel” in Ota where he charged them to support him to collect our lands for them!
” These are Odan Abuja Sule lands that belong to Itolu Family, he said he wants to collect the lands for Isalu Family. The Isalu Family is the family that had gone to court with us over the lands and we defeated them.
Even our customary tenants who sided with the Isalu Family during the court processes, we sued them too and court awarded possession of their farms to us. And after that, we obtained Certificate of Occupancy on our lands.
So, by the time Pastor Oseni came and invited all of them to Ota, he told them he would sue us together. That is, he would sue us with the tenants to manipulate them to support him.
Now, that plan came up and we noticed that. We then invited some of the people that Pastor Oseni held the meeting with in Ota and they revealed their secret meeting to us at the palace here. And some of them stopped attending subsequent meetings called by Pastor Oseni, while some continued.
” And since that time, Pastor Oseni has been disturbing the peace of the community. Now, during the reign of the immediate past Olodan, Oba Fatai Gbadamosi, there was one woman that got missing.
And up till today, the woman has never been found. The woman used to be known as “Iya Oje”. When she went missing, we tried to find her by reporting to all the police stations here, but she was nowhere to be found.
And by the time this current Olodan got enthroned; despite the fact that we had series of cases in court with Pastor Oseni challenging the emergence of the new King, they still kidnapped one woman. I know the kidnapped woman to be “Iya Itele”.
The woman hailed from Itele and when she got missing, we started searching for her. And when the people of Itele came, we asked them to go to the police station and report the matter to Igbesa DPO.
” The DPO now sent signal to the Commissioner of Police (CP) and the CP said he should go and search. And they started searching and one of the people fomenting troubles against us stopped the DPO from searching his house, and they stopped there.
The second day, they continued searching and still did not find the woman. But the third day, they were able to find the woman. They first saw her slippers with headgear, and after that, they found the woman inside the river almost getting drown to her chest level, and she could not move in the river because she is an old woman.
In fact, they only discovered that the woman was in the river after she managed to beckon to one of the members of the search team that, “omo mi, gbami, gbami!” (My son, please help me!).
” So,they now went into the river and brought out the woman. They took her to hospital. And we started asking questions together with the DPO, but the woman could not recount what happened to her precisely.
And that is because she was given a particular leave to chew as reveled in her sketchy account of her ordeal. And we saw the remainder of the said leave in a lylon bag with a fish inside the lylon too around the river.
The woman was actually on her way to Itele before she was kidnapped. And the kidnap was to create an impression that the new Kabiyesi or the Chiefs were the ones that used the woman for ritual purposes.
” But thank God the woman was found. So, from there, we heard the family of the woman took her back to Itele. And we were expecting that when the woman got better, she would be able to talk about the people that took her to the river side.
Meanwhile, we got an intelligence report that they first hid the woman inside a house, but because of the searching by the police and the community people, they took the woman early in the morning to the river side.
So, as we were proposing the one year anniversary celebration of the new Olodan which was held on December 29th, 2021, we heard that Pastor Oseni brought some thugs into the community on motorcycles, perhaps, to show them around the community. They entered with four motorcycles with three people on each of them.
” They moved round the town and went away afterwards. And that is why we informed the DPO that he is now alleging of being after his life, of his suspicious movements with his thugs after sighting them in the community. We told the DPO that we saw so so so and that the people were led by Pastor James Oseni.
The DPO now said I should send Pastor Oseni’s number to him and I sent the number. The DPO called Pastor Oseni and he lied that he never came to Odan Abuja Sule that day. That he was actually in Lagos for a programme; fasting and praying.
The DPO now fed me back that Pastor Oseni we were accusing said he never came to town, and I told the DPO that it is a fat lie. I told him emphatically that Pastor Oseni was in Odan Abuja Sule Land, and if he could send down his men, they would see Pastor Oseni. And the DPO sent down his men.
“The police officers sent by the DPO saw Pastor Oseni, and he was invited to their station. And they told him that what happened with the kidnap of the woman in Itele three months after the new Olodan ascended the throne should not happen again during the activities of his one year anniversary.
That he should go and pray and fast that something like that should not happen again, because if anything happened, he would be held responsible. Meanwhile, there was an issue on 20th of December, 2021, when they stole an instrument called “Osu” from our “Oju Eegun” (The place where ancestral masquerade is worshipped by the community people).
They also stole another instrument called “Owo” at the same shrine. The “Osu” is like the indicator of the “Oju Eegun”.
