How Police backed by Soldiers on patrol prevented carnage in Ogun community

CP Alamutu directs DPO to maintain order

But for the intervention of Policemen on guard duty and a team of soldiers on patrol, lives may have been lost in Aseese, a sprawling community in Owode Egba Local Government Area on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Eyewitness accounts reveal that On Saturday, July 6, 2024, a team of Nigeria Army soldiers on routine patrol intervened in a face-off between police attached to the Inner City Mission compound and thugs backed by a detachment of fully armed Police Mobile Force PMF 41.

This orchestrated onslaught by thugs led by one Femi, hired by Mr. Paul Audu, almost caused mayhem and a breakdown of law and order in the Aseese Community of Ogun State.

According to sources, it all stemmed from an interlocutory order issued by Justice B.B. Adebowale of the Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta on Monday July 1, 2024, in favour of Mr. Paul Audu, for a fence between his property and the Inner City Mission to be pulled down. The order was immediately appealed that same day by the defendants, INNERCITY MISSION FOR CHILDREN through their lawyer, Mr. Kazeem Gbadamosi SAN of ADEBAYO SAN & GBADAMOSI SAN & co.

The defendants immediately obtained a notice of appeal and a stay of execution. Both motions were duly served on the plaintiffs and their lawyer, Mr. Awosika SAN. Also, the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State command, and the Ibafo Divisional Police Officer (DPO) were served copies of the motions.

Despite the services of the appeal processes, the plaintiff Mr. Paul Audu on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, went to the police DPO to request the police to carry out the order because the Judge had specified that the DPO should provide Police backing. The DPO declined because, as he pointed out to Mr. Audu his office had been duly served a notice of appeal and a stay of execution on the order he wanted to execute. Mr. Paul was reportedly agitated.

At this point, he resorted to self-help as he went to Mr. Femi, a known thug in the community, and hired him to come with an excavator to destroy the property of his neighbours notwithstanding the court motions. He also reportedly procured men from PMF 41 from outside Ogun State to support this illegality, despite the court specifying that the DPO Ibafo should assist.

“Upon getting to the fence site, Femi tried to demolish the fence. The workers at the property resisted him and his goons. The PMF 41 men were also resisted. As tensions rose, the DPO had to rush down to settle matters. He informed both parties to report to the police commissioner at Abeokuta by 10 am on Thursday,” our sources who did not want to be mentioned narrated.

At the meeting on Thursday morning, CP Abiodun Alamutu reportedly warned both parties to maintain the status quo. He specifically warned that any attempt by Mr. Paul Audu the plaintiff in the High Court Order to pull down the fence would be an illegal action and that the appeal court process must be allowed to go the full distance.

However, on Saturday, rather than obey the instructions of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Audu mobilized again Mopol 41 and Femi the thug along with his team wielding dangerous weapons. This time, Femi was fully armed with his goons. A detachment from the Mopol 41 squadron was ready to back them up.

At about 2 pm, they invaded the premises of their neighbours with their excavator and proceeded to damage the fence. The Mopol began shooting sporadically into the air to scare the workers of their neighbours who tried to resist the damage to their property. Gunshots caused panic in the neighbourhood. It was the cries and the gunshots that attracted the attention of the soldiers who were on routine patrol of the area.

According to an eyewitness, it was their presence that scared away the said Femi and his thugs who fled the scene upon sighting the soldiers. The arrival of the soldiers was applauded by all who had been terrified by the activities of the thugs.

Meanwhile, CP Alamutu has reiterated his directive that the DPO Ibafo should ensure that the status quo at the time of the appeal is maintained, and there should be no further threat to the peace in the area.