The Akinrogun of Meiran land, Chief Joseph Ayodele, whom the Ogun State Police Command claimed to be the leader of a land-grabbing gang, has refuted the claim.
It had earlier been reported that Rufai Abdulkareem, Tobi Ajayi and Wasiu Oladipupo were arrested by the police for allegedly shooting at seven workers on a construction site in the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had said the suspects were terrorising residents of Ota and its environs before they were apprehended.
Refuting the police claim, Ayodele stated that Abdulkareem, Ajayi and Oladipupo were members of the Obasogo Royal Family of Ilogbo-Ota.
Ayodele alleged that a man, who encroached on the 4,000-acre land belonging to the family, framed the three men as land-grabbers.
He said, “To set the record straight, the alleged suspected land-grabbers, Rufai Abdulkareem, Tobi Ajayi and Wasiu Oladipupo, are bona fide members of the Obasogo Royal Family of Ilogbo-Ota, Ogun State, who were framed by the real land-grabbers and the police.
“The real land-grabbers were the ones, who encroached on the 4,000-acre expanse land of the Obasogo Royal Family in Ilogbo-Ota and went further to use the police to arrest family members of the bona fide owners, framing them as land-grabbers.
“When Rufai, Tobi and Wasiu were arrested, they were charged before the Ota Magistrate Court 2 and were granted bail, but because the bail was not perfected that day, they were remanded in the custody of the Police Area Command, Ota.
“To our dismay and surprise, the police paraded the innocent men with guns, accusing them of shooting some people on a fictitious site. These wrongly accused men have been released as directed by the court.
“I am not a land-grabber and none of my staff members was arrested for any crime, so how come I was labelled a gang leader?”
Oyeyemi, however, insisted that Ayodele had a case to answer.
He said, “His (Ayodele’s) statement is just a plea of alibi. We have the picture of those who were shot and injured on the site, so his plea cannot shield him from being arrested. We are looking for him and when we arrest him, we are going to prosecute him.
“If he’s having a problem with anyone, he should deal with it, but presently, he is the one who committed the offence for which we are looking for him. They shot about seven persons on a site and the case was reported by the owner of the site. He should come forward and submit himself for prosecution and let him go and defend himself in court.”