When NEWS BOOM visited the community on Friday, there was palpable tension as most areas were deserted. It was gathered that the dispute was between the community and an individual, Mr Jacob Ayoola, who wrote a petition to the police against the community.
Findings revealed that a group had volunteered to build a mosque for the town and to support the project, the community monarch, Oba Mathew Ajala directed workers to use gravel on disputed land, a directive vehemently resisted by Ayoola.
The disputed land was said to belong to a former governor in Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The land was said to have shared boundary with that of Ayoola.
When the gravel was about to be taken from the land, Ayoola was said to have kicked against it and claimed that the portion of the land, in which the gravel would be taken, belongs to him.
Ayoola was said to have petitioned the AIG’s office at Zone XI in Osogbo before some policemen were deployed to the area. The Policemen were said to have visited the disputed land alongside Gbenga and Ayoola and while discussing with parties was ongoing, Gbenga slumped and died on the spot.
This development infuriated the youths of the community who protested Gbenga’s mysterious death and accused Ayoola on killing him with charms that he had already buried on the land.
For this, Ayoola was said to have petitioned the AIG’s office in Osogbo before some Policemen stormed the community around March 13, 2021 and started shooting sporadically and attacking some youths. About 11 persons were said to have been arrested and assaulted by the police.
Speaking, a former council Chairman in Ejigbo, Engr. Yinka Adigun explained that “a group volunteered to build a mosque for the community, so in order to assist them, the monarch said the community has gravel on land and donated it for the construction. But his decision did not go well with Mr Jacob Ayoola, who later petitioned the AIG’s office in Osogbo.
“He came with some policemen and in the company of community representative went to the disputed land. While sorting issues on the land, one of the representatives identified as Gbenga slumped and before he was taken to hospital for treatment he died. His death infuriated the youths in the town, who believed he was killed diabolically and they insisted the man must leave town or they will burn him and his property.
“He left town and reported the matter at the state Police Command Headquarters in Osogbo and return to the community on a Sunday around 1 am in a bus loaded with police, shooting sporadically into the air and arresting youths in their homes.
“It was discovered in the morning that twelve young men were arrested, one that was running was shot around mission house while Prince Isaiah Ajala, the monarch’s son was also killed.
“Kabiyesi (monarch) later reported the matter to some stakeholders in the state before the Commissioner of Police paid a condolence visit to his palace. But the twelve young men are still in police custody and the man too”, he said.
However, Police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola said Ayoola had authored another petition to the Commissioner of Police, alleging arson and attempted murder.
“Ayoola wrote a petition to the CP alleging assault and attempted murder. The police that was deployed went there to snap pictures of the burnt house and later went there at night to arrest the suspects. But one of them was violent and attack a policeman with a cutlass before running away.
“The police tried to arrest him but he escaped, only for the community to later report that he was killed in a bush. However, police are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death and the eleven arrested suspects are in our custody along with the petitioner,” Opalola said.
Attempt to speak with Ayoola proved abortive as he was said to have left the community after the killings. Ayoola was said to have contested the traditional stool of the community with Oba Ajala.
The residents of the community had staged a protest and accused the police of killing their monarch’s son and another youth.
They alleged further that the Policemen beat some residents with matches and that many of them sustained severe injuries. They sought justice.