8th February, 2022
The Executive Governor of Ogun State
Priince Dapo Abiodun (MFR)
Abeokuta, Ogun State
PETITION ON UNLAWFUL INVASION, CRIMINAL DESTRUCTION TO PROPERTY AND PERSISTENT THREAT TO LIVES AND PROPERTY, BY RESIDENTS AND LEADERSHIP OF BEACHLAND ESTATE RESIDENT ASSOCIATION (BERA), AREPO, LED BY EMMANUEL AKUDINOBI, OLU OF AREPO AND HIS CHIEFS
We, the residents of Journalists Estate Phase One Arepo, under the auspices of Journalists’ Estate Residents Development Association (hereafter referred to as JERDA Phase 1 ), recognise the progress made so far, by your administration, at ensuring the upliftment of lives of residents of Ogun State. With the current massive rehabilitation of the Journalists Estate Road in Arepo as a major signpost of these giant strides across the state.
However, despite your laudable activities in this regard as well as your relentless efforts at ensuring peace and safety of the citizens of the state, we want to bring to your notice and that of the general public, the activities of some unscrupulous elements, which have become persistent threat to lives, incessant invasion and constant harassment by residents of Ebute under the name Beachland Estate Residents Association (BERA), against members of JERDA Phase 1. BERA’s constant acts of harassment are being perpetrated in connivance with the Olu of Arepo, Oba Atanda Oyebi and his chiefs, with the aim of annihilating us from the community. There has been physical confrontation and verbal threats to lives of members of Journalists Estate Phase One, comprising notable members of the journalism profession and many others in various professional fields of repute.
Sir, you may wish to know that in between the two estates is the NNPC
pipelines with Federal Government specified right of way.
This portion of land between the two estates is manned by security operatives of the Federal Government.
INVASION OF THE ESTATE & DESTRUCTION OF NEWLY CONSTRUCTED ENTRY ARC BY THE OLU OF AREPO, HIS CHIEFS, SOME BERA RESIDENTS AND ARMED THUGS
On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, over 50 BERA residents, led by one Mr. Emmanuel Akudinobi, including some chiefs from the palace of the Olu of Arepo, invaded our estate and destroyed our entrance arc, located at the point of security access into our estate. After an initial discussion to prevent the destruction, it was jointly agreed to meet with the traditional ruler later in the day to discuss the issues and resolve the matter amicably. However, after a while, thugs, armed with cudgels, in company of some chiefs and the said Emmanuel Akudinobi, came back from the palace of the Olu of Arepo, where they boasted to have received the order to destroy the arc installed by JERDA Phase 1 with millions of Naira belonging to our members.
They first set about the arc with axes and diggers, to weaken the foundation and seeing that it was not bulging, they then drove an Ayab Truck over it to bring it down violently. The steel arc is a new one in replacement of the initial one that gave way for the road construction currently going on.
The replacement of the arc was after due approval from the State Ministry of Works and under its thorough engineering supervision.
It took a strong restrain of JERDA members and some elders in the estate, for the invasion not to degenerate into full blown skirmish.
THE DIRECTIVE TO DESTROY THE NEW ARC INSTALLED
The new arc was installed on Tuesday, February 7, 2022, with due notice to relevant authorities, including the Police at Warewa Police station and the Ogun State Ministry of Works as well as Ministry of Physical Planning. The approved installation was witnessed by an Ogun State Ministry of Works assigned engineer and inspected later by senior official from the State government and it was confirmed that we followed due process and specifications as approved by the state.
However, the chiefs, who accompanied the crowd of thugs, openly boasted to us that the Olu of Arepo gave BERA members and his chiefs, the directive that the arc should be destroyed. The reason given, among others, was that we did not pay “homage” to the palace, before erecting the arc and that No other authority can override that of the Olu of Arepo.
The estate arc has been at this landmark point, since the inauguration of the estate in 2003 and delineates the allocated perimeter approved by the Ogun State Government. The location of the arc also serves as security outpost for the estate and has been instrumental to warding off security threats not only to our estate but also members of BERA.
DIRECT THREAT TO LIVES
There has been an incessant attack on our estate by BERA members and the Olu of Arepo over the years and this has now turned to direct invasion and threat to lives, with regular invasion of our estate by BERA members to directly compromise our security and officers.
Sir, it will be worthy to let you know that BERA members have over the years been given unfettered access to connect their estate without any form of molestation, but they are now insisting that we should not put any security measure in place to safeguard lives and property at Journalists estate, Phase One. They vowed not to allow us install any form of landmark at our point of entrance and exit into the estate.
This selfish attitude is not applied to the two entrances into Beachland estate, where they have fully fitted security outposts with serious scrutiny of visitors into their environment. We had offered joint security approaches severally in the past to achieve peaceful co-existence with our neighbours. However BERA residents have gone further to curry favour from the Olu of Arepo to frustrate every effort we have made.
With the support of the Olu of Arepo and a number of hoodlums in the community, BERA members, led by Emmanuel Akudinobi, have become a threat to our lives and property in Journalists Estate. We have made several overtures to address their perceived grievances over the years, but they have become more violent in their bid to frustrate our effort to secure lives of our members, our families and the estate. Now, they are being openly backed by the Olu of Arepo, his chiefs and some hoodlums.
We will like to put government on notice of those who have aversion to peace in this community and may be working against efforts of government to protect lives and property of citizens. Beyond our control, the population growth in Arepo, buoyed by constant influx of young people from all parts of the country, is becoming a resting reservoir to communal violence and destruction that may thwart the efforts of the state government.
This is a Save our Souls message to the you, Your Excellency Sir and the state government that a situation, where the Olu of Arepo will be the arrow head of criminal destruction of property, with contumacious impunity, is a threat to peace and lives of citizens and must not be allowed to stand. The Olu of Arepo cannot be at par with the government of Ogun State, from which permission was sought and obtained to install the arc. The audacious destruction of the arc portends great danger to our lives and property and as well send the wrong message that the Olu of Arepo can take the laws into his hands, by destroying communal properties.
We are therefore respectfully asking that the Police are invited into the community forthwith, to view the destruction caused to the arc, with a view to commencing investigation and prosecution of the known perpetrators, led by the Olu of Arepo.
This is with a view to getting the destroyers to replace the arc .
We also pray Your Excellency to direct the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs to initiate appropriate sanctions against the Olu of Arepo, for his usavoury role in the destruction of the newly constructed arc, which is purely an act of CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY and an affront to duly constituted authority under your able leadership .
Chairman JERDA Phase 1
JERDA Phase 1
*Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy
- Ogun State Commissioner for Works
- Ogun State Commissioner for Physical Planning
- Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs
*Ogun State Police Commissioner
- Ogun State Director of State Security
*HE Aremo Olusegun Osoba
- Chairman Obafemi Owode Local Government
*DPO Warewa Police Station
- President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abuja
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists Lagos Council