Protest over claims of stealing land in the Free Trade Zone supported by Igbesa

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Protest over claims of stealing land in the Free Trade Zone supported by Igbesa
The recent demonstration organized by a few Igbesa Town Landowners’ Association members has been deemed a sponsored one by the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone.

It claimed that certain community members were funding the demonstration.

According to information obtained by Ebantel, a few Igbesa Town Landowners’ Association members recently organized a protest over alleged zone land encroachment.

However, the free trade zone denied the accusations in a statement signed by Timilehin Ajagunna, its spokeswoman.

The free trade zone angrily denied the accusations in a statement signed by a spokeswoman.

He said that certain Igbesa community members with hidden agendas were behind the protest.

According to Ajagunna, the zone was established during the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniels, the former governor of Ogun State, who issued a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in 2007 for a 2000.407 hectare plot of land.

“We are responding in response to the demonstration and the media coverage that certain dishonest land grabbers in the Igbesa village funded.

For the record, the Chinese investors and the administration of Ogun State collaborated to establish the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ado-Odo Ota, Ogun State. The zone was created during the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniels, the former governor of Ogun State, who signed a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in 2007 that covered 2000.407 hectares of land.

It is important to remember that the government has been acquiring this land since 1977. After the Zone was formally put into operation in 2008, a number of international businesses were established and made a substantial contribution to the economic development of the surrounding area.

The state government has used a variety of public notices, including radio jingles, newspaper caveat emptor announcements, town hall meetings, and other venues, to enlighten and educate the general public—particularly the host communities—about the operations and developments of the zone.

Sadly, the organizers of this demonstration are land-grabbing individuals with a well-known track record of causing societal unrest. On August 11, 2023, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Shina Ogungbade, organized a nonviolent meeting in an attempt to resolve the long-standing land dispute in Igbesa, Ogun State.

Key participants at this meeting included the Ministry of Justice’s senior staff members as well as the Solicitor General, Barrister Segun Olaotan, Surveyor General Ebenezer Oladele Ewulo, and Commander of the Ogun State Task Force, ACP Mustapha Aderemi Akeem.

The Ogun – Guangdong Free Trade Zone, chaired by Dr. Mrs. Hafsat Oduwole Balewa, and eighteen resentful family members, led by Hon. Solomon Gbadebo Ajose, convened a meeting. The Hon. Commissioner for Justice informed the group that the Bureau of Lands & Survey Department had released the gazette that Hon. Solomon Gbadebo Ajose had submitted, confirming the excision’s status.

Based on the contents of the gazette, the Commissioner declared that the contested area unquestionably belonged to the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and not the Igbesa Ejila-Awori Community. Leading a legal team on behalf of the harmed families, Barrister Josiah O. Ogunwale urged for a just outcome and underlined the significance of compensation for the impacted families.

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