RCCG, Christ Embassy tango over land, IG urged to intervene

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to use his good office to avert an impending crisis at Oloke-Asese-Maba and Gideon villages, following the demolition of a structure put up there by the church by land grabbers.
According to the petition, a copy of which was obtained by Daily Independent on Monday, the church appealed to the IG to help ensure the speedy resolution of the matter and stop the delay tactics being employed by the “other parties to frustrate the rightful owners of the land.”
Hoodlums, said to be armed with various dangerous weapons, had on March 19, 2003, invaded the villages in a Volvo car and Toyota Hiace bus, destroying the headquarters of Ogun Province 8 of RCCG, which was under construction.
The guard at the site, who escaped death by a whisker, said the hoodlums told him to steer clear, because the land belonged to the Christ Embassy, which they were working for.
“The thugs threatened to kill me or anybody who stood in their way and boasted that nothing would happen because, according to them, they and the police have been ‘heavily settled’ to look the other way”.
According to the petition, the RCCG had asked the IG to intervene on the case of trespass on the church land and malicious damage to the church property.
The church (RCCG) explained in the petition that despite of the fact that the land falls under government acquisition area, it went ahead to pay ratification fee for the land in June 1999 to Alhaji Tajudeen Ogo Oluwa (Lukman’s father, now late), who gave the church a Deed of Surrender, signed by him (Alhaji Tajudeen Ogo Oluwa) and witnessed by one Waidi Ogunsesan (aka Damolapa).
The church also was given allocation of the land for 99 years by the Ogun State Government in a letter with reference number LUD 9/LCI33/6, signed by the Director General Bureau of Lands and Survey, Office of the state government, Surveyor Gbenga Ogunnoike.
Ogun State also issued a Certificate of Occupancy with the Number 025748, dated November 7, 2006 signed by the governor.
However, in 2004, the RCCG wrote to the Presiding Pastor of the Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, following a programme held by the church on the disputed land.
In the letter, signed by the A.G.O Admin/Personnel of the RCCG, Pastor A. O. Akindele, the church wrote:
“It has come to our notice that your organisation is inadvertently trespassing on the piece of land measuring about forty acres (40 acres) along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, precisely at Oloke Area.
“We wish to inform you that this parcel of land belong to the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and we have seized (sic) of the land for more than four years.
“We shall appreciate your prompt intervention and godly directive to one Alhaji Ogo Oluwa, who has held himself out as your agent, to desist forthwith in continuing with the trespass”.
The RCCG also went ahead to solicit the help of Ogun State government, which invited the two parties in settling the dispute.
At the meeting presided over by the then Director General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Gbenga Ogunnoike, held at the Bureau’s office at Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta, the state government said that RCCG has the dully signed Certificate of Occupancy of the land, is the rightful owner.
The meeting also warned the Christ Embassy from further trespassing on the land.

Daily independent
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