The Nigerian Army has been accused of unlawful acquisition of land for illegal bunkering in the Mile 2 area Ajegunle, Lagos.
The Chairman of Grand Children of St. Mathew Daniel Family, Mr Agboola Anjou, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the army refused to release the land it forcibly took over despite the judgement of a court which the family got about 25 years ago.
He said, “Justice Ade Alabi of the Lagos State High Court, in judgement on September 1, 1993, ordered the army to relinquish the land and pay our family N20m compensation for the land they acquired legally from us. They paid the family for the one they acquired legally where they built their offices, barracks and school.
“However, they fenced an extra 58 acres and the court ordered them to give it back to the family. The army has refused to give it back to the family. The army still did not vacate the land up till this moment. The land is now a haven of bunkering, the NNPC pipeline that passes through the place is now being used to scoop fuel.”
The family said the army later filed an appeal against the judgement but they also applied to withdraw the same appeal.
He said the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on May 6, 2015, dismissed the appeal filed by the army having withdrawn it earlier.
He added, “The family wrote a letter to the immediate past Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on the matter but the army has still not released the land. We believe that some officers, making money illegally from the land, are the ones frustrating us.“We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the case.”
The spokesperson for the 81 Division, NA, Lt Col Laolu Daodu, told our correspondent on the telephone on Saturday that he needed time to contact the relevant departments to know the facts of the matter.
Daodu said, “You can also find out who the real owner of the land is at the Ministry of Land. You said the case had been ongoing for a long time; I will have to make some calls and get back to you on Monday. We need to confirm the authenticity of their claims and I will get back to you.
“I will contact our legal department on the matter and you know this is a weekend. I will need time to get the facts and react appropriately.”