Broadcast Journalist Petitions Police Over Alleged Threats To His Life, Property For Exposing Landgrabbers, FG Contractors In Ogun - EDU-BIZNEWS


Monday, March 25, 2024

Broadcast Journalist Petitions Police Over Alleged Threats To His Life, Property For Exposing Landgrabbers, FG Contractors In Ogun

An Abeokuta based  journalist and researcher, Jamiu Folarin, has petitioned the Divisional Police Officer at Sabo/Ilupeju Police Station in the Ogun State capital, alleging threats to his life as well as malicious damage to landed property belonging to him by some suspected Landgrabbers who are uncomfortable with the manner their activities are being exposed on a particular electronic media platform 

Folarin, a presenter on a popular breakfast current affairs programme on a radio, "Day Break Show" on RockcityFM, Abeokuta, in the petition to the police of which a copy was obtained by Edu-Biznews,detailed the sequence of events leading to his distressing situation. 

“I started noticing a series of threats to my life when I hosted a radio programme on Rockcity 101.9 F.M on the criminal activities of land grabbers in Ogun State as well as in-depth investigation into corruption in the execution of federal government projects across the State.", he stated in the petition 

Folarin, who had purchased two plots of land through the Crescent University Abeokuta Cooperative Society (CRESCOOPS) over two years ago, said there has been tranquility on his land ownership until recent weeks when suspected invaded the landed property 

“There were no issues on the land for the past two years but a few weeks after I hosted a programme on land grabbers and did a special investigation on the execution of federal government projects in Ogun State.”

He noted that subsequent to his media engagements, he has been subjected to a series of alarming incidents including intimidating phone calls, surveillance by unknown persons, and the most recent act of vandalism on his property.

The journalist revealed that all four corner pieces demarcating his two plots of land located at Olaparun village, near Yewa College of Education in Rounda, Abeokuta, were destroyed. 

According to Folarin, intruders then proceeded to erect a mini-fence and replaced the corner pieces with new ones bearing different names such as Funke Jolaosho, Kabeer Salako, Bilikisu Salako, Deku/Ode City, and Hon L and K.

Folarin emphasised the urgency of the situation as he cited the apparent connection between the threats to his life, the trespassing, and the damage to his property as an attempt to silence him and impede his investigative efforts.

He appealed to the authorities for a thorough investigation into the threats and property damage, seeking the apprehension and prosecution of those responsible. 

He also requested protection due to the sensitive nature of his work.

The attached evidence includes details such as documents, phone numbers and Truecaller app identifications linked to the names on the replacement corner pieces.

The Divisional Police Officer has yet to issue a statement regarding Folarin's petition, but sources indicate that an investigation is underway.

Folarin who expressed his commitment to always uphold  the truth, stood firm in his resolve to pursue justice and continues his journalistic endeavours despite the intimidation he faces.

Meanwhile there has been a mild drama in the allegation of threats to life, as one of the suspects, Lukman Kehinde Kudaisi, reportedly issued further threats in front of police officers during an interrogation at Sabo Police Station last Saturday, March 23, 2024.

According to Folarin's account, Kudaisi, one of the individuals whose names appeared on replacement corner pieces on his land, allegedly threatened him once more, expressing intent to retaliate against the journalist for filing a petition against him.

Kudaisi attributed Folarin's ordeal to his continuous reporting on land grabbers during his radio programme, affirming that Folarin's negative portrayal of such individuals had provoked the situation to threaten and damage his property.

“During the interrogation, it was observed that some police officers, particularly the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), appeared to be familiar with Kudaisi and engaged in light-hearted exchanges with him, and to me, this raised concerns about impartiality in the investigation process.” 

Folarin however commended the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Mustapha Opawuyi who called for diligence and directed his officers to commence a thorough investigation immediately.

Subsequently, both Folarin and the suspects were taken to the alleged crime scene—the land where the malicious damage occurred. After examining the site, statements were obtained from both parties, and the police instructed the accused to provide guarantors. All parties involved were instructed to reconvene at the police station on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

Unlike the IPO, Folarin also commended the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), Modupe Olawamide who exhibited a high level of professionalism in the cause of interrogation and visit to the crime scene.

“When we got to the crime scene, then DCO explained that the police will not interfere in the land dispute but will only investigate the criminal allegations. Despite this, the IPO could not hide her bias saying I don't have evidence that the land belongs to me.”

*Investigations into Criminal Activities of landgrabbers, Shoddy Execution of F.G Contracts Projects in Ogun State*

Meanwhile, Folarin has given details of the special programme and investigations that led to the alleged land grabbers coming after him.

Folarin explained that he hosted a current affairs programme on 14th September 2023 with Right Honourable Olakunle Oluomo, the then Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly as his guest.

The programme exposed the modus operandi of land grabbers and it's effect on socio-economic well being of the State. 
Oluomo explained steps taken by the government and the legislators to bring landgrabbers to book, especially amendment to the anti-land grabbing law.

Several callers on the programme narrated their ordeals in the hands of the land grabbers that had led to loss of lives, property and deplacement.

They also noted the influx of land grabbers to different part of the State, including Rounda/Soyoye and its environs where a gang of criminal landgrabbers have been terrorising its residents.
Similarly, Folarin added that he also conducted investigations into federal government multi-billion Naira projects executed by different contractors in Ogun State.
In a series of special reports, Folarin explained that his findings exposed inflated contracts, shoddy and non-execution of the federal government projects domicile in the State.

Folarin said he has evidence that there is plausible linkage between his investigations and threat to his life and malicious destruction of his property.

“There is an indication that the threat to my life, trespass and damage to my property is an attempt to silence me in order not to further my investigations on activities of land grabbers and/or execution of federal government projects in Ogun State.”

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