70-year-old retiree loses home to suspected arsonists

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An aged couple, Aremu and Fausat Abidoun have appealed for support from Nigerians after they lost their life’s savings and home in an inferno allegedly caused by suspected land grabbers.

The house, located at number 1, Abiodun Street, Ilese-Awo along Abeokuta‎-Lagos road, in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital was razed to the ground by arsonists at about 2.15am, October 5.
 
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that a legal practitioner, Michael Figbele, has written a petition to the police, alleging that some suspected land grabbers were behind the crime.

The 70-year-old retiree, Mr. Abiodun, while narrating his ordeal on Tuesday, said the couple, including the two grandchildren living with them narrowly escaped death on October 5, the day, the alleged crime was committed.

‎He alleged that some unnamed land grabbers within the community had been on his trail for a while for reportedly exposing their illegal land deals.

He said the arsonists in retaliation doused his two-room apartment with petrol on the day they struck.

He said efforts by neighbours to quench the fire was unsuccessful adding that his family has since been staying with kindhearted neighbours since then.
 
He said he has equally reported the case to the police through his lawyer, who forwarded a petition to the head of operations, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Zonal Intervention office, Abeokuta.

The lawyer in the petition, a copy made available to PREMIUM TIMES, appealed to the authorities to help bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.

Mr. Figbele confirmed that the arsonists stormed the victim’s house with a gallon of petrol and set the house ablaze.

The lawyer said some suspected land grabbers before the incident had earlier tried ”to persuade the victim to join them and sell off a parcel of land belonging to another person which he declined.”

He said the land grabbers, thereafter, threatened to burn down his client’s house. He added that the life of his client was still in danger.

”This same set of hoodlums have been terrorising and killing people in Ilese-Awo community. Please sir, kindly investigate and bring them to justice as we are ready to supply the police all useful information,” the counsel appealed in the petition.

When contacted, the SARS spokesperson, Ifedolapo Badmos‎, declined comments. She also did not reply a text message sent to her by the reporter.


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