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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

You will recall that sequel to the last crisis which occurred in Ajah on Saturday the 25th of May 2013, with a death toll of five people (One from the Ajah youth’s camp and four from the Olumegbon’s camp); the high Chief of Lagos, Chief Fatai Olumegbon who is alleged to be the brain behind the regular crisis that has been rocking the community for over ten years now, was arrested and detained at the Area F command on Sunday the 26th of May 2013.

                                 when the market women protested
In our effort to balance our story with the parties involved we set out to get the reaction of Chief Fatai Olumegbon but we couldn’t reach him. Our reporter later spoke to the Olumegbon family’s spoke person, Peter Fowoyo who narrated Chief Fatai Olumegbon’s side of the story to us. He said “Chief Fatai Olumegbon was not arrested as speculated but was only invited by the Police for interrogation in order to state his own side of the story to the allegations that he was behind the crisis in Ajah hence his presence at the Police Command in Ikeja.  He added that the respected high Chief in Lagos can’t stoop so low to sponsor crisis ; or be at the front burner of anything that will hinder the peace of Ajah and Lagos at large because he’s peace loving man and a law abiding  citizen of Nigeria. He further added that according to the judgment declared at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Abuja under Justice S.M.A Belgore the Ajah land belongs to the Olumegbon family hence there was no point for them to embrace violence within or outside the community. He maintained that the last crisis of the 25th May 2013 had been foreseen by Chief Fatai Olumegbon whom according to him had received call threats from some youths in Ajah a day before that they were coming to attack him; and he wrote a letter to inform Ajiwe Police command and copied Area J and the Commissioner of Police as well. Later it came as a surprise when the DPO and Area J commander said they never received any letter in respect of that while commissioner of police confirmed receipt of the letter. Peter Fowoyo while still speaking on behalf of the Olumegbons alleged that one Mr. Kazeem Salami aka ‘All-round’ (as he’s fondly called) led some thugs to attack him on that fateful day because he (Kazeem) felt Olumegbon was behind the crisis in Ajah.”

We get in touch with Alhaji Kazeem Salami, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kaz Oil and energy spoke to us stating his own side of the story. According to the owner of the three filling stations (Kaz Oil) in Ajah and its environs, he said he had no business with Chief Fatai Olumegbon because he felt they had nothing in common. “I’m into Oil and he’s into land business that never belonged to him or his family. When you came to this Ilaje branch of my filling station did you see any thug here? Or will I have sent my staff (attendants) that are busy attending to costumers to attack him or what?  Anyone who is familiar with land business in Lagos should be familiar with their trend of selling a land to two or more people and set thugs to disturb the land owners demanding money otherwise called ‘Owo Omonile’.
According to Kazeem, Olumegbon’s modus operandi in business stems on violence. I have my business and am a law abiding citizen of Nigeria. Though, I’m from the Baba-Isale chieftaincy family and my family isn’t  part of those whom he dragged to court  or allegedly won land from and we aren’t in the same line of business; so tell me why should I harbor thugs or attack him. I’ll advise him to tell the whole world whatever it is that he has against me, instead of fabricating lies to malign my reputation.
When we asked his views on the issue of the judgment won in favour of the Olumegbons   family at the Supreme Court with Chief Olumegbon being given the legal proclamation to be the traditional ruler and over lord of Ajah and Okun-Ajah, Lagos.  He smiled… “I think the case is still in court because the court judgment against Ojupon and Ogunsemo family has been challenged by Rev (Eng.) Olatunde Ayotunde Alase because those he claimed to be the defendants (ApenuOlatunji, SuleOgun-semo and SuleTijaniOjupon) case did that on their own whom the two above family(Ojupon and Ogunsemo) disassociate themselves from . Winning a case between you and two families out of over forty five families isn’t victory personified. I will advise that you go to Ajah town and meet with the elders or the families concerned for more details”…. He concluded 

