About 7,000 residents of Ire-Akari Estate at Soka in Ibadan in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State yesterday said hundreds of hoodlums stormed their homes and destroyed property estimated at millions of naira.
About two months ago, the families of Chief Emmanuel Ashamu, Chief Femi Majekodumi, Oyenike Ogunsola and the late Ganiyu Bello secured a Supreme Court judgment ceding part of the 30-year old estate to them.
About 250 houses in the estate were affected by the Supreme Court judgment.
But the landlords, who opted for an amicable settlement, declared that over 85 per cent of the affected property was sold to them by families that secured the judgment.
Many home owners, including the National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Waheed Odusile, and Vice Chancellor of Technical University (U-Tech), Prof Ayobami Salami, were affected by the destruction.
A director in Ibarapa Local Government Town Planning Department, Mr Funsho Adeniran (54), and Mrs Grace Adefunke Ojo (74), were said to have collapsed and died after their buildings were padlocked and the occupants sacked.
The hoodlums, who were said to be acting on the orders of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Majekodumi, as well as Chief Ashamu, demolished several homes and locked up houses belonging to residents.
The hoodlums and their principals were also said to have defied the orders of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, to vacate the estate.
They were said to have threatened to attack the Olubadan’s palace guards, who were at the estate, to deliver the monarch’s message.
A few weeks ago, hundreds of landlords in the estate protested to the monarch’s palace at Popoyemoja, urging the paramount ruler to intervene in the crisis in the estate.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Ibadan, the executive of the Ire-Akari Estate Landlords Association, led by its Chairman, Adetunji Adelani, said hundreds of residents fled for fear of attack.
They said looting and armed robbery were common in the estate.
Urging Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the commissioner of Police to provide security, Adelani said: “As I am talking to you, security has collapsed in the estate and our lives are no longer safe.
“Since we heard of the judgment, we have been engaging the agents in a peace meeting. At the end, they insisted on execution of the judgment, except the families of Ganiyu Bello, who told us through their lawyer that they did not give anybody the power of attorney and that they are not interested in the execution of the judgment.
“The agents came to the estate on June 13, with about 20 policemen and dozens of thugs. They started to lock houses with chains and padlocks, after we had agreed to pay N200,000 per building.
Despite the fact that some landlords have started paying the agreed fee, the hoodlums demolished their property.”
Source: The Nation