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Court orders reopening of 100 houses, school, church locked by land grabbers in Ibadan

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An Oyo State High Court, on Friday, ordered the immediate reopening of the over 100 houses, church, school and business centres that were forcefully put under lock and key by some gun-wielding land grabbers last week Thursday in Ibadan, the state capital.

Veloxnews gathered that the structures belonging to residents of Ekerin layout, behind Abe Technical College/New Garage/Akala expressway in Oluyole Local Government Area of Ibadan were locked by the land grabbers last week.

The affected residents, many of whom had fled the area for fear of being attacked by the land grabbers who laid siege to their property and put their gates under lock and key, stormed the court in the early hours of Friday and secured the nod of Justice O. M. Olagunju who, in his ruling, ordered that all the affected buildings be unsealed immediately to allow fleeing residents regain their property.

The land grabbers, accompanied by some policemen last week gained entry into the property in the area and took them over, following an alleged court order dated October 31, 2018 in the suit number 1/567/84 purportedly authorising them to take possession of the disputed lands in the area.

However, in his ruling on Friday, Justice Olagunju declared that in the action filed by the plaintiffs against the defendants, there was no counterclaim.

He added that the dismissal of the plaintiff’s case did not, therefore, confer any right on the defendants and ordered that all sealed houses be immediately unsealed.

The residents who have been living on the land and whose houses were sealed by the defendants based on the execution of the court judgment filed the applications to set aside the execution.

Counsel to one of the residents, Toyese Owoade told journalists that, “A court of Justice is expected to dispense justice to all citizens regardless of his or her status in the society and that is why it is generally said that where there is a wrong, there is a remedy.

“The judgment of the court as rightly noted by the court did not confer any right on the defendants who levied execution”.

“It is trite law that in such circumstance where there is no positive order of court granting possession, a party has no right to apply for warrant for possession”.

However, all efforts to get the reaction of the defence counsel, Bolarinwa Lawal proved abortive as he was not available for comment as at the time journalists were leaving the court.

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