Kunle Adelabu & Wale Jagun
-They wanted to kidnap me – Oba Olukayode Balogun
-Victims relieve sad experiences, call on govt for improved security
-We are the victims, not attackers – Suspects
For two days, the ancient town of Isiwu in Ikorodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu Division, Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria, was under invasion as suspected landgrabbers, popularly called ‘Ajagungbales’ in local parlance, stormed the town to unleash terror.
According to the residents that spoke with THE IMPACT, the suspects that inflicted terror on the community have disturbing the peace of the town for several years and dispossessing residents of their lands, raping women and engaging in kidnapping activities.
On Thursday, September 3, when the latest incident occurred, it was gathered that Yinusa, Idris and Asela attacked some young men that were erecting a flex banner made to congratulate the new King of the town on his installation by the State government as the new king of Isiwu.
Also, some of the victims of the deadly attack also told our reporter that their attackers attacked them with guns and other dangerous weapons.
It was gathered that the new monarch narrowly escaped being killed by the hoodlums that stormed his palace on the second day of the attack on Isiwu community.
In a counter – allegations, one of the suspects, Ibrahim, popular called ‘Asela’, said that their accusers were the ones that attacked them while they were returning from a meeting with their lawyer.
The traditional ruler of the ancient community, Oba Olukayode David Raji Balogun, the Eweye of Isiu, whose palace was also attacked by the invaders, and many of the victims that spoke with THE IMPACT alleged that the assailants are working for a suspected ‘Ajagungbale’ called Yinusa whom they said is working for another popular ‘Ajagungbale’ kingpin, Owoeye.
THE IMPACT gathered that three of the hoodlums that attacked the palace of Eweye of Isiu on Friday, Supol, Eleka and Why Me, were apprehended and handed over to the police.
At the palace, which was riddled with bullet shots by the invaders, were damaged Wine colour MAZDA Jeep belonging to Oba Balogun. Both the front and rear windscreens of the car were smashed while the right side mirror was also damaged.
A Camry car with number plate APP 809 AY, belonging to one of the local security personnel in the community, was also damaged by the invaders.
About thirty residents were allegedly shot at by the invaders. Some of the victims of the attack are Tijani Hameed, Raji Yusuf, Jimoh Isiaka (Julala), Kabiru Oladeinde, Michael Anifowoshe, Raji Abideen, Rasaq Olado, Jimoh Rafiu (Skido) Idowu Isiaka , Taye Isiaka, Segun Olayinka (Morgan), Sodiq Adeniji Awolesi, Tuwo, Segun Abimbola, Ibrahim Owolegbon, Isiaka Owolegbon, Isaiah Ajibade (Burma boy) and James Adekoya, Raji Opeyemi , Temidayo Olanusi, Raji Oluwadamilare, Jimoh Sabali, Segun Arowolo and Rasaq Olusegun among others.
However, other victims of the attack do not want their names in print for fear of further attack.
The matter, we gathered, has already been incidented at the Imota Police Station and Zone 2 Annex at Ladegboye in Ikorodu.
Meanwhile, residents are accusing the Divisional Police Officer in Imota, Mr Omololu Oni and his officers of aiding and abetting the suspects.
It was also gathered that many of these victims have been receiving threat calls from the suspected notorious ‘Ajagungbales’, warning them to watch their back.
Oba Balogun, who said that the attackers came to either kidnap or kill him, confirmed the siege on Isiwu to THE IMPACT.
“It was one of the banners that was made and presented to me by different groups and associations in honour of the presentation of Staff of Office and Certificate of Recognition to me by the Lagos State Government on Monday, 24, August, 2020, that those boys went to erect at the junction of the Itoikin – Epe Expressway which is near my community”, Oba Balogun said.
“They were attacked while doing that by some ‘Ajagungbales’, namely Yinusa Jimoh, Idris Jimoh and others. They shot at them and inflicted serious injuries on them to prevent them from erecting the banner. That was how the problem started.
“On the second day, to my surprise, another set invaded my town with guns and other dangerous objects. They attacked my father’s house that is presently serving as the palace and vandalized my jeep that I bought recently”, he said.
“They shot at many residents and wounded them badly. They wanted to kidnap or kill me if kidnapping is not possible, but God Almighty intervened for me. All the hunters in our community and Onyabo Vigilance personnel intervened to stall their invasion”, he alleged.
“They shot for almost two hours. If you go round the palace, you will see bullets holes on the building and many residents in the community that suffered bullet wounds are currently receiving treatment. They are about 50. We have been keeping vigil since that day”.
He pleaded for more security presence and establishment of a Police Station in Isiwu to curb the activities of the hoodlums and protect his people.
“Activities of these hoodlums are preventing residents from going about their daily activities and engagements. You will not see anyone on the street in the community because of fear of another attack. Many of our residents have ran away”, he said.
“We need the state government to give us a Police Station in Isiwu. We already have a piece of land reserved for the purpose and we need their intervention quickly in this regard. We need a police formation here because the one at Imota is far from Isiwu”, Oba Balogun solicited.
