Retired Kwara PermSec drags pastor to town planning authority over land ownership

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By Matthew Denis, Abuja

A retired Permanent Secretary in Civil Service of Kwara State, Comrade Olaitan Adefila has dragged an Ilorin based popular pastor of Word Assembly, Isaac Omolehin before the Kwara state Town Planning Service for what he alleged as false possession of the land that belongs to him.

The 10 plots landed property is located long Jimba Oja village in Ilorin-South Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking to newsmen at the scene on Tuesday, Comrade Adefila said “ I’m actually here to challenge this illegal structure on my land. I bought this place in 2013 from Pastor Isaac Olu for my daughter and since then she has been developing it gradually with town planning approval in 2015.

“Sometimes this year Pastor Omolehin broke into the land claiming that he has obtained court judgement for ownership and I told him I’m neither a court creditor nor debtor,  so there is no way a judgement passed can affect me. If the judgement is passed this year, the original owner of this land sold it to me seven years ago and I cannot be referred to as his agent.

“But because it involved court papers as he claimed, I decided to report the case to the police outpost in the village. The police advised me to approach the court which I did in attempt to maintain peace. We wrote to the court and file the writ of summon on the 21st of February because we discovered the transgression around February 15th this year.

“ Since then I agreed and told the police that I can stay off here to maintain peace but I still hold the custody of this land with all documented evidences and I have built three buildings on it as you can see them.

“But all of a sudden, Pastor Omolehin had started building a structure there and I went back to the police and reported but they said they weren’t aware of the development. So I told them that you’re now aware now and that structure shouldn’t go beyond that level.

According to him, the judgement of the court was so clear with the instruction ‘order of specific performance was given’ meaning that the initial agreement the pastor purported had with the original land owner they should go and execute it.

He said “executing the agreement Pastor Omolehin will pay the landowner the charges they had at that time and the former landowner will come to me to collect the original documents he gave to me to return it the pastor after refunds.

He alleged that the pastor is hiding under the church cover and hasn’t paid for the land but has written a threatening letter looking for the seller of the land to him.

“If someone is a beneficiary of the court process, he should allow the court pronouncement to stand and not to continue building structures in the church name introducing religious colouration to deface the place.

“So by the time you’re destroying this place now, people will say you’re demolishing a church. It’s that aspect that I want to emphasize. I’m not demolishing a church but standing on my right to what belongs to me.

Comrade Adefila stressed that the seller of the land, Pastor Isaac Olu of Arrow Church of God can explain better on what transpired between him and Pastor Omolehin earlier about the land.

The Retired Permanent Secretary noted that his concern is that he acquired the land legitimately and was given relevant documents including Certificate of Ownership and he is not a party to any court judgement.

He said “ the action I have just taken is the fact that he (pastor) has erected a structure on the land and I invited the town planning to know whether those structure are known to their approval. I am also involving the police legal department to know whether he (pastor) can just use court order to start building on another person’s land without the necessary documents.

Responding to the accusations, Pastor Omolehin denied the allegations claiming that he has obtained court judgement on possession of the land.

He maintained that he is ready for peaceful resolution of the land dispute with Comrade Adefila whenever he approaches him.

Highlight of the event was officials of Town Planning were seen sealing off the structure erected by the pastor.