Ondo state government has again served a note of warning to encroachers, flitchers and other illegal occupants to stay clear of its forest reserves or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
According to a statement from the Press Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Sola Omoboyowa, the state Chief Forest Conservator, Mr Osere Godwin gave the warning while reacting to a recent Akure Chief Magistrate court judgement which convicted one Rafiu Rahman and two others for illegal entry, unlawful occupation and economic sabotage in OA4 forest reserve, Aperin in Odigbo council area.
He stated that the verdict would serve as a deterrent to other unscrupulous elements dragging the forest reserve with the government.
According to the Chief Conservator of forest, all intending lawbreakers should be wary that it is no longer business as usual in Ondo state.
He reinstated that trespassing and engaging in any activity in the forest reserves without certified permission from concerned authorities will not be condoned.
The court ruled that the action of the three accused persons represented a clear economic sabotage, breach of peace, threat to law and order as well as an attempt to incite riots.
The presiding magistrate ordered the first defendant to one month imprisonment with an option of fine, while the other two accused persons were fined the sum of seventy five thousand naira each.
However, the State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has given Mr Rafiu Rahman 14 days quit notice to vacate the forest.
The eviction notice was signed by the Ministry’s Director of legal Services, F.K Salami and made available to newsmen in Akure.