|Not the actual photo|
Residents said the group, suspected to be members of the Oodua People’s Congress, wielded weapons such as cutlasses, knives and sticks.
A resident said trouble started on Saturday shortly after a meeting between some indigenes and residents.
“Around 12.30pm on Saturday, the land owners who were indigenes held a meeting with residents over the illegal encroachment into their property by a land prospector, Rotimi Orimisan. The land owners said they did not sell their land to Orimisan.
“After the meeting with the land owners, we were within the estate when some OPC thugs attacked us with cutlasses, broken bottles and other weapons.
“During the attack, a former General Secretary of the community, Rotimi Ojo, was stabbed in his right hand with a bottle. We rushed him to Doren Specialist Hospital, Ajiwe, Ajah. He is still there.”
A resident, Olaseni Obafemi, was hit on the head with a shovel. Another member of the community was said to have been attacked in his home and his wife, who was visually-impaired, beaten up.
The Chairman of Alabeko Estate Residents Association, Mr. Uba Offorbuike, said he was shocked that the policemen joined in the attack.
He said residents were flogged with horsewhips, while the policemen used tear gas to send people out of their homes.
“I was shocked when the policemen, who are supposed to play a neutral role, joined them to attack us. Ojo was stabbed with a bottle in his right hand. As we speak, we have spent over N400, 000 on medical bills because of the emergency operation.
“As law-abiding citizens of this country, we are disappointed in the police because they failed to defend the people.”
When contacted on Monday, Orimisan denied the allegation, saying he bought 48 acres of land from the state government and got an acquisition letter from the Govt.
He denied using thugs to foment trouble in the community.
“The land in question belongs to the New Town Development Authority. We had initially turned to the omo onile (land owners) to buy the land, but we were told it was an acquisition land and was under the control of the state government.
“Though we had paid some money to the omo onile, we still decided to meet with the government and we paid huge sum of money for the land and were given our acquisition letter. We also paid more than N18m for the survey.
“If those indigenes are insisting that the land belongs to them, they should approach the government for compensation or go to the court. We are law–abiding citizens and it was when their trouble became too much that we petitioned the Inspector General of Police who sent some policemen to watch over the place.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Nwosu, said, “Investigations are ongoing to find out what really happened.