Family Denied Justice as Land-Grabbers Sell Property to Chinese Investors in Ogun State
The Kalejaiye family of Ogun State finds themselves embroiled in a distressing land dispute, one they allege involves a group of land grabbers collaborating with Chinese nationals. The turmoil centers on their cherished farmland located in the Ogere region of the state, a property that has been in the family’s possession since the 1970s, sustaining them through the cultivation and processing of palm oil.
In a conversation with Sunday Special, Mr. Leke Kalejaiye, the family’s spokesperson, recounted the troubling events that transpired. He asserted that the farmland fell victim to the aggressive tactics of land grabbers who, armed with bulldozers, ruthlessly cleared the property of its palm trees. What adds another layer of complexity to this dispute is the alleged involvement of military personnel, enlisted by the land grabbers to thwart the Kalejaiye family’s efforts to reclaim their land, despite holding a valid Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the property.
Kalejaiye shared, “We processed and obtained the C of O in 2013, but on July 18, I got a call from some workers on the farm that some people had brought in tractors and were clearing the farm. At first, I thought maybe they had land survey or development issues, but I later realized that they knew what they were doing. I reported the case to the Ogere police station and they invited them to the station. These men don’t have a title deed to the land, and I showed them my documents. In spite of police intervention and orders to stop working on the land, these men continued.”
He further lamented the destruction of their cherished farmland and the alleged lack of support from the local authorities. Kalejaiye revealed that he had escalated the matter to Zone 2 authorities, leading to some arrests. However, upon arriving at the scene, the family was met with a disheartening sight—the land grabbers had purportedly sold the land to Chinese nationals who were actively constructing a factory on the disputed property. Their efforts to regain control were met with resistance from military personnel, further exacerbating their plight.
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, when contacted about the matter, expressed her unawareness of the situation, stating, “Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry to say this; I’m not aware of this report.”
The Kalejaiye family’s battle to reclaim their ancestral farmland underscores the complexities and challenges faced by landowners in the region, as they contend with illegal land grabs and the involvement of foreign entities. The outcome of this dispute remains uncertain, leaving the family in a state of profound distress and uncertainty.