SaharaReporters learnt that the navy personnel are working for some powerful land-grabbers in the community and have vowed to arrest and detain anyone who resists them.
Residents of Fowowawo, a community in the Owode Egba Local Government Area of Ogun State are currently fleeing their area after power-drunk personnel of the Nigerian Navy invaded the community and started taking over their lands.
SaharaReporters gathered that the military men have also sent packing the local chief, Baale, Chief Waheed Muraino, as the people continued to desert their homes due to the invading military men.
“The navy personnel are being used by warring families and parties laying claim to lands in the community. One of them is the Ogunleye family, another is the Olashile family. The latter decided to toe the legal path by taking the matter before the court of law in 2009,” a source revealed.
“Regarding the laws of the land, we decided to approach the court rather than take the same paths with the land-grabbers by resorting to self-help,” the Baale, Chief Muraino, said.
“The Ogun State High Court under Justice Akinyemi ruled in favour of the Olashiles as they were declared the rightful owners of the land,” a source stated.
“Members of the Ogunleye family led by a hoodlum, Sufi Taiwo, obviously were not pleased with the court injunction and they decided to inflict mayhem on the Olashile family, Agbege descendants, and the entire Fowowawo community,” the source added.
SaharaReporters learnt that the military men assaulted and tortured several residents, including a woman, Lateefat Adenekan, who visited the village with her one-year-old child without the knowledge of the seriousness of the fracas.
“Sufi Taiwo personally and violently dispossessed Lateefat of her infant. The child is yet to be seen to date. When Lateefat’s uncle, Nurudeen Adenekan, consulted the police to report the case, he was later visited at home and beaten till he had fractures.
“A few days later, Nurudeen was revisited allegedly by Sufi, who poured petrol into his ears and eyes till he lost consciousness; that led to Nurudeen’s death in November 2020,” the source revealed.
“Not done, on January 6, 2021, Sufi Taiwo took an excavator into the village, in company with some men of the Nigerian Navy to start excavation on the land. The Baale (traditional ruler) contacted the police immediately but they appeared powerless in the presence of these men.
“This led to the petitioning of the Apapa Naval Base, an action that yielded no result. The naval officers currently excavate and sell sand and they extort drivers and the rest of the villagers.”
SaharaReporters learnt that the Nigerian Navy personnel under the Western Naval Command, Apapa, had since then refused to leave the community.
“The military men also destroyed some cocoa and banana farmlands spread on about 10 acres because they wanted to sell off the lands. Any attempt by us to resist the illegality of this naval personnel was met with torture and injuries,” a resident narrated.
SaharaReporters was told that one of the farmers who was injured by the military men was Micheal Shotinoye who had a rice farm.
“His rice farm which engaged a lot of workers has now been abandoned; it is no longer safe to be there,” a source stated.
The fleeing Baale narrated that the community had reported several times to the navy authorities but no action was taken to stop the navy personnel.
He said, “We have petitioned the Senate, Ministry of Defence, Headquarters of the Nigerian Navy, office of the Chief of Naval Staff, among others, but the actions have yielded little or no result. The Ogun State Police Command has also invited Sufi Taiwo several times, but he never honoured the invitation once.
“We hereby call on the Ogun State Government, human rights lawyers, and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid. I am currently a fugitive as I dare not go to the Fowowawo, a town where I am supposed to be the head.”
SaharaReporters was told that Ofem Ubi is the Ogun State Navy Commandant but he has taken no action on the excesses of the navy personnel as he is said to be receiving financial proceeds from the crimes.
Source: Sahara Reporters.