Cocoa farmers from the Oluwa Forest Reserve in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State have expressed their displeasure to the Commissioner of Police regarding the continuous attacks by suspected hoodlums.
The cocoa farmers explained that the attacks began when a court case between the community and an agro-allied company over a disputed land escalated.
The cocoa farmers revealed that the state High Court sitting in Ore had issued an injunction in May of this year, restraining the state government and the company from conducting any activities on the land.
The Chairman of the cocoa farmers in the community, Abayomi Isinleye, stated that since the court order was issued, there have been persistent attacks by hoodlums who are attempting to eject them from the farmland.
Mr. Isinleye said, “Our camp was attacked by gunmen believed to be sponsored to dislodge us. During the encounter with them, we pursued the attackers, who fired at us. We recovered two guns and some motorcycles from them.
“We also retrieved some bullets and caps, which have been taken to the police area command in Ore to file our formal complaint.
“Previously, there were invasions and grading of our cocoa farms in the reserve, as well as forceful attempts to evict our members from the reserve. We filed a case in court in response to these actions.
“Upon our lawyer, Mr. Tope Temokun’s application, the Ondo State High Court in Ore, presided over by Justice Aderemi Adegoroye, granted an interim injunction restraining the Ondo State Government and others from further grading or continuing to grade our cocoa plantations and farmlands”, he added.