Ekiti monarch denies illegal sale of land
The embattled Olu-Iye of Iyemero in Ikole Local Government
Area of Ekiti State, Oba Agboola Ogungbemi, has denied
engaging in illegal sale of land and economic trees in the
The monarch, who urged the public to discountenance the
allegations by members of Iyemero Progressive Union,
said the compensation paid by government on the land
acquired in the town was duly shared by the owners and
was not coordinated by the palace or his council.
The IPU, led by its National Chairman, Mr. Lawrence
Fatoyinbo, had last Saturday protested and accused the
king of forcefully seizing their lands , engaging in
harassment and illegal detention of indigenes and
deprivation of some chiefs of their monthly entitlements.
Oba Ogungbemi, who added that he had attracted about 20
developmental projects to the community through his
personal efforts and interaction with Ekiti State government,
said the allegations were concocted to tarnish his image
and pit him against his subjects.
He said, â€œSince I became king in March, 2,000, developing
the town has always been my preoccupation, contrary to
what was being painted by the IPU.
â€œI never arrested or detained any member of my
community since my assumption to the throne 16 years ago
with the exception of some hoodlums and well known thugs
who once invaded my palace with dangerous weapons. I
complained to the Director of SSS and CP who ordered their
â€œI want to say that I have never sold a piece of land in
Iyemero. However, the previous administration actually
requested for a parcel of arable land for cassava cultivation
and production and this was released following due
consultation with Olu Iyemero-in-council and other key
members of the community.
â€œI want to say that all the chiefs are receiving their
monthly stipends. They received with the exception of one,
who has been staying away from meetings. But with the
intervention of Attah of Ayede Ekiti in the matter, I have
agreed to pay.â€
The traditional Prime Minister of the community, Chief
Samuel Adebiyi, described the crisis in the town as a gang
up by a few aggrieved individuals, who he accused of
desperately working to depose the Oba.
Adebiyi, the Aro of Iyemero and a retired colonel in the
Nigerian Army, said â€œGovernment doesnâ€™t pay
compensation for a land taken from any community, but
they used to pay compensation for the damaged crops and
â€œSo, the N5 million paid for the land taken by government
for commercial cassava production was shared to the ebira
farm owners and the Ilisha family, who were directly
affected by the project.
â€œInfallibility belongs to God. He is the only person who
cannot make mistakes. We are calling on them to eschew
violence because nothing can be achieved under the
atmosphere of crisis and turbulence,â€ he said.
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