A Lagos-based housewife Mrs Abimbola Agbede has demanded justice over an alleged physical assault by popular gospel singer Salau Aliu Olayiwola, aka Testimony Jaga and his gang of loyalists on January 17.
Mrs. Agbede, who resides in Akinrinmade close Suberu Oje in Agbado Local Council Development Area (LCDA) alleged Jaga not only assaulted her but also instructed over 20 loyalists to also gang-beat her.
Jaga, a musician with Christ Embassy Church, who runs a weekly fellowship in the area where he distributes empowerment items, however denied the charges, claiming it was the woman who slapped him. He said his fellowship members beat up the woman in his defence. He claimed Mrs Agbede held his shirt and also damaged his N3.5m gold chain in the ensuing melee.
On the fateful day, the housewife said his eldest child celebrated his birthday and she ordered items to give him and a few friends a treat. She said a friend was bringing the items in a car but could not access the close because the singer’s fellowship blocked vehicular movement.
’She asked me to follow her to the car to bring the items to the house and we got to the fellowship point where she approached Jaga. I didn’t even know what they discussed because I stayed aloof. The next thing he just came over to me and started pointing fingers at my forehead, screaming ‘’I am a landlord in this neighbourhood like you people. You have to learn how to respect me. I was so shocked and I pushed his hands away, asking if he was going to beat me up. Jaga immediately ordered his people to descend on me.
‘’The next thing was slap from all over. I was mobbed by over 20 people who beat me up. I was fasting and went down immediately. They beat me so much I slumped. When I managed to regain strength, I held on to one of them to stand up. But they beat me even more, dragging me to a gutter on the road,’’ Mrs Agbede narrated.
‘’I had never seen anything like that in my mind. I was wondering if that was how I would die. I managed to stand up and they beat me to a pulp again until I lost balance. Then, two ladies among them came from nowhere and poured urine on me. Jaga kept saying he was going to teach me a lesson. I couldn’t talk or resist. I simply lied helpless,’’ she added.
Recalling events after the alleged assault, Mrs Agbede said: “I managed to leave there. I called my husband because he was not around. My husband advised me to go to the police station to report. Jaga asked his boys to close the gate to our street. He told my friend not to leave or else she will be “butchered”. So, a police patrol came in. The officers from the police station at AIT, Alagbado came to pick us up because Jaga called them to pick us up. All of the incident happened around 12noon.
“Jaga didn’t show up until around 4pm. He wrote his own statement. I wrote mine. The landlord association representatives came begging me. The officers were taking sides with Jaga, they passed the blame to my friend that she caused the issue.
“I was not feeling fine at the station, I was not breathing properly. They gave me an undertaking to write stating that I’m okay with matter being settled amicably. I was left unattended at the police station. They even tried to assault my friend. Because I was feeling so stressed, I wrote the statement that I was pleased with the settlement. That night I landed in the hospital where I was treated.’’
Few hours after the incident, Jaga sent a voice note to the WhatsApp platform of the Community Development Area (CDA) that hosts many residents. In the now-deleted voice note obtained by The Nation, the singer said: “Good evening, Good afternoon everyone, I’m sending this voice note because I want you all, everybody here, my mothers, my fathers, all my mothers in this message is for Mr. Agbede, whatever name they call you, you’ve done a lot of stuff I don’t want to talk about. I’ve been keeping my cool, your wife walked up to me in the midst of my people and slapped me, cut my chain of N3.5million, my gold chain.
“I thank God I have all the proof. I called the police to be involved because as a good citizen, whatever thing that is going on, you have to call the authorities to be involved. Thank God your wife never told you that I touched her despite all the insults that were passed to me. I just want to encourage you, hope you have a lot of money to write and to go to court and to pay for my chain and pay for all the damages because the reason I told the police to release your wife is because of the people our father honorable sent to me, Akinolu and co, Alhaji Isiaka and all of them and I cannot see them and say I did not see any great people or good people and I released them.
’I don’t pass my boundary, your wife walked up to me in front of my property, slapped me, in front of my people. I hope, the journey you are about to embark on, you have enough mind to finish up because I’m not threatening you oh, as long you want to live in that environment peacefully, because very soon A ma pa ala fun rawa ni
“If you are a man, if you have the guts, come and meet me one on one and let both of us stand and fight. I’m gonna kick your @ss in a way that nobody has ever beaten you before. I’m promising you. I’m not negotiating, it’s a promise, it’s a done deal.
‘’If you are man enough, after all you said I beat your wife, then you come and fight for your wife. When you see me attack me. When you see me come and meet me one-on-one as a man. Let’s figure it that you are a landlord, I am a landlord, let’s do something because this thing you about to do just be ready to create a road at the back of your house to be going out because you are not gonna pass my frontage again. I’m telling you this for sure, you are not gonna pass my frontage again.’’
Olayinka Agbede said Jaga assaulted his wife to settle old scores. He said he once petitioned the Lagos State Government when the singer was running a clubhouse that was causing noise pollution in the neighourhood.
‘’The genesis of the whole thing was my action to curb the excesses of noise pollution in the area caused by Jaga. He had a clubhouse and a church property. We approached him to complain about the issue, but he refused. So, I wrote a petition against him to the ministry because he was disturbing the neighborhood with noise, even around 11pm. Ever since then, he has been looking for ways to get back at me.
On two occasions, he has sent cohorts to fight me on the street. I got a distress call from my wife on the day of the incident that she was assaulted at the command of Testimony Jaga. He also threatened me via a voice note. They beat my wife to pulp on that day. Without medical attention, the police even held my wife down for long hours.
