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Osun Land Dispute: Soldiers Forcefully Stop Enforcement Of Court Judgment In Osogbo, Threatening To Shoot Landowners

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In their efforts to enforce Court judgment on the disputed Kelebe-Omu land, members of Kelebe-Omu Landowners Association were again stopped and forcefully dragged out of their land by men of the Nigerian Army.

While taking fresh action in line with the judgment of Osun State High Court to take possession of their land from the Nigerian Army, some armed military personnel suspected to be from Engineering Command in Ede, Osun State in their uniform on Thursday stormed the land to stop the plan of clearing the land.

OsunReporters News gathered that representatives from 45 family compounds across Osogbo and Olorunda local government areas of Osun State, gathered in their numbers at Kelebe Area (part of the disputed land), Olu-Omo junction along Iragbiji Road in Osogbo to monitor the clearing, but as the bulldozer was about to commence the clearing, some armed uniform men with AK-47 stormed the areas to stop the process. All efforts to tell them that they were implementing a court judgement failed as they insisted that the work must stop immediately, threatening to shoot anybody who failed to vacate the land.

Journalists and some members of the landowners who were recording the scene were molested by soldiers, trying to seize their cameras, phones and other gadgets.

However, Kelebe-Omu Land Owners Association through their counsel promised to file a contempt of court suit against the Nigeria Army over what it described as a continued “trespass”.

Counsel to the Association, Mr Faruq Muhamme, described the conduct of the military men as illegal and a contempt of the court, stating that he will soon approach the court to file a contempt against the Army.

In his words; “We’re here to implement the judgment of the Court on this matter. Only for the Army officers to storm here and stop us. This act is illegal and we shall be filing a contempt of the court against them.”

Muhammed also revealed that no appeal has been filed on judgment as the time has elapsed

The action of the land owners is coming following the judgment of the Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife, mandating the Kelebe-Omu land owners association to repossess their land from the Nigerian Army.

It would be recalled that the Osun State High Court on January 10, 2023, had in a judgment delivered by Justice Ayoola, directed the Nigerian Army vacate the disputed land and pay the sum of N200,000,000 to Kelebe-Omu land owners association as damages.

While addressing journalists, Chief Amodu Akanbi, the Chairman of the Kelebe-Omu land owners association and Oluponna of Osogbo disclosed that men of the Nigerian Army came to disrupt the enforcement of the January 10th 2023 Court judgment on the land, noting that all documents relating to the court judgment have been forwarded to the office of the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army headquarters, Abuja, including Ede Barack.

He further added that the action of landowners is to enforce the Warrant for Possession by the Osun State High Court since the Nigerian Army headquarters had acknowledged the court judgment, adding that this is the second time that armed soldiers will come and harass landowners on the said land.

According to him, “We are making this known to the public that men of the Nigerian Army always threatening to kill us any time will attempt to go back to our ancestral lands as ordered by the Court of law.

“We are here working on our land while three armed men of the Nigerian Army came with guns to stop the tractor and dragged us away. We have engaged surveyors who are here to measure the land as ordered by the court. The intimidation by the Army is too much but we will never relent in taken possession of what belong to us ”

OsunReporters News had earlier reported that the landlords in January protested to the Osun State Government Secretariat and House of Assembly where the Speaker, Adewale Egbedun assured that the matter would be looked into.

 

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