For most people familiar with the story in 1979, Jimoh Ishola Ejigbadero was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court for the murder of one Raji Oba. Sabitu, wife of Oba watched as Ejigbadero rained bullets on his husband.
That day, August 22, 1975, Ejigbadero was at the naming ceremony of a child from where he sneaked out to shoot dead Raji Oba. The naming ceremony had top military officers, policemen and politicians and in attendance.
It was the alibi he needed to prove he was not at the scene of the murder at Alimosho, Lagos. But in 1979 their Lordships of the Supreme Court, Alexander, Bello, Fatai Williams, Idigbe affirmed the judgement.
Ejigbadero was sentenced to death in a celebrated case.
Today, the child whose naming ceremony was being celebrated in 1975 during which Ejigbadero sneaked to commit murder, is now the subject of controversy in the same Alimosho where villagers now link him up with land grabbing, threat to life and disappearances and allegations of murder.
The Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NIHRCO) a coalition of 130 civil right groups and community based groups spread across the country in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba said it has received tons of petitions against Abiodun Ejigbadero whose father had been sentenced to death in 1979. The rights group also sent copies of the petition to the Senate and the House of Representatives, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the African Union, AU.
The Nigerian Human Rights Community, NIHRCO insists that the Nigerian Government must live up to her obligations to the regional and international Human Rights conventions relating to the protection of Human lives and property
The group said if Ejigbadero terror in unchecked many human lives will be lost.
‘We have received reports from several land owners and community leaders claiming that the said Ejigbadero is not allowing them to breath.
He appears to have rekindled the murderous tradition of his father. We have received tons of petitions bordering on land grabbing, threat to live and property and outright seizure of land and properties that do not belong to Mr Ejigbadero’, the Nigerian Human Rights Community, NIHRCO said in the petition.
Abiodun Ejigbadero and Tajudeen Ejigbadero Adeyinka, two children of the late criminal are said to be the children of the infamous murderer and notorious land grabber, Jimoh Isola Adeyemi Ejigbadero.
The senior Ejigbadero had left the scene of the ceremony to sneak out only to be discovered that he had gone to execute the murder of an innocent person in Akowonjo to murder “Raji Oba” using the current Abiodun’s naming ceremony as an alibi.
‘Alimosho is facing a tough situation under two village tyrants, children of Ejigbadero, who holds the community in awe. They take over land at gun point.
They attack people. They even encroach on the land belonging to the state governments. Alimosho is under siege by the menacing terror of two children of a murderer’, the NIHRCO said in the statement signed by its officials Mallam Audu Samali, Uche Maduka and Babajide Aluko.
The group said the cell of terror ran by the Ejigbadero brothers is backed ‘backed by armed men who lay siege. They have imposed fear and trembling on residents, the group said adding that the police in Alimosho are trying their best to curtail the excesses of the armed gang but need the moral boost of the IG.
‘No fewer than 20 cases of land grabbing are linked to the Ejigbadero brothers’ the group said. The rights group said Ejigbadero enjoy the support of some top politicians a situation similar to the illegitimate cover given to their late father who was sentenced to death in 1979.
The story of the senior Ejigbadero began in 1975. The Chief Justice of Lagos State assigned the case of land grabbing and murder involving one Jimoh Ishola Ejigbadero a well known socialite and Chairman of Jimsol Nigeria Ltd, which at that time manufactured nails.
The factory at that time was located at Matori, Mushin in Lagos.
Ejigbadero had gone to Alimosho, then a swampy village to clear a piece of land which he said he earlier bought. He met stiff resistance from the villagers who owned the cocoa, kolanut and other cash crops on the land.
Ejigbadero retreated but went for reinforcement leading to the attack on one Raji Oba. On the day of the murder, August 22, 1975, Raji Oba was relaxing in the front of his house at Alimosho around 7.30pm when his wife came in to inform him that she saw Ejigbadero in the neighbourhood.
In the presence of his wife, Sabitu, Obe was shot and he died in the hospital. On the same August 22 Ejigbadero was in the midst of a naming ceremony of his own son, Abiodun, the current subject of dispute in Alimosho. Top Nigerian politicians, Military men and businessmen were at the party. It was at this party he slipped away to commit murder riding in a Peugeot 504. The court case lingered until 1979 when he was sentenced to death.
The NIRHCO said his sons, Abiodun and Tajudeen Ejigbadero run armed syndicate that specializes in harassing and threatening people with death after their land had been taken by force, according to the victims to made complaints to the NIHRCO. The two are said to own a property company named “Jimsol Heritage properties” located at No 7 Abiodun Ejigbadero Avenue off Alimosho road Iyana-Ipaja.
Their ring leader, Abiodun also owns “Ejigbadero Heritage” managed by Tajudeen Ejigbadero Adeyinka at 20 Benesther street Akowonjo located in Lagos.
‘We call on the Inspector General of Police, to investigate the alleged link with officials of the Lagos State Government.
The trademark of the Ejigbadero are :encroaching of open spaces, land grabbing of private properties, extortion of community during new constructions or renovations of property. The crime cartel also specializes in seizing recreational areas converted to personal property or sold,’ the rights group stated.
It noted that some of the land taken over included those located on Adesina, Jimoh Akinremi and a popular space called Kuwait. He is said to have forcefully built properties on this land areas while threatening the owners with death.
Williams layout was already approved by the Lagos State Government as a recreation centre, but Ejigbadero has encroached on it with impunity. NIHRCO was reliably informed that not too long ago, his armed men shot at officials of the Lagos State Government who had visited to demolish the illegal building.
‘We bring to your notice that the Ejigbadero muskateers have, with armed men invaded a vast Area of Land of which originally belonged to one Akapo of Agege Village under the Yoruba Customary Law by reason of act of first occupation’ the group said.
Some of those areas that face imminent threat from Ejigbadero are the Akapo under the Yoruba Customary Law sold a vast area of Land out of his land to one Iwolowa of Igosun, Ago Owu, Abeokuta.
The said Iwolowa died about the year 1930 and left children on who the property sold to him devolved on as Family property under the Yoruba Customary Law.
By virtue of a Conveyance dated 23rd of May 1931 and registered as No 139 at Page 324 in Volume 111(colony) of the Register of Deeds kept at the Lands Registry, Lagos, Kelani Iwolowa, Adebayo Iwolowa and Lateju as Head, Principal members and accredited representatives of the Iwolowa Family conveyed the land to one Vincent Jaou Anjou.
The Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NIHRCO) calls on the Inspector General of Police to call the terrorist gang to order.
‘Nigeria operates a democracy. An individual cannot be above the law. Several communities are under the siege of the Ejigbadero who boast of a strong network with certain influential politicians in Lagos State. The communities are seething with anger and fury. Their patience is waning. They can no longer shoulder the pain and anguish of terror and extremism unleached on them by a notorious family with a long standing epoch of hands soiled in the blood of innocent human beings.’
Mallam Audu Samali
Uche Maduka ( Eastern Regional Coordinator
South West Coordinator
South South Coordinator