The Mesiogo Estate in the Akobo area of Ibadan, Oyo State, was again invaded on Thursday by soldiers from the 2nd Mechanised Division, Nigerian Army, Odogbo.
Thursday was the fourth time of soldiers invading the estate in the last eight months.The Nigerian Army claims that the contentious land belongs to it.
One Warrant Officer Nureni Olukokun, who was in mufti, allegedly led three junior officers, who wore army uniform, to invade the estate.
Their presence reportedly sent jitters down the spines of the residents.The residents said the soldiers forcibly ejected pupils, pulled down a building and sealed off the Friendship International Nursery School in the community.
The residents said the current action of the 2nd Mechanised Division was in violation of a court order that warned soldiers to stay further actions on the estate until the final determination of the case before Justice Sunmonu of the High Court 11 sitting in Ibadan.
Justice Sunmonu had on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, ordered the soldiers to stop further breach of his order when the counsel for the Mesiogo Estate, Kunle Abimbola, told the court that the Nigerian Army, in violation of the earlier order, was engaging in fresh sale and development of plots of land in the estate.
The proprietor of the nursery school, Mrs Adenike Adefoluke, told our correspondent that she was taken by surprise when the soldiers invaded the premises; ordered innocent pupils out and sealed off the school.
She stated, “The situation was very strange to the innocent pupils and they were terribly scared seeing armed soldiers in the school.“I understand that our school does not fall on the disputed land; so why are they troubling innocent people offering social services?”
Mrs Kikelomo Akinpade, the landlady of the property on which the school is located, said the soldiers threatened to whisk her away to the barracks.
The army had recently said the land in question belonged to it. One Lieutenant S. O. Ilufoye, whose contact appeared on the letter for enquiries on the plan to eject landlords in the estate had told our correspondent that the letter was directed to the communities that encroached on the army’s land.
Calls made to his mobile him on Thursday’s development in the estate did not connect as his telephone indicated that it had been switched off.