Osun Court orders military to return 3,646 acres of land to kelebe-omu landowners

The Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife has on Tuesday, 10th January, 2023 ordered the Nigerian Army to pay the sum of 200 million naira to Kelebe-Omu Landowners in Osogbo and Olorunda Local Government Area of Osun State for the destruction of their land.

The plaintiffs in the suit Numbe HOS/40/2020, filed by Chief Amodu Akanbi, Sulaiman Folorunsho, Alhaji Ibraheem Olabode, Alfa Rasaki Tiamiyu, and Yekini Salawu, through their lead counsel, J. Mohammad on behalf of the Kelebe- Omu land owners families, 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.

The plaintiffs argued that the acquisition of their land was ‘incomplete and inconclusive’ because no notice of intention to acquire the lands was served on the owners of the land.

Counsels to the plaintiffs argued that no publication of the notice of intention to acquire the land was gazetted or published in any of the national newspapers and the purpose of the acquisition was a smokescreen to deprive the land-owners of the land and vest same on others.

They accused the Nigerian Army of selling the land which was forcibly acquired from them to an individual for personal use, alleging that the Army collected money from individuals that the portion of land was leased.

In her judgement, Justice A. O. Ayoola held that it is evident that the defendants are using the acquired land for private purposes and not for public purposes for which the land was requisitioned by the Nigerian Army.

“The plaintiffs are hereby awarded N200 million as damages for the destruction of the land by the defendants.

“The defendants are to yield the possession of the land situated and being between Kelebe area and Omu Stream in Osogbo/Olorunda Local Government Areas of Osun,” the court held.

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