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Fear Grips Asese Residents As Hired Nigerian Soldiers Allegedly Fire Live Bullets At Workers Executing Court Orders

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Fear Grips Asese Residents As Hired Nigerian Soldiers Allegedly Fire Live Bullets At Workers Executing Court Orders

Residents of Asese, in Ogun State, are living in fear after Nigerian soldiers allegedly hired by Christ Embassy fired live bullets at workers executing a court-ordered demolition.

The incident occurred on Saturday, July 6, around 4 p.m., causing widespread panic and forcing businesses to close.

Videos obtained by The Standard Gazette reveal the tense standoff, with Nigerian security personnel kneeling with guns aimed at the youths and employees of Iffen Ventures, the demolition company tasked with carrying out the court’s mandate.

The sight of armed soldiers compelled the workers to abandon their equipment and flee for their lives.

Iffen Ventures had previously attempted the demolition on Wednesday, July 3, but were similarly threatened by the same soldiers. Undeterred, the company returned to the site on July 6, only to face the same hostile reception.

The soldiers’ presence and threats to open fire if the workers proceeded with the demolition created a climate of fear and tension in the community.

 

Fear Grips Asese Residents As Hired Nigerian Soldiers Allegedly Fire Live Bullets At Workers Executing Court Orders

 

Their action was awful. If we had proceeded, they would have killed the people. If we decided to do the job at night, people would die, and some would be missing,” Olabode Babafemi, a representative from Iffen Ventures, stated.

Quoting one of the soldiers as saying, ‘If you continue, we will take the necessary actions,’ meaning they would open fire on us.”

The escalating situation has resulted in the temporary abandonment of the demolition project. Shops and businesses in the area have shuttered in response to the ongoing threat, with residents fearing for their safety.

I will talk to Mr. Audu to get a task force and reinforcement to protect them from being intimidated,” Olabode said, emphasizing the need for additional security measures to ensure the court order can be executed without further violence.

The incident highlights the growing tension, lawlessness in the region and the corruption of the Nigerian soldiers, as court orders are met with armed resistance, putting lives at risk and undermining the rule of law.

What Happened?

The High Court of Ogun State, Abeokuta Judicial Division, presided over by Honourable Justice B.B. Adebowale, issued a ruling in favour of Mr. Paul Roy Audu in the suit against the Incorporated Trustees of InnerCity Mission for Children, BLW Nigeria Limited, and several Ogun State officials. The judgment mandates demolishing an unauthorized fence blocking a public access road adjacent to the plaintiff’s property.

Case Background:

Mr Paul Roy Audu, the plaintiff, initiated legal action on October 4, 2022, seeking an interlocutory injunction to prevent the defendants from erecting a fence that obstructs the right-of-way and public access road servicing his land and the surrounding community. This request was made to ensure access preservation until the suit’s determination.

Despite the pending application, the 1st and 2nd defendants allegedly proceeded to construct the disputed fence in August 2023. This led to the plaintiff filing another motion on October 18, 2023, requesting a mandatory injunction to dismantle the fence and restore the status quo ante bellum, which refers to the state of affairs before the construction of the fence.

Justice Adebowale ruled in favour of Mr. Audu’s application, directing the 4th and 5th defendants, represented by the Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development and the Bureau of Land and Survey, to:

Demolish the fence constructed by the 1st and 2nd defendants within the public right-of-way under the supervision of the Divisional Police Officer of Ibafo Police Station.

Ensure compliance with the order and file an affidavit of compliance within fourteen days of the ruling.

The court emphasized that the actions of the 1st and 2nd defendants, taken while the initial injunction application was pending, were contemptuous and altered the status quo, thus necessitating corrective measures.

Implications:

This ruling underscores the court’s commitment to upholding legal processes and preventing unlawful obstructions that affect community access and property rights. The demolition order aims to restore the original state of the disputed access road and reinforce the rule of law.

Legal representatives involved in the case include Na Muviwa-Oni for the Claimant, Tope Ojewunmi for the 1st Defendant, Dr Okunide Ayeni and Cynthia Chukwu for the 2nd Defendant, and Adehuale Maruwa along with O.A. Adebayo for the 3rd to 5th defendants.