By Christopher Oji
Family of Mr. Ebenezer Adesanya Olaniyan, on 6/10 Oladipupo Ajulo Close, Baruwa Ipaja, Lagos, has cried out to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) over the demolition of his buildings by a pastor and a police officer.
The buildings also harboured a poultry house and a warehouse which housed equipment worth a whopping N150 million, which they allegedly carted away.
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The pastor, Prophet R. O. Ikotun of Hightower Global Church, a senior Police Officer in Lagos (names withheld), and a member of Ipaja branch of the Oodua People Congress (OPC), Prince, and cohorts are being investigated by the police. It was gathered that the elder Olaniyan had bought the land in 1968 from the Baruwa family with all relevant documents, fenced it round and built a three bedroom bungalow house there.
He was said to have later relocated to Canada with his family. Years later, he brought home one of his children, who built another bungalow and a poultry house, where he loaded equipment for the purpose and travelled back with a promise to come back home and settle down for his poultry business.
However, it was gathered that several years after, when Prince, said to be a land grabber in the area, noticed that the Olaniyan family was not forthcoming in returning, he went and falsified landed documents, demolished the buildings that were already on the secured land to give an illusion that it was a virgin land and started selling to willing buyers. Some of Prince’s clients were Prophet R.O. Ikotun, the senior police officer and his brother. Prophet Ikotun was said to have specifically demolished one of the buildings and built a gigantic church on it.
One of the children of Pa Ebenezer Olaniyan, Mrs. Aderonke Olaniyan, who was in the country, reportedly confronted them that the land they were buying and building structures on belongs to her father, but was allegedly threatened by a security aide to the unnamed senior police officer and the OPC member, that if she continued to ask questions concerning the land, she would not live to tell her story.
Thereafter, she was said to have started receiving strange calls of threat, prompting her to run to one Barrister Yinka Sanni.
In a petition dated April 28, 2022, and addressed to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), DIG Babatunde Kokumo, the lawyer said: “Our client, an elderly man who, in his active years laboured to acquired four acres of land from the Baruwa family sometime around 1968, and he, thereafter, fenced the entire 4.424 acres before building a warehouse, which is fully equipped, a poultry and two tenements building there on it. He built one of the tenements houses while the second building, which comprises two units of three bedrooms apartment was built by his first son, Mr. Olusegun Olaniyan.
“Sir, undone by all these nefarious activities, they are threatening to snuff life out of Mrs. Aderonke Olaniyan, for daring to challenge their forceful encroachment on her fathers property. She has been receiving strange calls late at night, warning her to stay off her father’s property, and she, fearing for her life, had no choice but to stay off as warned by the marauders.
In a swift reaction, Prophet RO Ikotun said: “Well, I did not encroach on the land illegally like you claim, thank God those who sold the land to me are all alive and they gave me relevant documents to prove ownership. I have the documents. In any case, I do not have much to say now because some policemen from Abuja came today to serve me a letter of invitation to appear on May 31, 2022, so, may be while in Abuja, I will call you for details.
However, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said: “The pastor, Ikotun, was not arrested, but invited. He made a statement. Both parties submitted their claims and the same were forwarded to the Surveyor General of Lagos state for verification. He was released the same day after the CP, Admin, FCIID’s interview. Parties opted for ADR and it was obliged.”
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