Communities protest over illegal land acquisition of 450 hectares by Aregbesola

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[Osun]–Scores of 15 Ijesa communities stormed the State High Court, Ilesha over illegal land acquisition by the state government.

The communities alleged Governor Rauf Aregbesola of illegal land acquisition of farm land in their various communities

The communities from Obokun and Ori-Ade Local government stormed court premises armed with placards expressing different kinds of anti-government words.

While one of the traditional Chiefs was addressing the journalists, Prince J.A Adewunmi explained that they had earlier been approached by “a bosom friend of Aregbesola known as Bashorun Rotimi Obesun who said he wanted to use the land to cultivate rice”.

“We refused Obesun the purchase offer for two reasons. One, the land is our farmland where over a thousand people are making their living and secondly, we have ancestral attachment to the land. We have cocoa, kola-nuts, palm trees and many other things on our land.

“Suddenly, we discovered the presence of the state officials and some of the family members of Obesun on the land. At a point, we were all chased out of our land by gunmen and on May 17, it was published in a national newspaper that our land had been acquired by the state government”, Chief Adeniyi stated.

Adewunmi disclosed that in the process of the forceful acquiring of their land, several farm crops were destroyed while means of livelihoods of many family members were shattered and many of them are still being traumatized.

Another Chief Olanipekun said the land is  along Ijagbere/Ijebu – Jesa road, both in Obokun and Oriade while some of the communities involved included Ijiku, Osogun, Baajimo, Okunye, Walaye, Arowobusoye and Fanawopo.

However,  a human right lawyer, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola has instituted a suit on the matter on behalf of the affected communities against the state governor.

The lawyer was asking Aregbesola to pay the communities a sum of N50 billion for trespass, brutalization of the plaintiffs and members of their families and destruction of their farm crops.

He chided the state government for not even serving the communities any personal notice for the purpose acquiring their land and that the decision to “unlawfully” acquire their land is contrary to the provision of the Land Use Act.

He said in the statement of claim that the defendant “cannot acquire land on the pretext of public use and transfer same land to a private individual for private use”.

When the governor media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon was contacted on telephone by THE PAGE correspondent he seek for more time to speak with his principal over the allegation.

He said “The governor is in Executive meeting now please give me till tomorrow to respond on the matter”.

Copyright 2017 The Page. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.



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