Lawlessness in Yorubaland in the South-West region of Nigeria took a deadly twist over the weekend when local youths numbering about 10 invaded the palace of the Olu of Igbokoda in the oil rich Ilaje council area of Ondo State, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, sacked his family members and destroyed his abode.
They also allegedly raped some girls in the houses of some of the Chiefs.
The family members of the traditional ruler who were in the palace were reportedly whisked away while the Oba was said to be away to Lagos when the ugly incident happened.
Report had it that the invasion and attack on the palace was a reprisal attack by the hoodlums who had come to revenge the death of one of them.
It was gathered that some of the thugs had earlier invaded and disrupted a sporting and quiz event. But two of them were unlucky as they were arrested and taken to the palace of the monarch and subsequently handed over to the police.
Speaking on the development, the Oba said; “I want the IGP to order investigation into this. This is a clear case of rape, murder and arson and as a lawyer, I am aware these are grave offences.”
Oba Odidiomo traced the genesis of the attack to his kicking against the installation of two people within Igbokoda as Baale and Oloja by his fellow Oba without recourse to him.
According to him, he frowned at this development since the two installed chiefs lived within his domain.
Oba Odidiomo added that “I reported the development to Olugbo of Igboland, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, who promised to wade into the matter.
“There is also a parcel of land within Igbokoda terrain which the same fellow connected to the hoodlums sold to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs at about N64 million and when I asked questions, they threatened to deal with me.
” I sent a petition to the Ministry and he has been using the Mahin boys to harass me since then. A group of boys shot into my room through the window last year in an attempt to eliminate me, he said.”
He confirmed that two of the hoodlums apprehended by the people of Igbokoda last week for disturbing the peace of the town were handed over to the police. He said ” the following morning I was told a corpse was found in the river and was identified as one of the Mahin boys and these boys went on rampage destroying the palace and some houses belonging to some of my chiefs”.
However the Amapetu denied any involvement in the destruction of the palace of the Olu of Igbokoda.
Speaking through one of his Chiefs, the Oloja of Abereke Chief Francis Mesagan, he described the Olu of Igbokoda as a drowning man who is begging for attention.
Chief Mesagan said Oba Omowole of Mahin kingdom single- handedly installed Odidiomo as the monarch of Igbokoda and will not be party to destroying the house he built.
He however asked the Olu of Igbokoda to retrace his steps and make peace with his people rather than pointing accusing finger at Amapetu of Mahin.
He said the discovery of the corpse of the boy found in the river ignited the attack on Olu of Igbokoda palace by the people of the community and not from external forces as claimed by the Odidiomo.
In another development the Olofin of Ado-Odo, Oba Abdul Lateef Adeniran, on Monday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, told the Judicial Commission of Enquiry probing the recent crisis in the town how his suspected assailants attempted to rape his wife, Adebisi, during the attack on his palace.
Adeniran alleged that the suspected hoodlums, who attacked him on April 15 this year, not only attempted to rape his wife but also took away his crown and other valuable items.
The monarch, while giving details of the attack on him by the suspected hoodlums added that the sum of N1.5m cash kept in his palace as at the time of the incident was equally stolen.
He further alleged that he was beaten with charms by his attackers, saying he would have been dead by now but for the grace of God.
He said, “These hoodlums after beating me and stripping me naked proceeded to the palace where all the cars parked in the compound were set ablaze.
“My family was physically attacked. Infact, my first wife, Alhaja Fausat Adebisi Akanni, was assaulted, stripped naked and they even attempted to rape her and was only saved by the arrival of the contingent of Nigerian Army sent to douse the tension”
The monarch, who according to a statement by the Media Officer of the Commission, Mr. Ayokunle Ewuoso, listed 51 respondents and six alleged sponsors/financiers of the respondents in his memorandum, filed before the commission, said he was travelling to Ilaro along with his driver, Mr. Olufunmi Jide, to see the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, when the hoodlums, led by one Jaye Falana, attacked him.
Narrating his ordeal further, the monarch explained that one Mr. Ganiyu Lawal, who attempted to rescue him was attacked with machet and clubs, while he was equally beaten up by his alleged attackers and left unconscious. “Suffice to say that the same treatment was metted out to my driver, who only regained consciousness at the Ado-Odo Divisional Police Station,” he added.
The monarch was asked by the State lead counsel, Mr. Yemi Omotola, if he knew what led to the crisis that engulfed the town on April 14 and 15. Oba Adeniran told the panel that the Supreme Court judgment that was in his favour in the contest for the Obaship of the town did not go down well with his opponent, Prince Muniru Odejide, and his supporters, who had earlier challenged his nomination and approval by his family, Idobarun Ruling house.
The monarch alleged that Odejide and his cohorts had sometimes on June 28, 2003 installed himself as Oba of Ado Odo when the ruling by the Court of Appeal was still pending.