Ogun: Ex-convict Can't Be Head Of Itoku Traditional Council;, Group Slams, Semiu Adeosun, Kehinde Sofenwa - THE LIVING GUIDE

Ogun: Ex-convict Can't Be Head Of Itoku Traditional Council;, Group Slams, Semiu Adeosun, Kehinde Sofenwa

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By Our Correspondent

Chiefs Sodamola and Kehinde Sofenwa

Based on the purported appointment of Chief Semiu Adeosun as the Head of Traditional Chiefs in Itoku, a socio cultural Association, Itoku Development Association; the umbrella body of all patriotic indigenes of Itoku township and villages have expressed strong opposition to the appointment .

Chief Semiu Adeosun who is the Apesin of Itoku, was allegedly appointed unilaterally as the head of Itoku Traditional Council by Chief Kehinde Sofenwa.

Piqued by the unlawful action, in a release signed by Mr. Kazeem Adejola, the association recalled that Itoku township and its villages have, in recent time, been enmessed in series of crises wherein  men of the Nigerian  Police in various divisions in Ogun State and by extension the Courts of law have played certain roles.

In particular, the association recalled criminal allegations against the Oluwo Itoku,  Chief Olusoji Sodamola and the Odofin Itoku – Chief Kehinde Sofenwa at one time or the other, making both of them run out of the Country in order to avoid prosecution and face legal consequences of their inimical actions. 

"In the year 2023; during the visit of the Obas, Chiefs and Egba sons and daughters of Egbaland to Lisabi forest as part of the activities marking the year's  Lisabi festival, Chief  Sodamola was alleged to have attacked, at gun point, one of the Baales of Orile Itoku villages – Chief Elijah Osoba (Baale Afo Itoku) on Thursday, 16th February, 2023, accusing him of being a  part of the team that confronted him (Oluwo Itoku) and some Itoku chiefs on illegal sales of the resources of the commonwealth of Itoku and diverted the money into their personal purse", the association recounted.

The Association went further that Chief Sodamola and two other accomplices in the case; Monsuru Odedeyi and Saidi Ogunbodede were reported at  Owode Egba Divisional Police Station and arrested  but later released on Police administrative bail to Chief Semiu Adeosun on Saturday, 18th February, 2023 with directives to report back the following Monday. 

Surprisingly, Chief Sodamola jumped bail and traveled to the United Kingdom. 

Consequently, his surety, Chief Semiu Adeosun (Apesin Itoku) was arrested and charged to the Chief Magistrate Court in Mowe/Ibafo on charge number; MOC/140/2023 and got convicted for two (2) years jail term with N200,000 option of fine on Monday, 6th day of March, 2023 for failure to produce Chief Sodamola who had been at large. 

The Association further lamented that the Oluwo has ran away completely to the extent that he has jettisoned the traditional, customary and cultural roles he has to play annually as the Oluwo Itoku since that time for fear of being arrested by the police; moreso, that the two  accomplices in the case; Monsuru Odedeyi and Saidi Ogunbodede are currently facing criminal trial on the case via charge number; MOC/316C/2023 at the Chief Magistrate Court, Owode Egba.

The absence of Chief Sodamola in Nigeria and Itoku for the past few years have paved the way for the emergence of Chief Kehinde Sofenwa from Baagbile Itoku to  Odofin (next to Oluwo) Itoku and the acting head of the Traditional Council.  

It was also learnt that Chief Sofenwa persisted in the sales of the resources of the commonwealth of Itoku and used the power of Ogboni Itoku to forcefully take possession of the properties of the people thereby creating series of crisis resulting in court cases between the Chiefs and concerned people of Itoku township and villages. On Tuesday, the 20th day of February, 2024; the Honourable Justice Adefunmilola A. Demi – Ajayi, Judge of the Federal High Court Two, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta delivered a judgement in favour of six (6) Baales from Orile Itoku against Chief Olusoji Sodamola (Oluwo Itoku), Chief Kehinde Sofenwa (Odofin Itoku) and six others.

The Baales are Chief Adebesin Ifaloseyi (Baale Olorunda Village), Chief Elijah Osoba (Baale Afo Village), Chief Tajudeen Abiodun (Baale Ayegbe Village), Chief Isamotu Salau (Baale Mosafejo Village), Chief Osoko Toheeb (Baale Lube Village) and Chief Aliu Sodipo (Baale Ebiran Village). 

The Court also declared illegal, unlawful, null and void; the persistent use of Police in Ogun State Police Command to victimize, humiliate, harass, molest, arrest and detain the Baales for challenging these Chiefs on the illegal sales of the resources of Itoku in Orile Itoku villages  The court further awarded a sum of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira) as compensation to the Baales for the humiliations and threats caused them and awarded additional N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) as cost against them with additional directive to publish, in two dailies, public apologies to the Baales.

The Itoku Development Association also hinted that Chief Kehinde Sofenwa, Odofin Itoku and Chief Seyi Onifade who is the Jagunna Aje of Itoku were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court I in Isabo, Abeokuta on the 13th December, 2023 on charge number: MA/599C/2023 for malicious damages of a building belonging to the family of Mr. Waheed Balogun of Oke-Itoku, Abeokuta and stealing of the roofing sheets and planks of the building. 

Obviously disturbed by trends of development, especially, on criminal cases on the ground, both Oluwo Itoku and Odofin Itoku have left the shores of the country to avoid justice and decided to put  the headship of Itoku Traditional Council on  Chief Semiu Adeosun, the Apesin Itoku who has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction, apparently as a crony to protect their interest and continue the group's illicit acts.

The Association, while rejecting the appointment of Chief Semiu Adeosun as the head of Itoku Traditional Council noted that there are other responsible high chiefs among Ogboni Itoku who could be given such responsibilities and reiterate that it will not relent on its oasis until normalcy returns to Itoku township and villages.

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