Ha!, I knew Ejigbadero the land grabber


    ……..Peace returned after  Ejigbadero was killed

……… Emi ni nwi?

…… My land was forcefully taken in 1976

……..I have spent 70years in Lagos

The old man sat comfortably ,leaned his chin on  his walking stick ,smiled wryly , looked up and shook his head . ”Young Man let me tell you the story of my life ”, he said   and this reporter quickly  brought out  his materials and  the   action started  .


The septuagenarian  chuckled , shook his head and again adjusted himself while others listened attentively to the interview  , ”My name is Bankole Oke, I am 78years  old  now and in two years’ time I would be 80.
”I was born in Oyin -Akoko, in  Ondo State. My father was the head of the town and  he was the one called ASEMBE. There was a war in Akoko ,and when they came for my father  I led them to a brook and was later asked to go back home. I left my parents at home  and  coupled with my illness that  really  affected me  that was why I was  taken away from Oyin Akoko at the age of  five and  went to  live  with Dr.Somolu the owner of Alakuko , an area in Lagos /Ogun State, but I lived with his mother in Agege .  I was  with them throughout where I went to school .
”My father allowed me to go Dr.Somolu  because I had a sickness that  took toll  of me and  he wanted me to go to where I could be catered  for ”

Pa Oke is grateful to the Somolus,  he said ”If not  Dr. Somolu I would not have gone to school.In Lagos   I was taken to General Hospital , Lagos where I was taken care of and treated” .

Asked whether  there were Hospitals in Lagos  in the early 40s, but the man looked at this reporter with surprise  written on his face and  replied ”there had been General Hospitals in Lagos  since 50s”. He continued his story ” I was there living   with Dr. Somolu till I was   18years”
”Baba , there is a confusion here o, you need to clarify it again , how possible you left and was with the Dr. Somolu and still …?” the old man cuts in ,as he still retained his  good  retentive memory which  was still sharp, he proved that he has not gone   senile, and with confidence and calculation , he said he  returned to his parents after he had been saved from his sickness by Dr. Somolu and  ”I left my Dr.Somolu’s  place in 1959 , and went back to Oyin  where I went  to St John’s Primary school Oyin, then Baptist Modern School Oyin then I came back to Lagos again . I mean  when I regained my health   I went back to Oyin to have my education and sponsored by Dr.Somolu .  The Doctor’s mother  was living in Abeokuta.

The old man spoke about the skill he acquired, he   said ”I struggled and I later became a Draughtman. I  was among those who drew the  plan for them in Abuja ,  I mean that   hotel called Sofitel  Hotel , and President of Senate’s houses ,I joined them to draw the plans.I was under Architect Group service then”


At 78 he must have seen , heard and felt  and of course experienced the good the bad and the ugly  in life , the old man did not deny this as he said ”two things affected me in life that I can not easily forget easily  , I never knew I could survive the sickness  I had when I was small , but today I thank God for I never believe I could be up to this age.

‘The old man continued , almost in tears , he  complained bitterly on how he bought a piece of land in 1976 land  planning to erect a building on it but the land speculators truncated his ambition and the land was  taken away from him. He said ”I lived in Mushin where I would have built a house in Ogun street Mushin but it was taken away from me and  this killed my spirit and discouraged me  ,that was in 1976. The  land was taken forcefully  by the so called Awori people.The Land speculators have been doing this for   long and are known as fraudsters.

”I came to Sango looking for where I would settle  and  I started building this house in 1993 , I thank God that this is where I eventually settled today.


Pa Oke has almost become a Lagosian as he said he spent all his years in Lagos ”I have spent  70 years in Lagos apart from the five years I spent at home.I thank God  that I eventually have a house , at last I have a place in Sango,
When I came here looking for where I would settle and I came here , I started in 1993 and now here.My advise is  buyers  should be careful and do research on land before they buy , I live in Orelope here and my children live  in Mushin” .

Asked whether he knew the  popular and fearless land Speculator , Ejigbadero the iron man in Lagos then , the old man  with confidence responded  ” Oh yes , I knew Ejigbadero ,a friend took me to Ejigbadero”.  He  called  the name  with fear and trepidation again,   ”Ejigbadero?  Ejigbadero was living at …. (trying to remember ) I even knew his house but I have forgotten  ……..(trying to remember where he was living). I knew his house …… at Mafoluku .Ejigbadero was a strong man in Lagos , I knew him one -on -one, Ejigbadero was  a bulky man ,  he was tall. I remember his case when he was arrested  for a crime and he said in  Court ‘Emi ni  nwi ”(what is he saying?) after he had been found guilty and sentenced to death for killing  Raji Oba . Peace returned  to Isolo after he was killed”, the old man said , shaking his head.


