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Osun Police arrest hotelier for allegedly leading soldiers to beat up labourers

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
12 January 2022   |   4:04 am
The police in Osun State have arrested the General Manager of Western Sun Hotels, Ede, Mr. Samuel Owolawi, for alleged assault and malicious damage to property.

The police in Osun State have arrested the General Manager of Western Sun Hotels, Ede, Mr. Samuel Owolawi, for alleged assault and malicious damage to property.

It was gathered that Owolawi was taken into custody in Ede on Saturday after he allegedly led hoodlums and armed soldiers to demolish an ongoing building construction and chased away workers on a site behind the hotel.

The builder on site, Mutiu Tijani, said in a statement to the police that Owolawi’s gang also demolished the building on the orders of a serving Major General in Nigerian Army.

He also alleged that the gang beat up workers and threatened the men never to return to the site, claiming that the General recently bought over the property from Ede North Local Council.

“While bricklayers were working on site, to my surprise, General Manager of Western Sun Hotels, Samuel Owolawi, asked the workers to leave the site on the order of the General.

“They demolished all works we have done and wasted the materials; bricks, sand, cement, we had to run for our dear lives,” the builder said in his statement at Oke-Iresi Police Division, Ede.

It was also gathered that the police have also invited the incumbent Chairman of Ede North Local Government, Mr. Adeyemi Elliot, for questioning to explain his role in “assisting” the General in the land scandal.

Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer of the Osun Command, SP Yemisi Opalola, confirmed that a report of malicious damage was reported at Police Division Ede.

Opalola said the matter was a land ownership tussle and appealed to parties involved to maintain peace while the police carry out further investigation into the matter.

MEANWHILE, Mr. Adeyemi Giwa, counsel to the owner of the property, Prince Akinwale Ojetimi, has vowed to press further charges against the serving General, his agents and some council officials over their roles in the brazen illegality.

“All those involved in this brazen illegality will face full weight of the law and pay dearly for it.

“It is inconceivable for anyone, no matter how highly placed, to surreptitiously want to wrestle our client’s property from him. The era of impunity is long over,” the lawyer said.
According to him, the land in question is a local government scheme, which was legitimately allocated by the council to Ojetimi since 2004.

He said the evolving developments allegedly coming from the council, “is an unimaginable travesty and monumental fraud which must be promptly halted.”

Giwa had in a petition on December 7, 2021, asked the council to warn the Army General, Western Hotels and his agents against trespassing on the property.