100 houses sealed off in Ibadan over land dispute •Residents given 1 hour to pack out

SEALED UP: A technician welding a gate to one of the buildings seized in Ibadan, on Friday. PHOTO: TUNDE OGUNESAN

LANDLORDS and tenants of over 100 houses in Ibadan were on Friday given one hour to pack out of their residents over a land dispute.

The houses located at Peluseki area, Akala Expressway, Ido Local Government Area,Ibadan, Oyo state were sealed off following a warrant for possession obtained by one Durojaye Omoleke Aransi & others against Alhaji Raufu Gbadamosi & others, in a suit number I/704/2007 over 6.777 hectares of land.

The affected landlords described the case and the judgement as ‘judicial ambush’ because they became aware of it very late even as one of them told Saturday Tribune that one of the defendants in the suit was a dead man.

The affected residents were only given one hour to pick anything they could from their houses.

Those who came to effect the court order were led by a Chief baliff, who identified himself as Mr Adeyemo Gbolahan and some police officers from Oyo state Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan.

The team came in more than two vehicles as Adeyemo led a group which also has a welding team in their blue Peugeot 504 saloon car with registration number Lagos BDG 817 DB.

As soon as they arrived, they informed the residents that they only had one hour to pick whatever they deemed useful to them and leave their respective houses because they were on a mission to seal every house on the affected portion of the affected land.

As soon as that was made known, the entire neighbourhood began to make contact for way out. But that did not stop the team from carrying out their mission.

The team members having divided themselves into sections sealed off entrances to the houses by spraying a X mark with red ink on gates, pasting the two pages of photocopies of warrant for possession in front of each house and some uncompleted buildings, while the welder on board completed the mission by welding the gates.

Adeyemo said: “the court order must be obeyed after one year without any formal or legal response from the people. I am a Chief baliff of the court and we are here with Police officers from Eleyele, (Oyo state Police Command headquarters),  what we are doing is backed up with legal documents.”

In a telephone interview with Saturday Tribune, the chairman of Peluseki area, Mr Adegbola Adeboye though admitted that they learnt about the case very late, added that the family which sold the land to them had assured them that they would protect their interest since they bought the land from them lawfully and fulfilled all necessary obligations requested of them.

He, however, expressed concern that the plaintiff did not give them enough time for negotiation, adding that the names on the warrant of possession were strange to the residents.

He said “ we learnt that it involves the family members but they assured us that ‘anyone who had settled’ them will be defended anytime.

“Later, we learnt Alhaji Abass owns the land and that it involves four families and that they once agreed to settle the matter amicably. When we confronted the family they confessed that their fathers sold some pieces to Alhaji Bolaji. we were on that to meet the family and Alhaji Abass before he told us that he (Abass) was going to Mecca that we will resolve it when he returns.

“Surprisingly, we just saw them this morning and they threw all of us into this mess. This is unfair, “ Adeboye said.