Ilorin Buildings Demolition: We paid N800,000 compensation – Council boss


By Ahmed Ajikobi

Allegations and counter accusations have continued to trail the demolition of buildings at the Old Kara market, Sango, Kulende area, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Recall that penultimate Thursday, about 50 armed policemen, hoodlums and Hausa labourers were said to have stormed the area led by one Jaiyeola Sulaiman Amosa to destroy buildings and lock up structures in the area over an alleged court order.
The allottees of the land cried foul wondering why the landed property they outrightly purchased from Ilorin South Local Government with documentation from the state Bureau of Lands and developed could be demolished after almost 10 years by alleged ‘rightful owner’ of the land.
Speaking on the development, The Ilorin South Local Government Chairperson, Hajia Funmi Salau in a telephone interview at the weekend, claimed the council paid the sum of N800,000 as compensation to the Bureau of Lands for onward transmission to the Alangua family, who are the aboriginal owner of the land.
According to her, the council also made some receipted payments to same source for the acquisition, processing of the title of the land.
“They collected all money including compensation and we have receipt and we gave the names of the allottees to the Bureau of Lands. When the case was reported to the Kwara State House of Assembly by the allottees, we were all summoned. We showed the allottees evidence of payment. It is the Bureau of Lands that should pay the land owners the compensation,” she divulged.
Salau however added that when she got wind of the demolition of buildings at the Old Kara market, she immediately put a call to the Alangua of Kulende, Muhammed Adeshina Abdulbaki to resolve the issue.
“Last Friday, I sent for him (Alangua) to come home because he is working at Lagos and he promised to come. As soon as he arrive, officials of the council (Ilorin South) and the Bureau of Lands will deliberate on the matter at the state House of Assembly.”
In his reaction at his office, the Director General of the Bureau of Lands, Alhaji Ibrahim Salman, debunked the collection of any N800,000 for compensation on behalf of the Alangua family.
According to him, the council only paid money for land title processing for the allottees.
“There was urbanisation policy which makes land to be out of the authority of Ilorin South local government. The said land is under the authority of the state Bureau of Lands.
” Ilorin South then needed to obtain Right of Occupancy(R of O) and it was agreed during a meeting between the council and the Bureau of Lands that the local government will pay some amount of money to state government to process the land title for the allottees selected by the local government. The Bureau of Lands was never involved in the layout of the land and the selection of allottees.
“The money paid was for processing of title. What we believed was that from the money paid by the allottees to the local government, part of it was to cover the title processing to be paid to the state government,” he added.
He furthered stated that in 2010, the customary land owner; the Alangua family, who Jaiyeola is one of them went to court to challenge the local government to return the land to them since it was no longer serving its intended purpose of Kara market.
The DG noted that to save the situation, the state government, Kwara Assembly and concerned citizens called for patience and also appealed to the Alangua family to be lenient with the occupiers after securing court injunction. s
In his reaction, the counsel to Alangua family, Akin Akintoye I, said there had been no former approach from the government to resolve the issue.
Speaking last Wednesday, Akintoye said, “x 20 police officers for security and 10 Hausa labourers to carry out demolition were deployed. We chained and locked some buildings but some of them violated the law by opening it back claiming that it was on the order of the Kwara State Assembly, who visited the area.
“After securing the court order, we gave them a week notice which lapsed March 1st. But because we have human feelings, we extended the deadline for another week.”
While reiterating that the lands belong to the Alangua Kulende family, Akintoye said the 8th Emir of Ilorin, Late  Abdulquadri Shuaib consulted the then Alangua during the era of Native Authority when there is need to establish a cattle market.
“The then Emir consulted the Alangua of Kulende to lease the land out for cattle market and the latter agreed to the request,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Chairman Public Complaint Committee of the state House of Assembly, Hon Babatunde Adebayo has refuted claim of ordering the allottees to re-open their houses after it was kept under lock and key by the Alangua family.
“What we did was to plead with the Alagua family to have mercy on them (allottees). The Kwara Assembly called the claimant’s lawyer to negotiate and he promised us a solution soon,” he said..
Meanwhile, the stakeholders over the land dispute are to meet at a yet to be disclosed venue, this week, according to the DG of Bureau of Lands.

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