The Kalejaiye family in Ogun State has expressed their distress over what they describe as the unlawful seizure of their farmland in the Ogere area of the state. They allege that this takeover was orchestrated by land grabbers in collusion with Chinese nationals.
The family had acquired the farmland in the 1970s and had relied on it for many years for the production of palm oil.
Representing the family’s grievances, Mr. Leke Kalejaiye revealed that the land grabbers had deployed bulldozers to clear the palm trees on the farmland, causing significant damage.
Furthermore, Mr. Kalejaiye disclosed that despite possessing a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the land, they faced resistance from the land grabbers, who had enlisted the support of military personnel.
Kalejaiye recounted, “We secured the C of O in 2013. However, on July 18, I received a call from some farm workers reporting that individuals had brought tractors to clear our land. Initially, I thought it might be related to land surveys or development issues, but it became clear that they were acting with intent. I reported the matter to the Ogere police station, and they summoned the individuals involved. These trespassers lacked a title deed to the land, and I presented my documents as evidence. Despite police intervention and instructions to halt their activities, they persisted.”
He went on to explain, “Our farmland was devastated, and when I returned to the police for assistance, my request was denied. It was then that I escalated the matter to Zone 2, where the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) ordered arrests. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the land grabbers had sold the land to Chinese nationals who were constructing a factory on it. These individuals were being shielded by military personnel who obstructed our efforts to reclaim our property.”
The Kalejaiye family’s ordeal highlights the challenges they face in regaining their land, despite possessing valid documentation. It underscores the need for a thorough investigation into the alleged involvement of land grabbers and the protection provided to foreign investors in this dispute.