Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, has adjourned the case between the state government and Asa Investments Limited, a company owned by the family of the former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over the disputed land on which Ile Arugbo was built till March 2, for a report on out-of- court settlement agreed upon amongst parties in the matter.
Counsel to Asa Investments Limited, Abdulazeez Ibraheem, told the court on Friday that he had written a letter on the instructions of the claimant to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawando, on January 20, for possible out-of-court settlement.
“Consequent upon judicial advice to the parties by the court on January 15, 2020, on the need to explore settlement out of court in order to sustain existing peace in Kwara State, known as the state of harmony, we as counsel to the claimant persuaded our client. After a thorough discussion, we wrote the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice because we want peace. We asked for a date, time and venue to meet. Consequently, this morning, we served a letter from the Ministry of Justice, Kwara State dated January 23, 2020. In the letter, we were invited for a meeting on Monday, January 27, 2020,” Ibraheem said.
He also told the court that he wanted to explore the opportunity presented by the development, adding that adjournment in the matter was, therefore, imminent and inevitable.
Also speaking, lead counsel to the state government and the Director of Civil Litigations in the state, Mohammed Bello, who represented the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, confirmed the position of the letter on the out of court settlement, which he said was served and received.
Bello also confirmed inviting the claimant on Monday, January 27, in tandem with tenets of the claimant’s letter, saying that adjournment was inevitable.
In his own reaction, counsel to the Inspector General of Police, Aderemi Ajibola, who is also the officer in charge of Legal, Kwara State Police Command, agreed to the out of court settlement and concurred with the arrangement made.
While adjourning the matter to March 2, to receive the report of the out-of-court settlement, the presiding judge, Justice Abiodun Adebara expressed optimism that the long adjournment would afford the parties opportunity to fine tune their discussion and to ensure the possibility of settlement.
He said the court was impressed with the steps taken by the parties, adding that the settlement was supported by the law guiding High Court.
He also urged the parties to engage in meaningful discussions to resolve the matter, wishing the parties well in their deliberations.
Justice Adebara, who described the adjournment as desirable and inevitable, thus granted an adjournment to March 2.