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Kelebe-omu Land Dispute: Land Owners Cry Out Over Nigerian Army Flagrant Disregard For Court Orders Over Their Lands

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File photo: a plot of land

Land owners in Kelebe – Omun, in Olorunda Local Government Area of Osun, have condemned the failure of the Ministry of Defence and its allies to comply with directives of a State High Court which prevented it form operation or taking any kind of action on the Kelebe land.

An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, had on March 11, 2021 instructed the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and other parties, not to take any action on the land on Kelebe-Omu, pending when it would give its ruling.

The land owners had dragged the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and others before the court, to seek justice over the land.

According to the Kelebe-Omu Landowners Association’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Hammed Bello, popularly called Loroki, the Nigerian Army acquired the land in question, built military flats and leased part of it to farmers and developers.

He noted that despite the court order preventing the defendants from entering or doing anything on the land , they have it on good authority that the defendants have allegedly started issuing permits to members of the public to use the land, at agreed prices, for farming camps, construction of fish ponds , digging and haulage , building of houses among others.

It would be recalled that the plaintiffs Counsel U.F Muhammed had approached the court seeking an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence, Post-Service House Housing Deve. LTD, Chief of Staff among others, from any further allocation , grant, lease , letting or license of any portion of the expanse of land situated between kelebe area to Omu stream, to any person pending the determination of the action.

The presiding Judge , Hon. Justice A.O Ayoola, upon reading and hearing the application of the plaintiffs had on March 11, 2021 ordered as follows:

“An order of accelerated hearing is hereby granted.”

“The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,5th, and 6th defendants, their servants, agent and or privies are prevented from any further allocation, grant, lease, letting or license of any portion of the expanse of land situate between kelebe area to Omu stream, to any person pending the determination of the action.”

“The defendants, their agents, and or privies are hereby restrained from any further constructions, felling of trees, dredging, excavation and devastation of the soil of land in dispute pending the determination of the action.”

Surveyor General had during the last sitting on November 3, 2021 presented Certified True Copy of dispute of the land before the court. The certified true copy was admitted as exhibit

The land, jointly owned by 45 families, had been in contention since year 2003 when the plaintiffs became aware of the defendants’s allocation of the land for private purpose, amount to continue trespass on plaintiffs’ land.

The families had claimed to be bonafide owners of the land, measuring approximately 3, 646 Acres, which is boarded by Ikirun, Iragbiji, Ilase and Osogbo respectfully.

He noted that their families’ quiet Possession of the land in dispute was undisturbed until sometimes in 1973 when the defendants invaded the land and allegedly destroyed crops on their family land.

The Public Relations Officer further explained that apart from the Nigerian Army, there was a rumour of purported acquisition of the land by Community for a proposed company.

He added that Nigeria Army had turned the land to profit making, alleging that despite the court order they have started allocating the land to some people after the issuance of permits and alleged collection of huge amount of money.

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