The late Jimoh Isola (aka Ejigbadero) was a nail merchant  and a Socialite who  had a chain of companies in Matori Industrial Estate and was also a land grabber in Lagos.

On the  22August 1975, Jimoh Isola (aka Ejigbadero) went with thugs to the Alimosho area of Lagos and killed one Raji Oba, a man he had issues with over land but  he was not lucky and did not get away with it!. He was sighted by Raji  Oba’s wife, Sabitiu Raji Oba.He was  later found guilty in Court but went to the Supreme Court where the  judgement  was upheld  by Justice Isiaka Ishola Oluwa and  Ejigbadero’s death was sealed on  October 26, 1978. He paid the supreme price in 1979.

EMI  NI NWI?  (what is he saying?)

When Ejigbadero was pronounced guilty and the judgment  upheld at the Supreme Court, his sympathizers screamed and burst into tears while Ejigbadero being an illiterate did not understand what the Justice’s pronouncement meant and why they broke down , he then  asked his lawyer  in Yoruba Vernacular ”Emi ni  nwi ”(what is he saying?). When his lawyer interpreted it to him that he should be hanged he now broke down in tears. Since then the words Emi ni  nwi became popular in remembering him.

Behold Akinrogun of Egan the Warrior!


………I arrested 20 robbers one night

.……Sango is now peaceful

……The real meaning of Otta

…….I am a graduate of OAU

Akinrogun 1


      At home he  is gentle like a lamb but he  is as brave as a lion  and as strong as an ox when there is a cause for it.  He is a man of few words. Yes, he  looks calm and peaceful and almost monastic. But don’t underrate him. Although his look could melt a woman’s heart while  his appearance and soft voice  could make Miss World   fall yakata for him and say ‘I do’ . Still  he is not that simple and easy.

     But wait, there is more to this man than his features. He is a generalissimo.When the light- complexioned man removed his shirt and showed incisions from his head  to toes then nobody will tell you  to fear  him  as  you will not only pee  in your pants but will also doff your cap for him and give him more respect and shout Shon Sir!”. Yes, the fear of Akinrogun is the beginning of wisdom to  criminals.

       Call him a warrior . Label him a Generalissimo.Tag  him a local liberator or ”saviour” , the Obafemi  Awolowo  University graduate  of  Home Economics is ready to give you  Egba stories  without opening a book!. Despite his simplicity he talks tough, he is an Historian as he knows the Awori, Egba History like the palm of my hand .Known and respected in Sango area of Ogun State. This  is Chief Adeniji Olatoye Ismaila, the Akinrogun of Egan .

       Here is a man who acts his name , Akinrogun ( Akin who sees war). He  is a warrior whether local or state a warrior is a warrior .He rescued  his village from being plundered by the so called ‘enemies ‘. Again here you  meet Chief Adeniji Olatoye Ismaila  .

He introduced himself  ”My names are Chief Adeniji Olatoye Ismaila the Akinrogun of Egan.  I  am 48years old (now 50) I became Akinrogun  of Egan  in 2007 .

Akinrogun 2


      According to Akinrogun, he was born and raised in Abeokuta ( Totoro) , and his  village is Lapeleke .  He introduced himself  ”I’m a painter and a designer  by profession .When  I came to  purchase a land  here in the year 2002   a group of people (names withheld) started disturbing  us . We all came to this town not knowing that it is the land of   our forefathers, but when these people  (names withheld)  continued  disturbing us  then in 2006 we went to Owu to inform our leaders that we were facing war with the …….( names withheld)  they then implored us to dig into history and confirm that we the Owus owned the land and should know what to do . Baale Idowu Jacob who was the leader then tried his best for the community .I went to them and   introduced myself that I am from Ololo household family in Abeokuta , and also Lapeleke

Incisions all over my body

Akinrogun went down memory lane to remind us the war he fought, he said  ”it was no war , no peace ”. The  two oppositions fought with all manners of instruments. Akinrogun said “the  fight between the Owu and….. (names withheld) was serious then, our opponents  shot a lot of bullets and used juju, but we overcame them , and that was in the year 2007. We  too fought with juju, guns, and  we advised  our people to go home and research on  what it takes to fight a war. We told them  to  go and reinforce spiritually from their father’s families whoever has , in the end our opponent’s  king  fled , he is dead now”.  Akinrogun boasted  ”later when we became Chiefs we were relieved and peace  has been reigning since  then.”