Temidayo Olanusi, a resident of 54, Eweye road, lsiwu, who was badly cut with bottles on his head and body by the invaders, narrated his ordeal.
“We were at the Isiwu second junction to erect a banner that we were asked to station there and while we were taking photographs with the banner, Yinusa, Idris, Asela and other Owoeye agents came to attacked us”, he alleged.
“They tore the banner and started breaking bottles on our head. It was due to the attack that I sustained severe injuries. I can’t even point to any reason for the attack”.
Olanusi, who said that he was treated at the General Hospital in Agbowa, also informed our reporter that he had reported the matter to the police.
“We have made complaint at the Imota Police Station and it was the DPO at the station that took us to the General Hospital where we were treated”.
He appealed to the government to improve on the security situation in Isiwu by building a Police station in the town while he also called for the prosecution of the suspects.
“I want the government to arrest all those that attacked us. They must be prosecuted accordingly. I also want a Police Station in Isiwu so that we can be more protected”, he appealed.
“We want help so that all the disturbances and insecurity that have always been making residents to run helter skleter whenever the criminals invade the town, can be stopped ”.
A 32 year old Oluwadamilare Raji who sustained bullet wound on his chest and back, said that the suspects pursued him and others from the point they had gone to erect banner with gun.
“About five of us went to erect the banner and we were pursued with guns and bottles by Yinusa and others to the palace where they started shooting at everybody that gathered there.
“They queried us over the installation of our new monarch whom we are erecting the banner for. We were attacked and pursued by General Supol, Why Me, Alhaji Soro and other suspected ‘Ajagungbales’. They are all known to be working for Owoeye”, he alleged.
“They shot at us as we were running away from them and they destroyed the palace with guns. Kabiyesi’s Jeep was smashed and destroyed, so also were all the banners.
“Although, I have been given treatment at the General Hospital in Agbowa, but I have been having severe pains due to the gun wound. The matter was reported at Imota Police Station.
“It is very sad that the policemen from Imota Police Station were stationed at Isiwu second junction when these people attacked us and they did nothing. They saw them shooting at us and they did nothing. DPO in Imota is working against Isiwu because he and his men are the ones that allowed suspects into Isiwu”, he alleged.
“If the policemen in Imota, under whose jurisdiction Isiwu is, are with those attacking us, then, nobody is safe in Isiwu. We are appealing to the government to protect us from them, especially from Yinusa who has been terrorizing us for years”, Oluwadamilare said.
“Government should increase the presence of police and security agencies in Isiwu because we are not safe in this town”, he appealed.
Also speaking with THE IMPACT, Mr Segun Arowolo, another resident, said that he was not with the boys that went to erected the banner but that he saw some of them badly wounded when they ran back from the scene.
He said that the monarch prevented them from retaliating when the matter was reported to him and asked them to go back to their various houses.
“Early Friday morning, around 12.30am, we discovered that Imota DPO escorted Yinusa (the suspected Ajagungbale kingpin alleged to have been responsible for the attack on Isiwu residents) to his house in Isiu. All the glasses of the vehicle that brought him were rolled up and we could not stop the vehicle because police were in the vehicle.
“We have been keeping vigil since the incident occurred because they have sent threat messages that they are coming back. We traced the vehicle and saw the DPO and Yinusa coming out of the vehicle and we shouted their names to let them know that we saw them and they later drove out of the town “, he Arowolo said.
“We received so many threats that they are coming to turn Isiwu into red. They came into the town shooting their way in. They shot sporadically at people. They pursued us from garage to the palace where they wrecked destruction and vandalized Kabiyesi’s vehilcle”, he further alleged.
Arowolo listed Shakky (staying in Adamo), Supol, Why Me, Adura, Kamo, Femi Adigba, Skeri, Cele, Ajo and Copper among others as suspects that he saw invading Isiwu town with guns and other dangerous objects. He alleged that the suspects were shooting directly at people after they had forced their way into the town.
He also alleged that the invaders who, according to him, came into Isiwu with on motorcycles, wanted to kill the monarch.
“They wanted to kill the monarch because they attempted climbing the stairs of the building where he was. But we thank God for the intervention of the local security men. They shot at him (Oba) where he was seated. They probably invaded the palace to kill or kidnap the monarch”, he alleged.
He stated that three of the suspects (Supol, Emeka and Why Me) were arrested by the local security personnel and have since been handed over to the Zone 2 annex at Ladegboye.
Another victim who suffered gunshot injuries on his right leg and back, Jimoh Sabali, a resident of number 38, Isale Lobu, lsiwu, alleged that it was Oweye and Yinusa that brought the ‘Ajagungbales’ that unleashed terror on Isiwu.
“It was Yinusa and Owoeye that brought Ajagungbale into the town. They were saying that the Local and State Governments cannot recognize our new monarch. It was Yinusa, Owoeye and one of his boys, Garba, that attacked our town. Only Yinusa has connection with Isiwu among all these Ajagungbales.
“This is not their first time of attacking the residents of Isiu. We wanted to defend ourselves but Kabiyesi (monarch) said that we should not confront them.
