The Adeleke Kalejaiye family has issued a passionate plea to Governor Dapo Abiodun, seeking protection for their cherished Palm Trees Plantation in the Ogere-Remo region of Ogun State.
They accuse a group of suspected landgrabbers, led by Prince Adesegun Ogunkoya and others, who allegedly donned military uniforms to forcefully expel workers and destroy palm trees on the plantation.
The family’s lawyer, Isaac Bankole of Isaac T. Bankole and Co Chambers, revealed that they have filed petitions, dated September 11, 2023, with various authorities, including the Ogun State Director General of the Bureau of Land and Survey, the Inspector General of Police, and the State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
These petitions seek urgent intervention from Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration and security agencies following the alleged invasion of the farmland on July 18, 2023.
Regrettably, no response has been received from any of the petitioned offices so far.
The family, deeply concerned, highlights the plight of 50 workers who have relied on the plantation for their livelihood over the past 18 years but are now struggling to survive due to their inability to return to the farmland.
The family’s legal counsel alleges that the suspects used a caterpillar to vandalize the farmland, uprooting palm trees and disrupting economic activities.
According to him, “About two months ago while our client’s workmen were sent to the farm to do some cultivation, to the surprise of our client’s men, they found that a caterpillar has been brought into the farmland and had palm trees uprooted and their things on the farm vandalized.”
Furthermore, the family claims that when they reported the matter to the Divisional Police Station in Ogere-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area, the officers refused to entertain the complaint, citing an inability to intervene in land matters, despite the extensive damage to the palm trees.
The Adeleke Kalejaiye family presented their Certificate of Occupancy, issued by the State Government in 2013, as evidence of their ownership and intention to produce palm oil in commercial quantities.
They acquired the 11.273 hectares of land in January 1978 from natives of Ogere-Remo, including Mr. Adegbuyi Osho, Madam Towuro Efunfinwa, Madam Afuwape Solanke, Mr. Emmanuel Orekoya, and Mr. Deinde Ogunnoiki.
It’s worth noting that the Ogun State House of Assembly has sought the intervention of the Inspector General of Police to address allegations of some police officers colluding with suspected landgrabbers to seize individuals’ land in the state.
The Assembly is also considering establishing a Special Tribunal to tackle the rising cases of land grabbing as part of its ongoing review of the State Anti-Land Grabbing Law.
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