By Tunde Oyekola in Osogbo
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Osun State Government to look into the communal clash between Ashipa and Ipetumodu communities in Ife-North Local Government will begin public hearing on the crisis on Wednesday, February 18, 2015.
The communal clash, which occurred on January 13, 2015, had resulted in destruction of property worth several millions of naira as well as farmland.
No life was lost in the clash, which lasted for days. But the development has brought animosity to the areas as youths of the two communities have vowed to continue the fight which prompted the institution of a judicial commission of inquiry into the issue.
The Chairman of the commission, Justice Oyejide Falola, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Osogbo said the people of Ashipa would first open their case before the commission followed by the people of Ipetumodu on Thursday 19, 2015.
He said the public hearing of the commission would run daily between February 18 and Wednesday March 4, 2015, adding that all parties are at liberty to come alone or with their counsel and lawyers to cross examine witnesses called by the parties.
Justice Falola disclosed further that the commission had received memoranda from the two communities, adding that members of the commission had also visited the two communities on fact-finding mission.
While noting that the commission will carry out the job without fear or favour, he said it also received memoranda from other communities such as Osogbo and Ede; Edunabon, Yakoyo and Moro; Songbe and Ede; Origbo communities; Ikirun and Oke-Ila; Gbongan and Osunjela among others where pocket of crises exist.
Justice Falola explained that the commission would also look into the various crises in the affected areas with the aim of recommending solution to the state government.
According to him, “the memorandum submitted so far were not limited to Ashipa/Ipetumodu communities, but from different parts of the state where communal crisis over land are brewing. This is in line with one of our mandate, which is to develop a template to be used to tame the monster of communal crisis across the state.
The commission assured that it would not apply the full weight of its power on the affected communities but had decided to employ persuasion and dialogue to the raging crisis, pleading with the two communities to cooperate with them.