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A commercial farmer, Dr John Mabayoje in Oyo State has sued the state Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, over an alleged invasion of his property and threatening of his workers.
Also joined in the suit filed at the Oyo State High Court is the defunct SARS Commander in the state and one officer identified as, Inspector Julius.
Mabayoje, a billionaire farmer, stated that the legal action followed constant police harassment he suffered over his resistance of Fulani herdsmen who invaded his farm worth N2billion.
“They were served papers on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. The case will be heard on the Thursday, May 19. A lot has been going on including entering my compound surreptitiously and threatening my staff with automatic weapons on my premises,” he said in an account sent to SaharaReporters.
“I have invested over N2billion on this project to make healthcare, commercial rural agriculture, value addition and machine tool shop inputs work synergistically and achieve sustainability and efficient growth. I know what we are capable of achieving with this ingenious narrative.
“We resisted the Fulani terrorists who brought their violence directly to our compound in mid-October, when they attacked the medium security jail directly behind my 21.5 acre farm using explosive devices. This was when they released over 100 prisoners who invaded my property, adjacent Federal Low Cost Housing, seeking civilian clothes, money, motorcycles, shoes etc, forcing our security staff to resist them in other to avoid a bloodbath.
“Our security staff are all hunters who carry binoculars and they saw them moving with their torches just as they saw them three days earlier carrying our reconnaissance. I have been attacked by these armed Fulanis repeatedly since 2015. I have fired shotguns into the air to ward them away from my land and farm. They don’t move away from shotgun fire. I have directed light caliber rifle fire into the ground to scare them, they don’t move to that either.
“The only thing that deters them is buckshot from 12 gauge and hunting rifle fire directed at their cattle bellies. I invited the police after having to belly shoot their cattle to stop their deliberate destruction of huge fish ponds, farm cash crops, edible vegetable crops on my property. The officers told me they seized AK-47s from Fulani herdsmen on no less than eight occasions only to be told to return them to the herders so that they could defend their cattle from bandits and lions.
“It is becoming apparent that certain elements within the public safety apparatus have ulterior motives to extort money, disarm me or eliminate me. I have discussed this with well-informed people who advised me to seek legal redress and enforcement of my fundamental human rights including my right to carry and own licenced firearms responsibly for hunting and other lawful purposes.
“The conversation I had when I honoured the invitation to the SARS Commander’s office (that was how he introduced himself to me) in response to an allegation of a petition he had recieved which he lied about not having access left me no doubt that he had other intentions bordering on extortion.
“Right now I want to just use all legal avenues available to me to complete my project, bring the financial books to balance and profitability, sell it and leave Nigeria for Namibia or Mozambique for good. I don’t deserve at my age to be treated the way the police and public safety are treating me. I have informed my friends all over the world and I will employ all the legal avenues to secure a return of my financial input and leave this country.
“Nobody will come and tell me what caliber or licenced sporting weapon I can or should use to defend my crops from predators in an estate I have developed and fortified to the best of my ability. I have come this far and I will run away only once more to another part of Africa where I am appreciated and welcome, after I have sold this and recovered my investment.”