An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital, under the leadership of Justice Fadeyi on Tuesday summoned officials of the state government to appear before it on May 14, over a land property allegedly belonging to the Association of the Deaf in Ibadan.
Newsmen recall that students of Christian Mission for the Deaf, Ibadan, had dragged the Oyo state government to court over alleged seizure of 39 acres of their land.
The students had in October last year, before dragging the state government to court, protested against the forceful take-over of the said land.
The angry protesters were led by the National Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of Christian Mission for the Deaf, Mr. Silas Ike.
Ike, while describing the acquisition as illegal, said the mission bought 39 acres of land on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in 2004 with a plan to build the first special university for the deaf and dumb in the country and Africa on it.
The protesters, who stormed the Agodi Government Secretariat, carried placards with various inscriptions, such as: “We need more than 39 acres for the proposed university”; “We want our land for proposed university”; “Please, do not oppress the deaf”; “Do not resettle people on our land”, “We bought our land with donations from people.”
Others read: “The deaf have rights to live better life”; “We need our land for school”; “Oyo State government should not forcefully occupy the deaf’s land”; “We need our land for vocational training and deaf university” and “The deaf are helpless, please.”
However, the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Mr. Isaac Omodewu, who addressed the protesters, assured them that he would meet the governor, who he said was out of the state, on the matter.
It was gathered on Tuesday that the school had set the controversial land aside for the construction of a university to be known as Deaf University, Ibadan to cater to the educational needs of the deaf.
But the state government was alleged to have commenced construction on the said 39-acre land, which members of the association of the deaf alleged was forcefully taken from them.
The association urged the court for an order for Governor Abiola Ajimobi to maintain status quo, pending the determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction filed before the court.
But counsel to the state government, Mrs. Omolara Adepoju, while speaking on Tuesday, said the government has started preparing to file its own statement of defence.
Fadeyi then adjourned the case till May 14, 2019, for further hearing.
Credit: Daily Post