BY ABDULAHI WAHAB
A N3 billion suit has been instituted against the Ogun State government and four others, over alleged illegal occupation of plots of land belonging to 35 communities in Ewekoro local government area of the state.
In the suit filed by the leaders of the affected communities, they are asking the court to award N3 billion as damages against the defendants over the alleged illegal acquisition and occupation of their land.
Joined as co-defendants in the suit are the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dangote Cement Ltd, Siemens Ltd and Zakhem Construction Company Ltd.
In the writ of summons filed by their counsel, Mr. Bamidele Ogundele, the 35 chiefs who represented their communities are asking for the damages on the alleged trespass and economic trees damaged by the companies, agents and privies.
They are also asking for a declaration that the claimants are entitled to customary rights of occupancy in respect of all lands contained in the first defendant acquisition notice in a National Newspaper on December 9, 2010.
The communities also in their statements of claim are asking for a declaration that the Public Notice contained in Punch Newspaper of December 9, 2010 is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void based on the fact that it was not served personally on the claimants and various families and individual landowners.
They are equally seeking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the governor and the other defendants from trespassing, damaging farmlands, and or embarking on construction on the claimants’ lands.
Further in their claim, they are asking for a declaration that the purported acquisition of the claimants’ lands by the first defendant to the third defendant (a public liability company) is not for overriding public interest contemplated by the Land Use Act No.6 1978.
Some of the communities are Aga-Olowo, Aga-Kinronbo, Aga-Odofin, Aga-Agbogun, Kajola, Babalawo, Onigbedu, Elere-Adubi, Ajipatutu.
Others include; Koboro, Kenta, Abuleowu, Oluagun, Olujobi, Ade-Agba, Oke-Oko, Imokan, Agbon, Lapeleke and Eruku.