Many people have found themselves victims of land disputes between so called omonile in Nigeria and actual land owners. The story of Mrs. Alaba Olasunkanmi is no different as she is currently facing a battle under the same power struggle between omonile of Orile Igboko and Apostolic Faith of Crawford University.
In an interview with Mrs Alaba Olasunkanmi she shares her story and current situation.
“The omonile at the palace at Orile Igboko sold two plot of lands at three million naira (3m) to me in 2018 and we started working on it in February February 2019. I cleared the bushes on the land and cleared all the big trees, the bushes were so thick that I used three sets of workers. We spent almost a month and forty five thousand naira clearing the land. The land was empty with no structure asides bushes which we cleared and we also noticed a few cassava planted in the middle of it.
After clearing the land we filled it with sand and installed two boreholes in it, and started molding the blocks.
Two weeks after we started working on the land, two people walked into the land on a faithful day and asked who sold the land to us and I told them I had purchased it from the palace at Orile Igboko, Ketu Owe area. The men where quick to respond and claimed that the land belonged to them. They identified themselves as Apostolic Faith of Crawford University. They implied that we should stop building the structure on the land instantly on the land. I was astonished and replied that I knew nothing about them and explained that I had bought the land legally and had already started building. I had molded almost seven thousand pieces of blocks I said to them. I suggested to call the buyers to sort out the misunderstanding but the insisted on stopping work before the call and forcefully stopped the workers.
They summoned us to Ketu police station at Adiowe, I reported to the station along with the sellers to meet with the DPO. At the station I discovered that there had been a dispute between both parties in 2017 and the party who sold the land to me had won the case, evidence of the case was in custody of the police.
I was advised not to worry that both parties would settle their differences and I would be able to continue building my structure, they also requested that I wait a few days before continuing work on the land. I called the palace a few days later to enquire about the situation and was told that be matters had be resolved and I could continue with my building.
The following day I was at the site with the workers, my daughter and the engineer when we were ambushed by force men with ammunitions claiming that they were representing Apostolic Faith of Crawford University and the land belongs to them, they asked picked us up and forced us to report at Agbara police station. We did their bidding and requested that they sort out their problems with the omonile. The police men at the station released us and told every party involved to come in 9 days time to resolve the matter.
Nine days later we reported to the station but the party that dragged us there didn’t show up, they called them continously but they were unreachable. We were dismissed that day and asked to continue building and I was assured that there was no problem.
I had built the house to the point of roofing, and on a faithful day, these men with ammunitions showed up again to threaten us. About 8-10 navy men from Crawford University came with big cars and guns and scattered everything we were doing.
I was so perplexed, I nearly fainted, I’m an old woman. I called the omonile and they didn’t show up, they armed men brought blocks and workers with guns to fence my land with theirs and I was shaking. (In tears) I’m a BP patient, I didn’t know what to do. They nearly broke my son’s head that day. They said they will kill him and that their mission was to kill and nothing will happen. The CSO (Chief Security Officer) of Crawford University Ota division said that he would deal with my daughter and nothing will happen. Then I began to cry for justice for I was being treated like a criminal. At that time the omonile showed up with policemen and they stopped for that day and summoned us to the station again in eight days only to return with another set of Navy officers to the land before the set date to build a fence around my land again. On that day I received a phone call and was informed of the situation, I quickly called the sellers and they called the police. It was only by God’s grace that someone wasn’t killed that day. it was hell. They came with some of the members of Apostolic Faith of Crawford University. I remember the name of one of them Sis Doyin. They make all sorts of threats saying they were a lethal organization and they can do anything and go Scot free. I cried out in pain. Till today we have been stopped and threatened by the police from Ketu AdieOwe not to enter the land or else we would be dealt with. I’m in pains and crying out to the people of Nigeria to help me and bring me justice. This is my sweat and blood.”
Residence of that area have also said that this is not the first time such incidents have occurred and some say that the Apostolic Faith of Crawford University is know of such acts in their plot to steal lands from civilians. Will these criminals go scot free or will Mrs Alaba Olasunkanmi get justice? Has the level of lawlessness reached such heights in Nigeria? These and many more questions are left wondering in the minds of victims and witnesses.