A notable Chieftain family from Epe known as Iposu has alleged Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun the Oloja of Epe Land over illegal infringement of their land property situated at Lagos Road Epe beside Lagos theatre, The Chieftaincy family has cried out to government and the general public over the illegal usurpation by Oloja of Epe Land. Iposu family also lamented that thugs loyal to immediate past Epe council boss Olusegun Agbaje attacks family members while working on the landed property.
Mr Iposu Sharafadeen spoke to our correspondent and shed more light on the ongoing land debacle, he said Iposu family is the real owner of the land and was inherited from King Kosoko who happened to be their forefather, he further added that Chief Iposu and some other chiefs accompanied King Kosoko to Epe in 1851 and as a prominent chief under Kosoko, Iposu took some lands for fishing and farming immediately King Kosoko left Epe in the year 1852. Chief Iposu became the sole ruler of Epe entirely between 1853 to 1875 before, he died.
After the demise of Chief Iposu, the land acquired during his life time was in control by his family members, the family where in full control of the land until 1927. A man known as known as Otafade Odofin challenges the family members on the land ownership, the issue was challenged in the court of law in the same year 1927 then in 1931 the judge of the court rule in favour of Iposu family. The court further stated that Iposu family is the genuine owner of the Land. After the court judgment the family sold out plots of land and also leases out to cooperate bodies & individuals.
It was based on the unanimous agreements of the family that we donated some piece of lands for the building of Epe General Hospital in 1954; we also leased land for Julius Berger, Nigeria Limited for some years before the family took possession of the land back. The family also leased land for Western Region during Awolowo days; it was the land they used in building the Plywood industry. The family also lease land for Lagos State Ministry Of Agriculture. The family has been exercising full ownership of the land since then.
In 1971 some persons came again to challenge the family over the ownership of the land, the issue was taken to court, the court ruled in favor of the family. They were not satisfied with the court judgment, they went to appeal court, we still came out victoriously in 1977. They were not still satisfied with the decision of the Appeal court. The case was taken to Supreme Court; the case was then decided finally by Supreme Court in 1982. The court ruled in favour of Iposu Chieftaincy family. That was the last judgments confirming Iposu Chieftaincy family as the genuine owner of the land. After the Supreme Court verdict, the family has been in full possession of the land. We have evidence of different court judgments.
Sharafadeen said the tussle over the ownership of the land began again in 2001 when the present Oloja of Epe land Oba kamorudeen Animashaun claimed to be the owner of the land, saying the land belongs to him. He began to encroach on the land of the family not just this one we are fighting over, there are lands too that he sold without the backing of the family members. At first we reported the case to Epe Divisional Police station; we also informed the Zone 2 office of Nigeria police force in other to get the full police backup.
Despite the police intervention, they told us to maintain status quo but Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun refused to yield to advice of Nigeria Police Force. He kept selling the land to the family. We then sought the advice from our lawyers, we were told to legally take full possession of the land because unoccupied land cannot be free from trespassers, that was the reason why we the family came out to initiate a project on the land. Some months ago we tried to fence the land.
Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun mobilized thugs to our land, our family members and those working were injured, it was the prompt response of Nigeria Police that calmed the situation, if not it would have been escalated. His predecessor also tried it Oba Sadiku Gbabere, we took him to court, court delivered judgments in our favour, he was ordered to pay us damages, we still have the evidence of the money he paid to our family. The payment connotes that our family is the real owner of the land.
Mr Sharafadeen explained that the same scenario occurred yesterday again when Mr Segun Agbaje the former Epe Local Government Chairman came to the site to make enquiry about what is happening on the land, we intimate him about what we are trying to do, he left the site without telling us his mission. He came back with armed thugs, they destroy the fence that was erected and also injured our people and our family members, we immediately call the police for protection. Our family is fully ready to take possession of the land as advised by our family legal practitioners. The Oloja Of Epe land, Oba kamorudeen Animashaun has been on the neck of our family members, tormenting our family members over the ownership of the land, he kept mobilizing thugs to claim the ownership of our land. He is a threat to the entire family members.
Sharafadeen said that the family wants to use this copious medium to inform the general public that the fight over the ownership of land is between the Iposu Chieftaincy family and the Oloja of Epe land Oba kamorudeen Animashaun, it’s not a community fight as earlier tagged by some persons that the fight is between the two communities in Epe I.e Eko Epe and Ijebu Epe. The Iposu Chieftaincy family is only challenging those who are encroaching on their land. We are law abiding citizens; we will always abide by the constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria in order to take what belongs to our family.
We beckon on the general public to help us tell the trespassers to leave our land for us, the Iposu Chieftaincy family is the true owner of the land. The below documents authenticate the true owner of the land, there are numerous court verdicts in favour of the Iposu Chieftaincy family including the most anticipated supreme verdict of 1982.