” So, we went to the “Oju Eegun” for prayers in respect of the new Monarch and after the prayers, the second or third day, they went there and remove those things I mentioned. So, we were thinking maybe they were going to show those things they stole as evidence in court to fabricate stories against us, and that is why the Secretary of the family and I went to report to the DPO of Igbesa.
And the DPO now invited both parties, but Pastor Oseni refused to come. However, the Akeem he mentioned in the story he orchestrated in the online platform against us was there with us. And the DPO did not lock up anybody. When Akeem that came said they did not take what we were looking for, the DPO only said we should go back and be searching for those things. And everybody left there together. So, the claim that Akeem was locked up is a blatant lie. We were all present there.”
Chief Sunmola contended that every allegation Pastor Oseni levelled against the DPO were total lies. And again, Chief Sunmola does not have any Church anywhere in Odan Abuja Sule or Igbesa at large, as he claimed in the story published for him by the online news platform.
And as a matter of fact, the land matter is still in court as instituted by Pastor Oseni against us, and he is still causing troubles all over the place, despite that. Meanwhile, another community leader mentioned earlier, Alhaji Ajayi, who happens to be the Secretary of the Itolu Family corroborated Chief Sunmola in all he narrated above.
Alhaji Ajayi further added that: ” It is quite very unfortunate that the Pastor said he has a Church in Iga Itolu which is the family compound which is a total lie. So, I want to call on all well meaning Nigerians to come to Itolu compound in Igbesa, to come and see whether there is any Church there. I’m saying this without mincing words that there is no Church in the compound.
And this Pastor Oseni does not have any Church even in Ogun State. I got to know about Pastor Oseni some six or seven years ago when he came to challenge the leaders of the compound saying Odan Abuja Sule does not belong to Itolu and we had to shut him up. And I as a person, I was born and brought up in Itolu and I don’t even know Pastor from Adam. So, who is he?
” Even before I was born, there had been court cases as regards Odan Abuja Sule, and Itolu Family defeated the Isalu family not once, not twice. So, how would he just come around now, you know, we never knew where he was going. But after some time, we started seeing him with some of the people who are tenants in Odan claiming that they are the owners of the land.
You see, some of the Isalu people are tenants in Odan. Odan is owned by Itolu. Itolu has different communities: we have Odan, we have Igejeyi, we have Itolu-Isan, we have Ejoo, we have Araromi. Those are farm settlements of our forefathers that have now become big communities. In Odan today we have a King, a second class Oba. So, if Pastor Oseni is now saying he has a Church here, he should show us the Church.
” Some 5 days ago, he served us with some court papers that we should come and explain how Itolu belong to us and we are still in court. He even joined people who are not part of our family in the court case.
But through alternative dispute resolution, the people he joined have been ejected because they said they are not part of us. So, the suit on ground now is between we, the Itolu Obakeye Dynasty, those from Ojeyi Dynasty and them. The two dynasties I mentioned are brothers and sisters.
So, the issue of the DPO, the Pastor is just trying to armtwixt the DPO so that he can perpetrate the evil that he wants to perpetrate which the police have been stopping him from doing would not work.
” He raised an issue about one Akeem being maltreated by the police and it is a lie. In 2020, there is something called “Osu” in our “Oju Eegun”; every family has “Oju Eegun” in Igbesa and there is something called Osu there.
We just found out that the “Osu” was no longer there. So, I had to take the “Asule” (The Priest) to the police to report the case. And they asked who our suspects were, and I was the one that mentioned the names of Pastor Oseni, Akeem and the rest of them.
And they asked if I know their houses and I said yes. So, I took the police to Akeem’s house and he was invited to the police station. Some of his family members came with him too. The truth of the matter is, Pastor Oseni is the agent of Akeem. So, they came to the police station, we were there together and they wrote a statement that they never knew anything about the missing “Osu”.
” And the DPO being a peace maker called the two parties together that as long as they said they did not take the “Osu” that we should give him (Akeem) the benefit of the doubt and leave him.
Till date we are still looking for the “Osu”. The shrine is still empty as a result of that. So, where did he see the landgrabbers he claimed were colluding against him with the police that he mentioned in the story he sponsored in the online news platform? I, as the Secretary of the family, reported the missing “Osu” on that day. So, if he is saying they maltreated Akeem, it is a lie! He (Pastor Oseni) was not even there. I went there with the police.” He clarified.
Alhaji Ajayi then concluded emphatically that, they (the Itolu Family) are not landgrabbers like Pastor Oseni alleged in his story, that indeed, Pastor Oseni is a land agent working for Akeem. And the matter they raised against the Itolu Family is still in court, and there is no need trying to tarnish the name of the DPO for trying to maintain peace and order in the community, professionally.