The police in Osun have arrested the General Manager of Western Sun Hotels, Ede, Samuel Owolawi, over attempted land grabbing, assault and malicious damage to property.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that Mr Owolawi was taken into custody in Ede on Saturday after he allegedly led hoodlums and armed soldiers to demolish an ongoing building construction and chased away workers on a site behind the hotel.
The builder on site, Mutiu Tijani, said in a statement to the police that Mr Owolawi’s gang also demolished the building on the orders of Kamal Yusuf, a serving major general in the Nigerian Army and chairman of Western Sun Hotels.
According to him, the gang also beat up the workers and threatened the men never to return to the site, claiming that the general recently bought over the property from Ede North Local Government Area.
“While bricklayers were working on site, to my surprise, General Manager of Western Sun Hotels, Samuel Owolawi, asked the workers to leave the site on the order of Gen. Yusuf.
“In fact, they demolished all works we have done and wasted the materials – bricks, sand, cement, we had to run for our dear lives,” the builder said in his statement at Oke Iresi Police Division, Ede.
NAN learnt that the police have also invited the incumbent chairman of Ede North Local Government Area, Adeyemi Elliot, for questioning to explain his role in “assisting” the General in the land scandal.
When contacted about the incident, Osun police spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed that a report of malicious damage was reported at Police Division Ede.
Ms Opalola said the matter was a land ownership tussle and and appealed to the parties involved to maintain peace while the police carry out further investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, Adeyemi Giwa, counsel to the owner of the property, Akinwale Ojetimi, has vowed to press further charges against the serving general, his agents and some council officials over their roles in the brazen illegality.
“All those involved in this brazen illegality will face full weight of the law and pay dearly for it.
“It is inconceivable for anyone, no matter how highly placed, to surreptitiously want to wrestle our client’s property from him.
“The era of impunity is long over,” the lawyer said.
According to him, the land in question is a local government scheme which was legitimately allocated by the council to Ojetimi in 2004.
He said that the evolving developments, allegedly coming from the council, “is an unimaginable travesty and monumental fraud which must be promptly halted.”
Mr Giwa had in a December 7, 2021, petition asked the council to warn Mr Yusuf, Western Hotels, and his agents against trespassing on the property.
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