We set into town and we met one Mr. Ibrahim Olokonlawho an indigene of Ajah (Olokonla family). He said Fatai Olumegbon needs to be more enlightened by his fore-fathers on the history of Ajah and Lagos in general. He added that Olumegbon had no connection with Ajah since its existence 300 years ago and that Ajah used to be a peaceful town not until 2003 when   Fatai Olumegbon came into Ajah with his trouble and thugs. I want to remind him because am sure he doesn’t know about the Tribunal of Enquiry in 1976 witnessed by one Mr. Isiaka Oluwa who gave evidence in the box that among the chieftaincy titles in Lagos Olumegbon family had no land in Lagos. The second witness in the Tribunal box was late Yesufu Kalifo Olumegbon (predecessors of Fatai Olumegbon) former head of white cap Chiefs never opposed/debunked the statement by Isiaka Oluwa in court. In fact, history have it that where they built their family house (Iga Olumegbon) is owned by the Aromire family and he Fatai Olumegbon claimed to own Ajah and Okun-Ajah. What is the connection of Olumegbon family to over 45 families in Ajah. He said even the judgment he claimed he got at the Supreme Court against Ojupon and Ogunsemo was not genuine because those who represented the two families were not recognized by the two families also the judgment was delivered by three justices instead of Five seating on the case.
Another man who spoke to us was Chief Sulaimon Alaagba said Fatai Olumegbon is behind the crisis and mayhem in Ajah . He has no connection with any of the over 45 families in Ajah because he’s from Lagos Island. Let him present geniu document and gazette. Even Lagos State Oba’s and chiefs law 1957 under the Colonia area still adopted by Lagos State 1967 gazette Ojupon, Ogunsemo and other ten king makers family as ruling house in Ajah.
Alagba recalled an incident which occurred on the 8th of May this year which claimed the lives of two boys, Qudus Adebayo and Friday Ejebieke from Ebonyi State allegedly to have been shot by FataiOlumegbon thugs, Abass and Semiu popularly called Ese-Semiu and we reported to the police which the case was transferred to Ikeja police command. When we got to the police command Area J commander asked us (FataiOlumegbon and complainant) to meet on the 18th of May at the Lagos State Commissioner of police’s office and asked Fatai to produce those two boys allegedly shot which he agreed to produce them. But it came as a surprise to Commissioner of Police and Area J commander on the 18th of May as Fatai didn’t come nor provided the culprits but sent his elder brother, Sikiru Olumegbon. He was reportedly said to have bought power-bikes for those boys whom they used to attack people of Ajah. He claimed not to be a thug then he should please identify MumuniBalogun, AbijaRafiu, AbassBahorun (AK 47), KazeemOlokodano, Muri, Sunday Folori, Tunde Sir Yellow, Pencil, Aliu and others living in his abattoir in, Ajah. Are they all his family (Olumegbon).Lastly, he claimed four of his family members was killed, he should please explain who those boys found in his house by the police are? And he should state the time they were killed, what they were doing there and why the cops came to inspect  his (Fatai) house?” he rounded off

In addition our findings also revealed that one of those killed, Idowu Olumegbon was Chief Fatai Olumegbon’s elder brother, Kayode Olumegbon the chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Ajah chapter. While, the State executives of NURTW had dissolved Ajah NURTW over the last crisis.
At this stage it is a glaring fact that the crisis between the youths in Ajah and Olumegbon has gone beyond the obeisance of cultural and religious values.
We think it's about time the Government finds a lasting solution to the constant crises in Ajah.

In a related development, the Baale of Ajah Land, Alhaji Murisiku Oseni Ojupon spoke to us recently and was full of praises to the Lagos state government, the Inspector general of Police and the Commissioner of Police of Lagos state for their timely intervention in curbing the lingering crisis within the community. He added that if this bold step had been taken earlier, the crisis which has been on for over 10 years would have been a thing of the past.
The Baale who was full of immense gratitude however appealed to the Federal and Lagos State government and the Nigeria Police force to treat the case fairly to enable the residents of his community to sleep with their two eyes closed. He said most of the people had fled the town because of the crisis which has claimed lot of lives and properties worth millions of naira destroyed as well. He added that whenever the crisis occur the alleged Olumegbon’s thugs seize the opportunity of the crisis to dispossess residents and market sellers of their possessions and wares. The chief further implored the residents of Ajah to go about their daily business and work peacefully as the Mopols and Police are all over the town to maintain law and order.
The Ajah youths leader, Taye Olowolayemo who spoke as well, was full of gratitude to the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police force over the arrest of Fatai Olumegbon according to him, since the arrest of the man last Sunday there has been peace in the town. He urged the government to ensure that the man faces the law after thorough investigations.


On the 30th of May 2013 the traders in Ajah under the auspices of Association of Nigeria Markets Women and Men of Ajah Ultra-Modern Market stage a rally. Commending the Lagos State Government for its intervention in the last crisis, they urge police authorities to ensure adequate security in the area. The placard-carrying traders, singing solidarity songs, stormed the Ajah market as early as 10am for the rally. They bemoaned their fate in the hands of the hoodlums. Their leader, who is also the Baba Oja of Ajah market, Alhaji Rasaq Odunlami, said “we traders have been the target whenever violence erupts as a result of supremacy battle between the hoodlums, which usually results in looting, robbery and killing of his members (Market women).


