Temitope Adedeji Akure
There was anger at the Alagbaka area of Akure, the Ondo State capital on Monday when court officials and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) sealed off residential houses of a whole community with children and other occupants.
The NSCDC officials who were accompanied by court bailiffs said they were acting on the order of the court that asked them to take possession of the houses at Arijodi/Ologunmolaare in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.
The court case had been instituted by the Arijodi/Ologunmolaare family against Iyalobirin of Eleyowo Community, Chief Cecilia Taye Ologed,e, and a clergy, Pastor Akintade Oni.
Justice Aderemi Adegoroye had, while delivering judgment in the case, ruled that Chief Ologed and.Pastor Oni lacked the power to solely transfer any interest of the Arijodi/Ologunmolaare family land without the knowledge of the entire family.
The trial judge held that the two defendants, Ologede and Oni are family head and secretary respectively.
However, they lacked the power to exercise the transfer of any authority on the family land without the consent of the whole family.
The court ordered the residents of the community who bought land from the duo to revalidate the ownership of the land.
After the judgement, the claimants led officials of the court and civil defence to seal off houses, claiming the enforcement of the order of the court.
This development led to protest in the community.
Speaking with Westernpost, a landlord, Mr. Alfred Olumide Adebayo said he and members of his family have been locked out of their house without anywhere to sleep.
He said: “I was away when my security man called me that my gate has been locked by some people through the court injunction which I did not know anything about. As i speak at the moment, my people are still inside locked up.
“I am now appealing to the state government, the general public to help me because I am not a party to this, I bought my land genuinely, I don’t know anything about this at all.”
Another resident, Fred Ojo also lamented that his family is locked up inside the house while he is outside.
“I was already out this morning when they called me that my gate has been locked up by the men of the civil defence corps.
“They have marked our houses and when they came they sent my security man out and locked my children inside. Nobody can come in and come out.
“I am now appealing to whosoever that came to do this act to come and open my house. This is my property. Even if there is a court order, we will know how to settle the matter and nobody told me to leave the land. I think this is injustice.”