Suspected thugs demolish FG Housing Scheme in Ondo, injure workers on site

Property worth millions of naira were on Tuesday destroyed in Akure, Ondo State capital, when some suspected armed thugs invaded Medaville Estate, beating the workers on the site to a pulp, while some workers escaped with injuries.

It was gathered that the armed thugs invaded the ongoing Federal Government Housing Scheme in the Alagbaka area of the town around 9 am, shooting sporadically as they harassed workers on the site, demolishing the construction works in progress.

The thugs who were said to be at the site to collect money from the owner of the estate pulled down several buildings at lintel levels, destroying plumbing pipes, and five tanks, beating one of the workers to coma.

Lamenting the level of destruction, the Managing Director, Medaville Building & Construction Co. Ltd, Otunba Ademola Akin-Benson, alleged the Akure monarch, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, of being behind the attack, saying the thugs were sponsored the monarch.

According to him, he has been threatened by the monarch on several occasions, lamenting that the king has been making unlawful moves to grab the land from him and halt the Federal Government project.

He said the monarch has been using thugs to disrupt work on the site and sometimes drop charms to scare him and the workers from the site saying over N50m had been lost to the perennial attacks.

He recalled that the Deji and some of his chiefs, alongside herbalists and Ogboni Fraternity members, persistently placed fetish objects on the project site and chased away all engineers and other people working on the site.

“Several times, the Deji has come here to beat people; two weeks ago he sent his boys to kidnap some of our workers here. We reported it to the police and appropriate authorities.

“They were here on the 18th of this month with two bikes, beating and harassing the workers; destroying many building materials as well.”

He explained that the land belongs to the Federal Government but was ceded to Medaville Building & Construction Co. Ltd to develop, pointing to portions of the estate that is enmeshed in litigation with the monarch.

He noted that the matter had been reported to police severally, adding that “we are in court. My lawyers have filed Section 49 against him and he always runs away.

“He has been served but trying to dodge it; it is always like this. We will not take any law into our hands. We will continue to pursue the case to the highest level.”

Akin-Benson, who disclosed that two different litigations have been instituted to check the monarch’s excesses, said he would not allow his to continue to disrupt the Federal Government project.

“We are doing this in order to ease housing problems in Ondo State. What they did this morning was a disturbance of the peace of the community.

“It is a shame to a first-class Oba, the Chairman of Oba’s Council in Ondo State, it is a disgrace because I am from a royal family. I gave him all that respect but we are going to pursue this case. The Federal Government is aware of the frequent harassment and destruction.”

But the spokesman of Deji of Akure, Micheal Adeyeye, said the palace is surprised by the allegation, saying the allegation is not only untrue, but it is unfounded.

Adeyeye said “Deji of Akure, is a complete gentleman who believes strongly in dialogue and the rule of law. He is never a violent man and neither does he believe in such.

“It was Otunba Benson that went to hire thugs and his refusal to pay them their fee led to crisis and destruction witnessed at the site. He is only trying to point accusing fingers rather than blame himself for the woes he brought upon himself.

“Like you may be aware, there is a disputed five hectares of land which belongs to Akure, the court had asked him not to work on the disputed area but only on the approved 15 hectares. So we expect him to abide by the decision of the Court over the matter.

“So, the palace has no hand in the in-fight that ensued between the thugs he engaged on the land. Akure will never do anything that will disrupt its peace. We want development and expansion, we will not do anything to the contrary.

“The man in question should check himself and desist from this cheap blackmail. We urge him to see Akure as a peaceful land that is very accommodative.”


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