Owners of landed properties in the Kelebe-Omu area compromise of Olorunda, Boripe, Obokun and Osogbo local governments of Osun state have raised an alarm over the alleged constant refusal of the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and its allies to comply with the directives of Court orders preventing it from operating on the disputed land in the area, appealing to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor, Ademola Adeleke of Osun State and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja to intervene in the lingering land tussle to avert crisis.
The alarm is coming after landowners observed that the Nigerian Army had started the erection of demarcation pillars on the disputed land.
It could be recalled that the Kelebe-Omu landowners association led by Chief Amodu Akanbi had dragged the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and others before the court, to seek justice over the land.
An Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife had on January 10, 2023 delivered judgment instructing the Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Army and other parties, to vacate 3,646 acres of land belonging to Kelebe-Omu landowners.
After the court had given its ruling, sources revealed that owners of the land 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.
A member of the Kelebe-Omu land owners association who anonymously spoken with the OsunReporters News Correspondent, said despite the court ruling and warrant of possession were obtained, “some military personnel came to meet us on the land and started beating us, they even threatened to kill, if we dare come on the land”.
Recently, one of the hunters who went on the land on Thursday, February 8, 2024, for hunting found some pillars suspected to be erected by the soldiers to divide the land into pieces
According to him, ”They want to cheat the families that own the land and this can cause a crisis. I have the opportunity of talking to some of those families and with the way they were sounding , it seems they are being frustrated and this, I think, may cause a crisis. To avert this, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke and the Chief of Army Staff need to intervene before it snowballs to crisis.
“We don’t want what happened in some Communities where they are fighting and killing themselves over the land to happen here in Osogbo”, he warned.
While condemning the act, another resident, Alhaji Kazeem Bolarinwa said the conduct of Nigeria army is fragrant disobedience to judgment of court and the rule of law and it threatened the peace of the public.
“I just want to appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Osun state Governor, and Chief of Army Staff to their good offices and stop men of Nigerian Army to from further attacks on the landowners and erecting of pillars of demarcation on those people’s land after due execution of the judgment of the court.
“The Nigerian Army should know that the action of some of its personnel is tantamount to disobedience to the court’s judgment and a way to disrespect the court”, Bolarinwa added.
Meanwhile, OsunReporters News had earlier officially approached the Nigerian Army through its Ede Command to react on the disputed land, but no response up till now. However at the time of filing this report, effort to reach out to the authority of the Nigerian Army to know the reason for disrespecting the Court proved abortive.
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