“I had to see to how she was rushed to one hospital in Alagbado because I was far away. She had a serious internal pain. The police treated me in a very appalling manner.
“I’ve reported the case to the Lagos Commissioner of police. I wrote a petition and I’ve submitted the petition. He has been issuing threats to me that he’ll wipe away my family, kill my wife and that I should sell my property and leave the place where I’m leaving.
I want justice to be served. The police station at AIT Alagbado is compromised on the matter. He (Jaga) believes he has a lot of influence. So, he is always romancing with the police officers. Everybody has silent complaints about the road blocking, so they cannot all talk about it because he is always giving out gifts to people in the community.
“He is always surrounded by thugs and miscreants. He moves around with them and they are a threat to my life and my family. They go around harassing people. It is a lie from the pit of hell that my wife cut his chain. He is using that to blackmail my wife. On two occasions, he has planned an attack on me, and he failed.”
Mrs. Agnes John, the friend of the assaulted housewife, confirmed that she walked up to Jaga to advise him against the road blocking. She said: “I went to my friend’s place because her son was celebrating his birthday. She called me to bring some things to her place. On getting to the street, the road was blocked. I was horning. Then a guy appeared waving that I should stop disturbing them. I was still waiting. It was a lady that told me to park my car somewhere because Jaga’s people had blocked the road.
“When I saw Jaga, I called on him saying that I wanted to see him, he told me to come instead. So I walked up to him and advised him that anytime they are having a programme, they should create space because there could be an emergency. That was what I said. When I left there, I didn’t even look back.
“The next thing, I just saw that Jaga’s people had pounced on my friend. The people there were saying why did I go and talk to Jaga. I was helpless because he was surrounded by stern-looking people. They surrounded my friend, beating her. They dragged her into the gutter. Another lady came out and poured urine on her.
“While we made an attempt to leave the street to report to the police, he threatened us. The police came to pick us up. We went there (police station) and Jaga showed up after several calls. Community people came around to try and settle it. They were blaming me that I was at fault, that I should have not gone to meet Jaga and correct him for blocking the road.
“My friend didn’t slap Jaga. She did not. I was the one who reacted to the parking issue. Then the next thing I heard Jaga shouting at my friend saying that “the same way you’re a landlord in this area, is the same way I’m also a landlord” so it led to Jaga’s people pouncing on her.”
When The Nation called Jaga, he initially called off the reporter’s bluff but called back with a reconciliatory tone.
Narrating his side of the story, he said: “I’m not a pastor, I own a fellowship, we have a programme we always do every year, we had the programme on Friday so we give a lot of people different things. On that day, a woman started pressing her horn. So the horn was disturbing what we were doing. So, I gave a signal and sent some of my leaders to go and meet her and explain what we were doing. That she should give us 10 minutes that we would round off. Immediately we finished, I was going, I just saw the woman coming and she said “Mr Jaga come here.
’She said when next we have the programme, we should make room for people to drive past. I felt she couldn’t have been older than me. But I kept quiet and I said okay and turned back. Then my people shouted “Jaga is here, Jesus is here”. The next thing the other woman that happens to be the I don’t know her name, I don’t want to know her name, Agbede woman, “Ki wo ma pariwo oruko e o, emi o jeun under anybody o, awa o se eni to fun longe o”.
“I looked at her and said this woman insulted me, I didn’t say anything, even you that I know, I said madam, your husband is a landlord, I’m a landlord in this place, first of all, I’m in the front of my house, in the front of my premises and you want to insult me like that. The next thing this woman held my shirt, cut my chain and gave me a dirty slap.
“I hope they have small change to do publishing. I have enough money to chase them away from that area because what they are about to do, they can’t even beat me on it. I don’t care about paper. The paper will even make me more popular and by the time people hear my own part of my story, I’m not sure they will have the leg to even walk in that area. They will not stay in that house overnight because of the embarrassment I would give them.
“If you want to do your investigation, go back to the Police Station. They had to beg me. The DPO told me not to release her yesterday. Her husband’s friend was the one begging me yesterday that I should just let it go.’’
He added: “It was the woman that slapped me first. I didn’t lay my hands on her. An elderly woman asked why she would slap me. I told them that nobody should touch her, even if anyone will touch her, let it be women that will touch her, then she pretended that she fainted.
“I told them to go and bring water. That we might think she’s playing, that it’s not everybody that has good health. They poured water on her. She pretended like she has woken up again, the lady who poured water on her, she held the woman hair.’’
In a reconciliatory attempt after calling the reporter’s bluff for the first conversation, Jaga said: ” I tell you that what happened yesterday is still on my mind. I’m still praying for God to let it go because there’s no how, I am close to 40, there’s no how a woman will walk up to me and slap me in the front of my property. Bro, you can’t take it, and the woman even said I never touched her, and even at the police station, I took my self so low.
“I was the one that bailed her. I paid the DPO woman said they should detain both of them until her husband comes back. they should come, he wants to see the husband that couldn’t train his wife very well, to go and walk to a man’s property, in the front of his place and slap him, the woman was angry all the people in the police station they were mad, but still I still keep my cool, because they told me to forget about my chain and let it go.
“I even called the woman yesterday. I begged her and I said I don’t like this. Even the Police told her if you want to correct people, you don’t correct them rudely in-front of their property. We are all landlords. You were not supposed to talk to him that way.”
Culled from Nations Newspaper