He claims that  the ….. ( opponents) were  deceiving people that they are offering sacrifices but disturbing them , he said “they pretended to be offering sacrifices but used it to foment  trouble , thank God that Egan town and Igbo Olowu are peaceful today , if we want to  offer any sacrifice or rituals we do it in the midnight when everybody had returned and retired home! , and if any of the Bale is dead and there is need to offer sacrifice and rituals we do it in the midnight so as not to disturb others ”


Asked whether he has juju, he exclaimed ”don’t you know the meaning of Akinrogun? Whoever  takes the title of Akinrogun must have juju, money and connections”, he stated.

The  Warrior said he has only one wife, and says he does not unnecessarily get annoyed , he said ” position, power and money are powerful tools that push one but one has to be careful in life for him to  live long.”

Does his wife fears  him?, he replied ” Yes, she has to because of all my activities”, he responded.


He recalled an incident some years back ” An incident happened in a midnight and   I was called   to come to their rescue.I was in my Boxer pant only and was not prepared but  I know there is God in His highest coupled with our innocent  and sincerity for we did not betray anybody , and God assisted us , we caught the robbers  and handed them over to the police . They wounded some people, they used cutlass on me but it had no effect on me.

”They were  about 16 armed robbers that   invaded our place. I wore my boxer , called my colleagues and went after them . With some of my members  we went out to  face them. I thank God that we eventually arrested them after a lot of exchanged of bullets .They shot me several times but their bullets had no impact on me. We arrested the robbers in the end  , infact it was a gallant fight” .

Akinrogun 2


Asked whether he is not feared with the incisions and manner of arresting criminals, he replied “My wife fears me , my friends too are afraid of me.You know position, status, money and juju could push someone but I have to be careful  if I want to grow old”.


On  the story of Egba , he said he is rich in the Egba’s  History because  he is from  a royal house.  He started:

”Many, many years ago  when the Dahomey waged  war and wanted to take the Yorubas as slaves   the Egbas resisted and fought back. The Egbas  came from Igbalefa, those called Igbalefa are Ake, Gbagura, Oshinle, Owu  and Keeta . They all came together fight the Dahomey , they fought the war for years  and killed the King of Dahomey in Oke Ore , that is why till today we have  the powerful warriors, babalawos and powerful men are there till today. And that is why they observe ‘Ose’ every Monday  there. The meaning of ‘Ose’ is that the Babalawos would gather together there to meet the gods  that assisted them to kill  and  beheaded the Dahomey King . After the war,the Warriors left . Who is Awori? There is nothing like Awori. Who is Otta? there is nothing like Otta . It is  the  people from Kogi state, Oyo and  and other towns  that would come here  to trade that is buy and sell…..the Kogi would say    ” A ti n’lo ta, a ti n’lo ta” (we are going to sell or trade). Go and read the History of  Yoruba, it is  in their archives for you to read. It was when the Egbas gave the Aworis some space or piece of land ..They were given 500 meters in Sango and it is from that 500 meters in Sango  that we have the local government  of Otta . All Iyana Iyesi, and Ilobi etc   are owned by the Egbas. But now we thank God  the Egbas rose up to claim their right..

”We have Oba Igbalefa in Iyana Ilogbo, The Owus  have reclaimed Sango, half of Sango belongs to Otta and half of Iyana Iyesi belongs to Otta , and Awori also have theirs because it was Egbas that gave them to be farming there , and when they become old and have children they were no longer customary tenant , they were left there to be enjoying their lives”.

Asked where he got all these stories , but the man said ”thank you , if a child does  not witness event or history  he would  hear tales or meet the story teller, which is the father of  history  ( Bi omode ko ba ba itan , a ba aroba, aroba si ni baba itan) because I was very close to the elders and wise old men who are historians and Griots. It is a long story but take it like that.My father was not a king but he was the  father of a king. I am from a royal family.”