Forestry association petitions Governor Abiodun over ‘suspicious’ bail granted alleged illegal forest operator

The Forestry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter has cried to Governor Dapo Abiodun to compel police on need to conduct discreet investigation on Tutu Ajayi, an alleged illegal operator on forest reserves.

Penpushing reports that, the association in a petition signed by Dr. Kayode Ogunjobi (Chairman) and Otunba Jide Fakayode(Secretary) said the suspect was earlier arrested and granted a ‘suspicious’ bail

The association alleged that the suspect is widely believed to operate a cartel that specializes in carrying out illegal activities in Ogun state forests and ferrying logs from the forests to neighboring states using the water ways.

Penpushing further reports that, the petitioners pointed out that, illegal double barrel gun wrestled from the suspect during his  alleged attempted murder, is in safe custody of the Nigeria Police Headquarters,  Eleweran, Abeokuta

‘The possession of a double-barrel gun by Mr. Tutu Ajayi, an illegal operator, in the forest reserve and the effrontery to point same at agents of government who were on their lawful assignment speaks
volume of his person and his group, the petition reads.

The association said it frowned at a situation whereby an alleged armed illegal operator within the forest who allegedly attempted to commit murder is still walking about as a free man.

‘FAN is strongly of the opinion that other guns supposedly in the hands of Mr Tutu and his cohorts should be withdrawn immediately as they constitute a potential threat to the good citizens of the state who are going about their lawful duties and businesses’, the petition reads.

Penpushing reports that, the association alleged that, the suspect and his cohorts have extended their illegal activities to the Biosphere Reserve which is recognized by UNESCO and located within Omo Forest Reserve.

‘This, we believe, should not be allowed to fly in Ogun State or any other state in Nigeria. As an Association, we are yet to come
to terms with his bail conditions considering the gravity of his offence of being in possession of banned weapon and alleged attempted murder’.

‘The Ogun State Government has been adequately informed of this inglorious incursion. The Association condemns in clear terms the activities of Mr. Tutu Ajayi and his co-travelers who have  been committing rape against Ogun forests and economic sabotage against Ogun State’, the petition added.

‘We request that Mr Tutu Ajayi should be diligently investigated and prosecuted. Ogun FAN advocates that all well-meaning citizens of Ogun State should condemn every act of criminality using the forests as a haven before it snowballs into a major crisis. We must all support
all relevant agencies of government to get our forests rid of criminals and criminalities’, the body added.

‘Ogun FAN is not unaware of the frantic efforts being made by Mr Tutu Ajayi and his co-travelers in the act of rape and illegality in our forests, to escape justice’, the association noted.

‘However, as an association, it is incumbent upon us to follow this case through as Foresters and Conservationists both within and outside the country have great interest in this case’.

‘We are also confident that the State under the leadership of His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun will do everything possible to pursue this case  to a logical conclusion to serve as a deterrent to others sabotaging the economy of the state and  legalizing illegality, the petition stressed.

Penpushing reports that, the association however, commended the Ogun State Ministry of Forestry for reconstituting a Joint Task  Force to strengthen the fight against illegal activities within Omo Forest Reserve and other Forest  Reserves in Ogun State.

The body in similar vein, commended the gallant officers of the Ministry of Forestry and other stakeholders in Ijebu axis for evolving a strategy which led to the arrest of the alleged suspect on 17th September 2021.

Penpushing further reports that, the association expressed appreciation on the intervention of the Nigeria Police Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta and the warm reception granted to a delegation comprising of representatives of Board of Trustees of the body, Director-General of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), National  Executive Council of the Association and Ogun State Chapter of the Association which visited the  Police Headquarters on September 24, 2021, as part of efforts to safeguard the  forests from  criminalities and criminals.

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