Land Dispute: Kelebe-Omu land owners calls for FG, Osun govt intervention over illegal possession of land by Nigerian Army

The Kelebe-Omu Landowners Association has called for the intervention of President Bola Tinubu, the National Assembly Leaders, Osun State Government, the State Assembly and relevant stakeholders over illegal possession of their land by the Nigerian Army against court judgement.

They also urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja to respect and act in accordance to court judgment before the matter becomes crisis, noting that they are not interested in letting the issue result to loss of lives and properties as a law abiding citizens

The association made the call through its Chairman, Chief Amodu Akanbi during a press conference held on Thursday in Osogbo, Osun State capital.

It could be recalled that the Kelebe-Omu landowners association had dragged the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and others before an Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife to seek justice over the land.

Delivering his judgement on January 10, 2023, Justice A.O Ayoola ordered the defendants to vacate 3,646 acres of land. After the court ruling, the land owners obtained the warrant of possession of the land on 25 of April, 2023.

However, it was gathered that despite the court judgment in favor of the complaint ordering the Nigerian Army to vacate the land, pillars and demarcation were recently mounted on the said land by the Nigerian Army.

Mr Akanbi further stated that claim by Nigeria Army to have appeal the court judgment in a newspaper published on February 20, 2024, is false as they and their counsel are yet to received any appeal notice from any court of competent jurisdiction.

He said, “After our massive protest held in Osogbo last Tuesday 13th February against the illegal steps taken by the Nigerian Army against the Court judgment on the invasion and illegal use of our land, the Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachujwu responded yesterday Tuesday 21st February through some news mediums, claiming that the Nigerian Army had appeal the judgment of the Osun State High Court ordering them to relinquish possession of our 3,646 acres of land in Osogbo. He further claimed that the appeal was filed at the Akure Division of the Court of Appeal to overturn the State High Court decision.

“The claim of appealing the judgment by the defendant after eleventh month is a joke of the century. We have never received any appeal notice nor did our counsel received any notice of appeal from any Court of competent jurisdiction. All actions taken after the January 10th, 2023 judgment of the High Court without appeal in the last one year were illegally taken by the defendant.

“However, despite the court ruling and warrant of possession, some military personnel led by one Alayande came to meet us on the land to harass, beat, destroy our car and took about thirty of us to Ede barrack before the intervention of Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun that led to the release of our members. They even threatened to kill us if we dare come on the land, while some military personnel still went ahead to erect pillars on the said land.

“We are using this medium to call the attention of President Bola Tinubu; the National Assembly led by Senate President Goodswill Akpabio and Rt Hon Tajudeen Abass, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, the State Assembly led by Rt Hon Adewale Egbedun and all relevant stakeholders to come to our aid by calling the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja to respect and act in accordance with the judgment of court before this matter snowballs to crisis”.

Akanbi noted that if the Nigerian Army continues to violate the court judgment and rule of law, they shall embark on a non-stop massive protest in Osun until they get their land back as mandated by the Court of law.

“We are Peace loving people and law abiding citizens of Osun State, Nigeria, we are not interested in any loss of lives and properties and that is the reason behind our actions. If the fragrant disobedience of the Nigerian Army to judgment of court and the rule of law persist, we shall embark on a non-stop massive protest in Osun until we get our land back as mandated by the Court of law”, the Chairman concluded.

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