“Government needs to arrest Yinusa if there is going to be peace in our community”.
The Chairman of the Motorcycle Riders in Isiwu, Opeyemi Raji, also alleged that landgrabbers in Isiu are harassing and threatening him and his members.
“We are tired of this because it has been happening for long. On many occasions, our members are attacked by these people without any justification.
“I have personally been threatened on several occasions and told not to ride anywhere near site (developing areas in Isiwu where Ajagungbales are based). I was prevented for two years.
“They have forcefully taken over our landed inheritance and as a result, had to keep off the areas and concentrate on our work. These Owoeye and Yinusa boys are also engaging in stealing of our motorcycles overnight”.
Opeyemi, who was also shot on his leg by the invaders, appealed to the government to save their lives because Imota policemen can no longer protect them.
“They are threatening both indigenes and residents and we can no longer trust policemen from Imota. We called them on the day of the incident but for over two hours, they did not respond to our distress calls.
He said that he has been receiving threats to his life since the incident happened and appealed to government for intervention.
Another motorcycle rider, Rasaq Olusegun who is one of those that were badly shot at on the thigh, leg and back, spoke with THE IMPACT in serious pains.He is now walking with the aid of a stick due to gun wounds.
“I was at the garage with my colleagues when Owoeye boys brought into Isiwu by Yinusa, came and suddenly started shooting directly at us at the garage. We ran to run to the palace”, he said while recalling his experience on the sad day.
“I was beside a container in front of the palace when some of them shot directly at me. I was shot in my thigh and kneel by General Supol, Why Me and Shakky Adamo, Elede Ehinogbe and Adura. I fell into the drain and was unconscious there till I was rescued. I lost so much blood”, he said.
“I am not okay at all and l can only walk with the aid of a stick. We are appealing to the government to save us from the ‘Ajagungbales’. They have been threatening us for a very long time. They normally attack us whenever we take passengers to site.
“We need government protection because all the land agents (Ajagungbales) in the state are now in Isiu terrorizing us. They are involved in the raping of women and are also committing all sorts of atrocities. It was Yinusa that brought them into the community”, he alleged.
Twenty – Eight years old Yusuf Agunbiade, a bricklayer and resident of Isiu, while relieving his own experience, said that he was going on the road when he was shot at on the head by Supol, Why Me, Shakky and others.
Raji Abiodun and Isiaka Albert who also suffered gunshot injuries also spoke alleging Yinusa and his boys of attacking them without any provocation and constantly disturbing the peace of Isiwu community.
A woman who did not disclose her name said that the suspects over the years unleash violence on the people living in peace and forcefully taken over their landed properties.
She appealed to the state government to come to the residents cry by arresting and prosecuting perpetrators.
Meanwhile, the main suspect of the attack, Yinusa Jimoh, denied all the allegations made against him, stating that those alleging him are the ones guilty of attacking him.
“All that you are saying are very strange to me, because I did not involve in any attack on anybody or in Isiwu community. All what they said about me are all lies”, he said.
Yinusa, who stated that he always followed the process of law in what he does, told our reporter on phone on Monday (today) that he is only in possession of lands that he has gotten judgment on from the court.
He also denied being an ‘Ajagungbale’ on the ground that he is not fighting over any land but only in possession of lands vested on him by the court.
Another suspect, Mr Ibrahim, popularly called ‘Asela’ whom we gathered is Yinusa’s elder brother, while speaking on phone with THE IMPACT, also denied all the allegations, adding that they are the victims of the said attack.
“All that you were told are pure lies. They are the ones that attacked us on Thursday evening on our way back from a meeting with our lawyer”, he counter alleged.
He said that five of them had to abandon their vehicle when they were attacked, and that Yinusa’s shopping complex was also attacked.
Ibrahim also confirmed to our reporter that they are in possession of all the lands in Isiwu.
“They may be right on that because we have judgments that granted us possession of the entire Isiwu lands. They will have to go to court to reclaim those lands from us”, he said.
“We have been keeping quiet since the day Oba Shotobi installed him (Oba Olukayode Balogun) as Oba in Isiwu but we are not in anyway interfering”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Ikorodu North LCDA, Hon. Adeola Banjo, has called on residents of Isiwu, the host town of the Council’s Secretariat, to remain calm while assuring that security agents are on top of the situation.
The Council Chairman, who spoke with our reporter on phone on Sunday (yesterday), appealed to any one feeling aggrieved on any matter not to take law into his or her hands but take recourse to court for redress.
“We are doing everything to restore peace and order back to the community. We have notified necessary security agencies and they have responded.
“I thank the Area ‘N’ Command and other police and local security outfits that have responded to our distress calls”, he said.
“My appeal to our people is that they should desist from taking law into their own hands. Any aggrieved person should approach the court to seek redress of any matter of concern and not result to self – help”, he added.
He confirmed to our reporter that some of the suspects that were arrested have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Lagos.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Lagos Command, DSP Bala Elkana, told our reporter that he was not aware of the development in Isiu when called on Sunday (yesterday) afternoon.