Members of the Ewade Ruling House, Igbooye, Epe have asked the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP) Abiodun Alabi to investigate the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Noforija, CSP Gregory Ikpehia for alleged conspiracy with thugs and hoodlums to avoid breakdown of law and order in the community.
The request was contained in a letter dated July 14 and titled, “Save Our Soul, Abuse of Office, Criminal Conspiracy and Perversion of Justice by CSP Gregory Ikpehia, DPO of Noforija Police Station, Eredo-Epe, Against the Head and Principal Members of Ewade Ruling House, Igbooye-Epe”
The petition was signed by Head, Ewade Ruling House, Otunba Abdulwasiu Musa-Adebamowo, Principal member and Head, Osekelu branch of Ewade Ruling House, Alhaji Mikhail Quadr, Principal member and Head, Okuyemi branch of Ewade Ruling House, Chief (Mrs) Kikelomo Oladeji, Principal members, Chief Ligali Ayodele Olatunji and Chief Adegbenro Otunowo and Family Secretary, Abiodun Adekoya.
The representatives of the ruling house said that they decided to file a civil suit against the thugs and hoodlums as required by the Rules of the High Court of Lagos State, as a result of which pre-action protocol letters were served on one of the leaders of the thugs, but that, the DPO, CSP Ikpehia, dispatched his men to invite them for questioning on the reasons for wanting to file a civil suit against the suspects.
In their petition, the five-man executive committee said they have been representing the interest of the Ewade Ruling House over time, citing various court judgments and rulings, including representations at various court cases, letter of appointment of the head of the family in 2006, reflecting the name of the head of the family and names of some of the accredited representatives to back their claims.
They alleged that some disgruntled and unknown members of the family (names withheld) constituted themselves into thugs and hoodlums, invaded part of the family land at Abapawa, and other related family lands at Legumo, Idotun, Gbojuwara and Talese, in Igbooye, Eredo-Epe and started disposing of same to their collaborators and other unsuspecting members of the public, thereby causing pandemonium and commotion in the community.
They said following this development, an earlier petition was written to the office of the Commissioner of Police.
They said the invasion and forceful takeover of their family landed properties by these thugs and hoodlums was allegedly with the criminal conspiracy and active connivance of the DPO of Noforija Police Station.
According to the petitioners, “Since December, 2021 till date, the head and the principal members of the Ewade Ruling House have on several occasions, on the instruction of the DPO, been arrested, sometimes invited and detained in the Noforija Police Station, at the instance of the thugs and hoodlums as a result of the resistance from the accredited members of the Ewade Ruling House, over the forceful takeover of the family land.
On five different occasions, the police officers from Noforija police station had given cover to the thugs and hoodlums, in the forceful takeover of family lands. These thugs and hoodlums have been visiting the family landed properties on regular basis under the cover of police officers on the instruction of the DPO of the Noforija Police Station, with the threat to disposed of the remaining parcel of land to the unsuspecting public, which has turned the Igbooye community into a tense atmosphere.
“As a result of these pervasive acts of forceful possession and incessant land grabbing activities of these thugs, using the instrumentality of the Nigeria Police, the accredited principal members of Ewade Ruling House wrote a Petition dated February 15, 2022 to the Chairman, Lagos State Taskforce on Land Grabbers.
“Upon our petition, the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers on May 12, 2022 visited the said landed properties at Abapawa, Gbojuwara and Talese and erected sign posts signifying that the said lands are under investigation by the Special Task Force on Land Grabbers.
“Surprisingly, CSP Ikpehia assisted these thugs and hoodlums to attack the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers, the fall out of which are that: The DPO dispatched his men to arrest the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers on the excuse that he is not aware that such operation will take place within his division.
“The DPO detained the CSOs to the Special Taskforce, and made them to write Statement, until Area J Commander, ACP Gbolahan Agboola intervened before their release.”
The petitioners stated further that the DPO on the same day returned the illegal sign posts recovered and handed over to Noforija Police Station by the Special Taskforce to the thugs and hoodlums, which were re-erected by the hoodlums.
“The DPO unlawfully detained in the cell an 80 years old head of one of the family, Alhaji M. A. Quadri, and two members of the family on account of the official assignment carried out by the Special Taskforce.
“The DPO preferred false charge of malicious damage against the same Head of the family, Alhaji M. A. Quadri, and other members on account of the official assignment carried out by the Special Taskforce on Land Grabbers, all at the instance of the hoodlums and thugs.”
They alleged that the thugs and hoodlums led by two disgruntled members of the family (names withheld) “enlisted the Noforija Police Station as their willing tools and continue to instigate indiscriminate arrest of members of the Ewade Ruling House with the sole intention of coercing, although unsuccessfully, the accredited representatives of the family, at various times, over the forceful possession of the family lands and incessant land grabbing activities of these thugs.
“On a previous occasion, the aforesaid DPO in connivance with DCP Olugbemi Gbolahan, the former Area Commander of the Area J Command, Elemoro, detained in the cell on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the head of the Ewade Ruling House, Otunba Musa Adebamowo and Prince Oluwaseyi Keshinro, in a clear attempt to cover up an attempted murder case of a member of the family, Mr. Sunday Keshinro, who was hit on the head with a club and stabbed severally by some people (names withheld), for the reason that the victim removed some publication pasted on some buildings by these thugs and hoodlums.
“The police officers from Noforija Police Station, at the instance of these thugs held on to the victim, Sunday Keshinro which enabled one of the suspects (names withheld) to stab the victim before the police took to their heels.
“The case of attempted murder was reported by the head of the Ewade Ruling House, Otunba Musa-Adebamowo to the then Area Commander, DCP Olugbemi Gbolahan, but it turned out that the same Otunba Musa-Adebamowo was detained in the cell for over four hours on the trump up allegation of calls made by the head of the family that police officers be beaten, which was a ploy to divert attention from the real case of attempted murder.”
“Our prayer is that the DPO of Noforija, CSP Gregory Ikpehia should please be investigated by your good office, as his continuous conspiracy with these thugs and hoodlums could no longer be tolerated and could lead to break down of law and order in the community.”
When contacted, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed the receipt of the petition by the Ewade Ruling Houise of Igboye, Epe and that the complaints in the petition were being investigated.
“I am not telling you what the police authority is doing. A ruling house petitioned. We are looking into it. We are investigating the matter. I doint have to tell you what we are doing about our investigation”, he said.
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