A man, Olatunde Omojesu, has cried out for justice after a suspected land grabber, identified as Richard Afuwajomo, took possession of his (Omojesu) family property in Akure, Ondo State.
Omojesu noted that the alleged land grabber had claimed he got a court verdict in his favour and subsequently chased the Omojesu family from the property where their father had also been buried.
The family property is situated by Ileriayo Nursery and Primary School beside Akure High School in Akure town.
Omojesu told SaharaReporters that his family was not present in the court, neither was there any invitation for them to appear in the court where such judgment was passed.
He stated that the landed property in contention was purchased by his father, Kayode Omosanyin, over 40 years ago and had built a house on the same property.
However, the family name was later changed from Omosanyin to Omojesu upon their conversion to Christianity.
Omojesu stated that the landed property, which Afuwajomo has now claimed to be his, was where he (Omojesu) was born and brought up.
He said, “This is a case of land grabbing. My dad was buried in 2009, before he passed away in 2009, he built the main building. I was born and brought up in that building and when my father was alive, no one lodged any complaint even till after his death but four years ago, this man, Afuwajomo just came and started claiming that he is the bonafide owner of the land.
“He said he bought it in 1979, left it and was using it for farming. That was his claim but when he came, I ensured his arrest at A-Division Police headquarters in Akure.
“I was angry that day that I went to lock him up. To my surprise, between 15 to 20 minutes, he was released and then called one of my brothers and said we played on him but now that we wanted to show power, he would show us power and charge us to court.
“The following year, we got a letter from the court that someone brought a case before them. We gave all the evidence to prove that we are the bonafide owner of the land. Before my father passed away, he was the General Secretary of the landlords’ association.
“The man claiming the house is his doesn’t even know the name of the street. That was how the court process began. The lawyer told us he did not think we could go ahead with the case. He asked us to seek the services of another lawyer and we had spent lots of money.
“We were just borrowing loans to pursue the case. Our lawyer introduced us to another lawyer; this second lawyer appeared at a time and we had an upper hand in that case because the judge said there was no case. He noted that how could someone buy land and for 40 years, build nothing on it? The judge already said that the house belonged to the person who built the house on the land.
“The judge wanted to strike out the case that time but unfortunately, the court was on strike but before they called off the strike, I was told that the judge had retired and another judge would take over.
“Then our lawyer started demanding for money. He was not listening to us and we were fed up, because we had collected loans. My mother is in critical condition because of this. She can’t walk again. She has developed a stroke on the left side of her body and she always has high blood pressure.
“Late last year, this man just suddenly appeared again that he has gone to court and that court has granted him the rights over the land. On the very day, one of my brothers who stayed in the house was not around but his wife was around and this man came early in the morning with two mobile police officers and drove them away.
“He also ordered hoodlums to demolish the house. We were surprised because we were not in court when the judgment was passed. A lawyer did not call on us to give us details of the case; there was no warning not until the day the man came with the judgment statement.
“He called on hoodlums to demolish the house but the landlord association of the area objected to it and called on the street youths that chased away the hoodlums and the mobile police officers. I went to the A-Division and officers told me the case is already in court and there is nothing they can do about it; whereas we have receipt, survey, C/O.”
Omojesu noted the land grabber however told them that he had taken over one building that had parents also buried on it and nothing happened.
“My father’s burial ground is within that house and that is my concern. It is not safe with him. I don’t have access to the burial ground. This man has fenced it in, locked the gate and put ‘for sale’ on the land,” Omojesu lamented.