The people of Offa in Kwara State have responded to Chief Afe Babalola’s (SAN) purported warning to Kwara State government not to interfere in the Supreme Court’s judgement on Erin- Ile / Offa land dispute.
The people insisted that the Supreme Court’s judgement of 1973 did not award any part of Offa land to Erin-Ile.
They described various publications credited to the legal icon on the issue as prejudicial and intended to bias the minds of members of a committee set up by Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq on the thorny issue.
The reaction of Offa community was contained in a statement signed by the national secretary of Offa Descendants Union (ODU), Muideen Adebayo, a copy of which was made available to LEADERSHIP in Ilorin yesterday.
The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the various publications credited to Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, wherein he warned the Kwara State Governor and stated inter alia that Erin Ile won the case in Supreme Court in 1973.
“Offa is a community of responsible people and we do not intend to join issues with Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, on what he said in the various publications. This is because the statement credited to him is highly prejudicial and intended to bias the minds of the members of the Panel that was duly constituted by the Kwara State government and also the general public against Offa.
“Offa will present its position to the panel at the most appropriate time. But be that as it may, the Supreme Court Judgement of 1973 did not award any part of Offa Land to Erin Ile.
“We sincerely plead to all to allow the Panel to do their job very well without being biased. Offa is a very peaceful town with people of high integrity and we have a lot of respect and regard to the members of the Panel that was constituted by the Kwara State government.”