*Kelebe-Omu: Disrespect of Court Order Continues As Illegal Sales of Land By Nigerian Army Agent Continues In Osogbo*

*Kelebe-Omu: Disrespect of Court Order Continues As Illegal Sales of Land By Nigerian Army Agent Continues In Osogbo*

Disrespecting the court judgment is gradually becoming “normal” act in Nigeria, especially by some government agencies across the Country.

Despite the Court judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, the defendants in the case of disputed land situated at Kelebe-Omu area in Osogbo and Olorunda local government areas of Osun State, the Nigerian Army has embarked on contempt.

This online medium gathered that the fragrant disobedience of court orders by the defendants had been happening for more than one year.

It would be recalled that he plaintiffs in the suit Number HOS/40/2020, filed by Chief Amodu Akanbi, Sulaiman Folorunsho, Alhaji Ibraheem Olabode, Alfa Rasaki Tiamiyu, and Yekini Salawu, through their lead counsel, U.F Mohammad on behalf of Kelebe-Omu Landowners Association, against the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Defence, Post-Service Housing Development Limited, The Nigeria Army and The Chief of Army Staff, said the acquisition of their land by the defendants is unconstitutional and illegal.

However, the Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife on January 10th, 2023 delivered judgment, instructing the to vacate the 3,646 acres of land belonging to Kelebe-Omu landowners, ordering the defendants to pay a sum of N200 million to the plaintiffs for the destruction of their land.

After the court had given its ruling, the defendants obtained a warrant for possession of the land on 25 of April, 2023 after the defendants failed to make use of the opportunity of appealing the judgment within the stipulated period under the law as no notice of appeal from any Court of competent jurisdiction was served.

However, in compliance with the court judgment, the landowners visited the said land to executive the Court judgment, but some military personnel led by one Alayande forcefully dragged, harassed, beaten them, destroy their vehicles and took about thirty of them to Ede barack, threatening to kill if they dare come on the land again. It took the intervention of Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun before they could be released.

After the January 10th, 2023 judgment of the High Court, the defendants continued to take actions on the land by allocating part of it to individuals for personal use, while some military personnel still went ahead to erect pillars to demarcate part of the land.

In response to contempt, the landowners on February 13, 2024, staged a massive but peaceful protest to the Osun State government Secretariat and State House of Assembly to demand the intervention of both the state and Federal Government against the lawlessness of the Nigerian Army forcefully denied them their right to possess their land as ordered by the court.

Again, on the 28 of March 2024, the landowners across 45 family compounds in Osogbo and Olorunda local governments areas of Osun State took a fresh action in line with the Court judgment to take ownership of their landed property, some armed military personnel suspected to be from Engineering Command in Ede, Osun State in their uniform stormed the land to harass and stop the clearing the land.

Recently, the defendant, “POST-SERVICE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT LIMITED” Incorporated by the Nigerian Army to manage the land placed a advertorial banner to continue the laying out parts of the land into residential estate and sells same plot-by-plot to private individuals upon purchase of a Post-Service Housing Scheme Military Application Form for a fee.

The said company, in the name of Nigerian Army had been issuing permits at agreed prices to members of the public for sand/gravel digging and haulage; construction of fish ponds; farming camps; hewing and haulage of firewood; palm oil prospecting; collection of levies ‘Isakole’ (tributes) like oil, palm-wine, yams and kolanuts; felling of trees and sawmilling them into timber logs and planks; destruction of kolanut and palm trees within the said land.

However, names of those involved in this illegal act, bank account of which transaction has been made with facts and figures will be in public domain if this contempt of the court continues.

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