Baale Of Erebe Rescued From Hands Of Hoodlums (SEE DETAILS)
Three suspects, Adeyemi Oluwole, Adebola Ogunkoya and Joseph Fidelis, have been remanded in the custodial centre in the Ijebu Ode area of Ogun State, Nigeria, for allegedly burning the ancestral home of the Baale of Erebe, Olusegun Lawal.
The suspects were arraigned on charges of arson and breach of peace before Magistrate A. Ogunmodede of the Odogbolu Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The charges read in part, “That you, Adeyemi Oluwole, Adebola Ogunkoya, Joseph Fidelis, and others still at large, sometime in September 2022, at Omu Ijebu in the Odogbolu Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit arson. That you, Adeyemi Oluwole, Adebola Ogunkoya, Joseph Fidelis and others still at large on the same date, time and place, in the aforesaid magisterial district, did willingly set fire to the living apartment.”
The suspects and other members of their gang reportedly invaded the traditional ruler’s ancestral home and set it ablaze, destroying the chief’s valuables. The monarch was represented in court by his counsel, Olanrewaju Aiyedun.
The police prosecutor told the court that the offences were punishable under Sections 516, 433, and 294 (d) of the Criminal Code Vol. 1 Laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
The prosecutor presented before the court a remand application requesting the defendants to be held in prison. Ogumodede granted the prosecutor’s request and ordered the defendants to be remanded. The case was adjourned till April 18, 2023.
According to Top Naija news, the suspects had been terrorizing the community for a while. It was learnt that the suspects had been involved in land grabbing activities and had been invading the community since August 2022.
The Baale of Erebe had reportedly written several letters to the authorities seeking immediate action to rescue his community from the hoodlums who had taken over.
However, despite his efforts, the suspects and their gang members invaded his ancestral home and burnt it down, causing him and his family to live in fear for their lives.
Commenting on the development, the monarch said, “Since last year, some land grabbers had been invading my community. I had written several letters to the authorities. I was at Ijebu Ode when I received a distress call that my ancestral home was on fire. By the time I got to the scene, the entire building had been burnt down. The eyewitnesses couldn’t talk because they had been harassed with guns and other weapons. These hoodlums have been terrorising my community since August 2022. They have done the peak of the entire atrocity so far; they burnt my ancestral home where we have all the artefacts and other valuable things. I have been hiding and my family no longer have rest of mind. They have been after my life if not they won’t have burnt my home.”
The incident highlights the growing issue of land grabbing in Nigeria, which often leads to violent clashes between communities and land grabbers. It also underscores the need for the authorities to take swift action to protect citizens and their properties from criminal elements. The case against the suspects is ongoing, and it remains to be seen how the court will handle it.