Hoodlums disrupt construction of new RCCG auditorium
Over 40 armed hoodlums have invaded Agufoye Village, site of the proposed new auditorium of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, halting the work on the ultramodern praying ground announced recently by the head of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
The thugs, purportedly acting on the instructions of the Baale of Mowe, Chief Babatunde Ojelade, apart from sending the agents of the church packing from the site, have also been terrorizing innocent residents of the village and robbing them of their valuables at gun point.
However, the Agufon family of Agufoye Village, original owners of the land, has exonerated itself from those trying to disrupt the building of the new church auditorium.
Speaking through its spokespersons, Chief Yekini Babatunde Agufon, the paramount Baale of Agufoye land and Chief Amos Oshin Agbabo head of the family, the family said it did not solicit anybody’s help to tackle the Redeemed Christian Church of God on the land sold to the church years back.
“We sold the land to RCCG in 2002 and 2003 and the family collected money.”
“The money was evenly distributed to the two branches in the family namely the Otetumo Agbabo and Soole Agufon family. Each family member received at least N360,000 each from the proceeds of the sale of the land. We are, however, surprised that some people, purportedly acting on behalf of the family, are harassing the church’s agents in Agunfoye Village on the land which have been surrendered to the authority of the church,” the Baale, Chief Yekini Agufon said.
“These people should not use our land as a battle ground to attack the RCCG or its agents for any grouse, whatsoever. Whatever the church can do to deal with the trespassers on their land, they should do. We have sold the land to the church and the family has been paid. Anybody claiming to be members of the family that is instigating these land grabbers against the church is not from us. They are acting illegally,” the family said.
To demonstrate this, the family has sued recalcitrant members of the family and their agents at the Sagamu High Court, among other things, seeking the court to stop forceful entry and occupation of the defendants and their agents or privies from the Agufoye Village located near Ogijo in Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The family is also seeking the order of the court in declaring null and void any sale or resale of land done by the defendants without the knowledge and consent of the family, prior to the institution, and during the pendency of this action.
The family’s claims before the court also include an order of the court removing forthwith the defendants and their agents, privies from the Agufoye Village and an order of the court restraining the defendants from entering Agufoye Village to cause mayhem on tenants, assignees, their dependents, relations, properties and other residents of Agufoye or deal adversely in the parcels of land in the village contrary to the interests of the claimants’ family.
The Defendants are Alhaja Ramota Akinlabi, nee Agufon (sister to the Baale), Isiaka Tosin Hassan, Saheed Hassan and Aderemi Odede. Others are Morufu Muritala and Adejare Orababa.
According to sources within the church, trouble started when the Baale of Mowe, Chief Babatunde Ojelade, acting on a fraudulently-obtained survey plan, invited land grabbers (Ajagungbale) to claim a portion of the land which the Redeemed Christian Church of God had earlier bought from him and also paid N215 million for via Ogun State Revenue receipt dated July 29, 2009 and another N35 million for government’s survey with Ogun State government receipt no. 0536521 dated July 22, 2009.
The Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey, Abeokuta had, in a letter dated July 14, 2009 and signed by the then Director General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Office of the Governor, Surv. Gbenga Osinaike had also allocated the land “without prejudice” to the church for 99 years.
But shortly after this, Chief Tunde Ojelade’s agents, armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons stormed the village and started robbing and harassing the residents of the village and agents of the church on the land. He even appointed one Gbadebo Femi as his agent to help sell the RCCG land in the village.
Based on this and because the RCCG wanted peace, the church still went ahead to renegotiate some portion of the land it had earlier paid the Baale for to him.
It is this negotiation that Ojelade is now using to hoodwink others, telling them that it is possible to get money for land from the Redeemed Christian Church of God and still repossess the land.
“This is what Alhaja Ramota Akinlabi and her agents latched on to invite Ojelade to ‘fight’ on their behalf to reclaim the land, which their family had been paid for”, Chief Yekini Agufon said.
Based on their invitation, armed land grabbers, through Alhaja Ramota and her children, in January 2013, were alleged to have invaded the village, looting and stealing from villagers, harassing the peace-loving inhabitants.
“The family had no choice than to take the matter to court after several appeals and overtures to her and her aides to stop infringing on the land failed,” Chief Yekini Agufon said.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the suit.