Bisi Longe Akure
No fewer than six people have lost their lives in a renewed communal clash between the loyalists of Olu of Igbokoda, in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo and the family of late Titi Olalebi. The late Lebi was gruesomely murdered two years ago by people suspected to be loyalists of Olu of Igbokoda.
The monarch and 10 others are currently standing trial in a law court over the death of the deceased. The penultimate Tuesday crisis, according to the counsel to the Lebi family, Barrister Koboju Atima, stated that at about 11 pm on the fateful day when some thugs suspected to be loyalists of the Olu of Igbokoda invaded the house of one Tale Iwatan at Temitan community, a cousin to the late Titi Olalebi
. He said the hoodlums arrived at Iwatan family house with guns and other dangerous weapons shooting sporadically and consequently set two houses belonging to the Iwatan’s family ablaze, when they could not abduct him. Atima alleged that the violence was masterminded by the monarch.
Atima further alleged that two vehicles belonging to the Iwatan family members were burnt into ashes by the hoodlums. The bone of contention, according to the counsel, was the resistance of Tale Iwatan to Oba Odidimo’s alleged desperation to forcefully take over the Iwatan family land located in the town. The counsel said the attack was the second of its kind, in the last six months.
Speaking on the issue, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo denied sponsoring the attack as alleged by the Iwatan family. He said the crisis erupted as a result of the abduction of his errand boys. “Am a man of peace how can I mastermind violence in my domain. What actually happened was that I sent one of my boys on an errand and when we couldn’t find him. We reported the case to the police.
His corpse was later found somewhere in the town. “The search party later went with the Police to recover the corpse but in process the unexpected happened when some thugs suddenly opened fire on them killing 6 people on the spot”,The Monarch added that several people sustained degrees of injuries in the process.
When contacted on phone, the State Police Spokesman, Wole Ogodo, couldn’t deny or confirmed the story but promised to revealed the details of the ugly incident as soon as police investigation are completed. Meanwhile, a team of Antiriot policemen from Ondo Area Command has been deployed to maintain law and order in the area.