Ogun Community Petitions Dapo Abiodun, DSS on Alleged Fraudulent Activities of Kehinde Sofenwa & Others - The People's Voice


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Ogun Community Petitions Dapo Abiodun, DSS on Alleged Fraudulent Activities of Kehinde Sofenwa & Others

 By Our Correspondent

The Itoku Development Association has petitioned the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the Department of State Security Services over acts that may cause a breach of peace in the homesteads and township located within Egba Division of Ogun State.

In a petition signed by Chief Babajide Adebiyi, and Alhaji Tajudeen Kasali, the President and Secretary respectfully, the association alleged that Oluwo Itoku township, Chief Olusoji Sodamola and Chief Kehinde Sofenwa, the Odofin of Itoku, of illegal sales of Itoku community natural resources and diverted the money for their personal use.

The four-page letter stated further that efforts by the good people of town to ensure that the Chiefs refrain from the alleged sale of the resources which run into millions of Naira proved abortive.

The petitioners alleged that both Sodamola and Sofenwa ‘capitalised on being Itoku Chiefs and custodians of Itoku customs, cultures and traditions to sell the natural resources including landed properties belonging to the commonwealth of Itoku indigenes in Itoku reserved forest.

The Association which is an umbrella organization of all indigenes of Itoku township in Abeokuta South Local Government area, Itoku homesteads in Obafemi/Owode Local Government and Itoku indigenes across Nigeria and in the diaspora complained that the duo have sold properties worth over N500,000,000:00 (Five Hundred Million Naira) and diverted the proceeds to their accounts yet there’s no development in any part of Itoku township and homesteads.

“The chiefs, the petitioners added are being aided in the fraudulent activities by Chief Kunle Ayedun, Chief Semiu Adeosun, Chief Monsuru Odedeyi, Chief Oluwole Odekunle, Chief Muraina Ikanrede and Chief Gbotaye to perpetrate these illegalities.

“The cabal perfected the leasing of parcels of land in the Orile Itoku reserved forest endowed with rocks to a Chinese company – DING XIN MINING COMPANY LIMITED on an annual leasehold sum of N25,000,000:00 (Twenty Five Million) since 2015 and also sold parcels of land and natural resources such as limestones, timbers and economic leaves to the tune of over N500,000,000:00 (Five Hundred Million Naira).

The Petitioner also wrote that “the mining company has since been operating therein.

Furthermore, they engaged thugs armed with sophisticated weapons to forcefully collect N1,000 and N500 (tolls) tickets from trucks loading from the premises the mining company for 24 hours making an average of between N30,000 and #50,000 daily for many years without bringing any development to the the area where the money is being generated. They noted that instead, a few of them are siphoning the money.

“The chiefs have also been intimidating, humiliating, victimizing and threatening the Baales and other villagers who summoned courage to challenge their fraudulent activities, boasting that as the custodians of Itoku customs, cultures and traditions, they reserve the right to these resources whereas, custodianship does not give them the right to sell properties belonging to the entire community and divert the money to personal accounts.

“As part of their affronts, Chief Olusoji Sodamola, Chief Monsuru Odedeyi and Chief Saidi Ogunbodede had criminally assaulted the Baale Afo, Itoku village at gunpoint in Oba township when the Obas and Chiefs in Egba visited Lisabi forest on Thursday, 16th February 2023 as part of the programmes marking the year’s Lisabi festival.

“The matter was reported to Owode Egba Divisional Police Station where the three (3) suspects were invited, interrogated and conditionally released on administrative bail to the Apesin Itoku – Chief Semiu Adeosun on Saturday 18th February 2023 and told to report back on Monday, 20h February 2023.

“The three (3) suspects however ignored and refused to report back to police despite persistent calls on them to fulfil the conditions of bail. Chief Olusoji Sodamola thereafter absconded to his base in the United Kingdom while Police advanced their professional expertise to arrest the surety Chief Semiu Adeosun who was charged to the Chief Magistrate Court in Mowe/life on charge number: MOC/140/2023 and was convicted for two (2) years with the option of an N200,000 fine on Monday, the 6th day of March 2023.

“Chief Monsuru Odedeyi and Chief Saidi Ogunbodede were later arrested and charged to the Chief Magistrate Court Owode Egba on charge number;
MOC/316c/2023 on the 25h May 2023. The case is still receiving the attention of the Court.

“With all the aforementioned, in June 2023, Chief Kehinde Sofenwa with the cabal still went ahead to sell the land that has a stream which provides water for drinking and other domestic use of about eleven (11) villages in Afo, Itoku in Orile-Itoku. They sold 25 acres of land at the rate of N1,400,000:00 (One Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) per acre hence received N35,000,000:00 (Thirty-Five Million Naira) on the illegal deal.

“For the emphasis, the stream in the land provides water for the following villages; Afo-Jagunna, Afo-Eruke, Afo-Lisa, Daadi-Aaro, Eegun, Ifote, Ilumoko, Jean, Jabita, Anisere and Apesin. The petitions also alleged that the chiefs took the surveyors and thugs to the place and forcefully entered the site on Monday 12th June 2023.

“When the matter was reported at Owode Egba Police Station, Chief Kehinde Sofenwa was invited by the Police Officers on Tuesday 13th June 2023 where he volunteered a statement to Police were under caution and granted Police administrative bail to one Chief Oluwole Odekunle on condition that he must report on Thursday, 15th June 2023 by 8:00 a.m. for Court action.

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