Dr John Mabayoje, a farmer in Oyo State, has explained why he sued the state Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko; the defunct SARS Commander in the state and one officer identified as Inspector Julius.
SaharaReporters had last week reported that Mabayoje dragged the trio before the Oyo State High Court over an alleged invasion of his property and threatening of his workers.
Mabayoje, a large-scale commercial farmer, had stated that the legal action followed constant police harassment he suffered over his resistance to Fulani herdsmen who invaded his farm worth N2billion.
The case was heard on Thursday and had since been adjourned to Tuesday, June 7.
Giving further details in a statement issued on Friday, the farmer said he had restrained the police from gaining access to his estate since October 2021 when armed Fulani terrorists invaded the Abolongo prison in Oyo town, which is a few kilometres from his estate.
Mabayoje explained that the escapees had invaded the estate looking for clothes, shoes and other items to steal to aid their escape.
He said he immediately instructed his security staff, who included firearm licensed hunters to engage the intruders, particularly with the overwhelming firepower and explosives of the Fulani terrorists.
He stated, “On Thursday morning, I was in the High Court in Oyo town. I have restrained the police, especially the SARS from coming to my estate. The reason for my court action started from their coming to my estate on the night of the jailbreak by 30 Fulani terrorists armed to the teeth.
“They invaded the Abolongo Jail which is just about 750 yards from my Southernmost boundary; they made their way into the federal low-cost housing estate which borders my compound looking for clothes, shoes, motorcycles, cars and money to discard their prison clothes as well as aid their escape. I instructed my security men who include firearms licensed hunters to engage them.
”With the overwhelming firepower and explosives the Fulani terrorists had, I had no choice but to protect my family, investment and staff. The hunters did what they had to do and saved the estate and the eastern end of the federal low-cost housing estate from invasion. The Western end of the low-cost housing was not so lucky.
“We survived that harrowing experience by a whisker because for 30 minutes it was very unpredictable how this all would end. That Friday was a day that will go down in infamy in the Eastern Oyo town area.
”The Public Safety and Military lost at least seven men. After that, public safety started coming around our estate along the A1. They now came to report to the General Manager that the night security men smoked Indian Hemp in the front area of my compound near the entrance.”
Mabayoje said in January 2022, while he was away in the United States, security operatives visited the estate and informed the General Manager that there was a petition against him.
The GM, a woman, had insisted on seeing the petition so she could brief her superior but was not permitted. The officers further claimed that they saw three SUVs in front of Mabayoje's house, and “passed comments that Dr has this big place and hasn’t breathed on them.”
He noted that the officers returned on May 5, 2022, with a search warrant, which had not included the name of who it was addressed to and the address to be searched, no name of any magistrate or judge on it and had no date whatsoever.
He said the GM noted these discrepancies but immediately, three of them cocked their rifles and made for the main residential area 120 yards away “where they assumed I would be.”
”They stopped at the edge of a 40-yard walkway leading up to the main pedestrian gate demarcating the private quarters. A call went out to their Supervisor and after the GM spoke to him, he told them to withdraw. I was in another part of my farming estate during this drama. I was oblivious to what happened.
”When I returned to the security/main gateway area, I was briefed and like a responsible citizen asked my GM to call the “SARS Commander” as he referred to himself.
”On my instructions, he was told to expect me the next day. The next day after my lawyer sent two experienced legal hands, we all went to the Police Headquarters at the Old Oyo Division at Durbar.
“The SARS commander started the conversation around a petition against me in January, three months after they started surveillance on my property after the Abolongo attack where seven security agencies personnel lost their precious lives to the terrorists.
”The first thing he did was mention that there was a petition against me and that the Commissioner of Police in Ibadan Hq had directed him to investigate the petition. When I asked for a copy of the petition now that my lawyer was with me, he lied to us that the petition was in the office of his Administrative Officer who was in Ibadan.
“It left us no doubt about his mission for extortion. With this picture he painted, if you add the fact that he insinuated to me that he would decide which of my firearms I would keep and which I could lose, depending on his discretionary powers even if licensed.”
Mabayoje added, “As he clearly showed, my ownership of licensed firearms bothered him more than our safety. His unprofessional utterances showed that he is disgruntled with his Superior officers for starving him of funds and he insinuated that he needed financial contribution to make up for that ’Financial Shortfall’.
“It is time to let the lawyers take my prayer to the Court of law to see that my fundamental rights as a law-abiding licensed gun-owning citizen farmer are upheld. Returnees from overseas who have gone into commercial rural agriculture have been the preferred target of murderous terrorists, rapists, bandits and armed robbers.
“It is only logical for me to seek that my right to bear firearms responsibly be respected while I search for recouping my investment and preparing to leave Nigeria. That is my prayer before the legal system.”