The last crisis started at 7:28am when four boys with machetes came to Ajah field opposite Alesh Hotel,Ajah to attack a young footballer popularly called,Yobo but he was saved by a guy,  Popo who sat beside Yobo who identified one of the boys who came to attack Yobo and asked him what the problem was and he replied that its this boy beside you,Yobo we came to attack.  and  a death toll of five people(1 from Ajah 4 from OlumegbonThugs). The fight started when four boys with machetes came to Ajah field opposite Alesh Hotel,Ajah to attack a young footballer popularly called,Yobo but he was savedby a guy,called Popo who was sitting beside Yobo who identified one of the boys who came to attack Yobo and asked him what the problem was and he replied that its this boy beside you,Yobo we came to attack. When Yobo heard that he started running towards Ilaje bus-stop for his life. As Yobo ran to Ilaje some boys standing at the bus stop started throwing stones and bottles at the boys with cutlasses. The intervention of the boys in Ilaje was supported by some Ajah youths which led to a fracas between Ajah Youths and alleged employed thugs by Olumegbon. This led to a complete closure of the high way of Epe express way that morning as the both warring parties started throwing stones and bottles at each other. When it became glaring that Ajah youths are gaining upper hands the Thugs had to go and reinforce, they came back armed with guns and started shooting they chased Ajah youths to Ayetoro street and Alesh hotel road. At that point the Mopol deployed to Ajah and Ilaje since late last year to maintain peace between the two communities rushed to the highway/Alesh to chase the thugs away in order to maintain peace. It was a surprised when the Mopols running back to Ajah town and asked the boys (Ajah youths) to go back to their houses.
Later on some Ajah youths came back with bottles and machetes to retaliate, people started running. Unfortunately for the boys (thugs) four of them fell and the boys was machete to death by the warring youths.
After the death of those two Some Ilaje youths also seized the opportunity to attack Ajah youths this development has always been the trend whenever the crisis; between Ajah Youths and alleged Olumegbon’s thugs occurs reasons being that Ajah is at the centre. At this moment over 20 soldiers have been deployed to ajah while some residents have started fleeing the area for fear of reprisals by the thugs at any time.
When our reporter visited  Ajah to confirm. We got in touch with the boy amidst the controversy, Taoheebpopupalrykown as Yobo who narrated his own side of the story. He said “I was on the field that fateful day waiting for some of my colleagues to start training that day while some were on the field already. Suddenly I noticed a guy called Kazeem moving close to where we sat on the field with anger on his face before one of senior colleague, Popo who knew the boy asked him to what is the matter what he doing here and he reply that it was me they came to attack and when I look at his back I saw some three boys coming with machete and started running for my life. It was when I get to Ilaje bus-stop some boys who know stop and ask me what is chasing me and they those still chasing toward their side with cutlass and this boys at Ilaje started throwing stone and bottle at them while me went home” did you issues with this boys before. “no and I don’t know them except that Kazeem which I use to see around Ajah bus-stop and we don’t talk”.
Our finds shows that one of the boy who died is Chief FataiOlumegbon elder brother who is a Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Ajah branch join the alleged thugs to fight Ajah town.
After the crisis Head of White cap Chiefs in Lagos, Chief FataiOlumegbon on Sunday, 26th of May, 2013 in his Ajah Palace, Lagos was arrested over the connection with the recent crisis which occurred in Ajah  on Saturday the 25th of May 2013 claiming five lives.
Some residents confided in our reporter on Tuesday 28th of May 2013 Olumegbon was arrested for allegedly harboring some of the youths involved in the last clash and with four dead bodies were found in his Ajah Palace.
It was learnt that the policemen stormed the Olumegbon’s palace on Monday the 27th of May 2013 afternoon (after his arrest the day before)with him ( Olumegbon )and conducted a thorough search.
A source, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said, “On Monday, about 13 police patrol vehicles stormed Olumegbon’s palace and searched the whole palace following a tip off that some of the youths involved in Sunday’s fracas were hiding in his palace.
The policemen were about 50 in number because his loyalists would have prevented them from arresting him if the policemen were not many in number. No suspect was found in his palace but a Ghana must go bag was taken away by the police from his Palace which no one can ascertain what is inside. Olumegbon has been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja and investigations are ongoing.”

It was learnt that policemen embarked on raids and had arrested some other suspects.

above are pictures person kill, injured and properties destroyed 

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