A property situated at No. 10, Abebe Village Road, Iganmu, Lagos, which has been a cause of litigation with an order of stay of execution given to parties in the case by the court was allegedly taken over yesterday by one of the parties, a traditional ruler.
Despite the stay at home order in Lagos, a traditional ruler, the Oba of Ojora, Oba AbdulFatai Aremu Aromire on Friday, led a group of men who claimed to be members of the Odua People’s Congress(OPC) to take over the property while litigation is still ongoing, contrary to the order of court. The team were said to have arrived at the site of the property with a Hilux truck with the plate no LND 791 PF, harassed the policeman securing the place.
Oba Aromire had been dragged to court alongside Prince Olayiwola Oluwa over a disputed land and had by a Motion on Notice dated December 2, 2019 prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the duo either by themselves or through their agents, servants or privies from trespassing or further trespassing on their lease registered as 74/74/923 and sublease as 49/49/1374 as part of No. 10, Abebe Village Road, Iganmu or any part thereof pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The claimants; Taylor Woodrow Nig Ltd, Beta Transport Nig Ltd, La Vendure Nig Ltd, Hamzat Subair and Waheed Enitan Oshodi claimed that they are not a party to the judgement delivered by Justice Adesola Oguntade, supported their application with an affidavit attaching exhibits and written address as well as relying on further affidavits and processes filed on December 3, 2019 and January 20, 2020.The respondents also filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection on January 16, 2020 praying the court to strike out or dismiss the entire suit.
Ruling on the application, having considered the oral argument proffered by counsel to both parties regarding their respective positions on both applications, Justice Onigbanjo dismissed the Claimants’ application as an abuse of court process.The judge premised his decision on the judgement of the Supreme Court in Suit No SC/54/2005 which affirmed the Court of Appeal decision in Suit No. CA/L/86/2018 and which in turn affirmed his (Onigbanjo’s) judgment in Suit No. LD/562/72 and CTC of which are exhibited by parties in this suit and all of which judgements affirmed the objectors as the overlords and rightful owners of all the land in Iganmu, Lagos State from time immemorial.
Justice Onigbanjo in his ruling said the Supreme Court Judgement delivered by Justice Adesola Oguntade had made it clear that the disputed Iganmu land rightly belong to the Defendants/Respondents. Not satisfied with the judge’s decision, the Claimants approached the Court of Appeal, alleging that the learned trial judge erred in law on so many grounds.In their Notice of Appeal dated March 16, 2020 and filed by their counsel, A.M Makinde(SAN) the Claimants/Applicants claimed that the trial judge erred in law when he held that their action in Suit No. LD/8671/LMW/2019 was an attempt to re-litigate Suit No SC/54/2005, CA/L/86/2001 and LD/562/72, notwithstanding the fact that they or their predecessors in title were parties in Suit No SC/54/2005.
According to them, the trial judge never made any finding or pronouncement to the effect that either them or their predecessors in title were never parties to Suit No SC/54/2005, CA/L/86/2001 and LD/562/72.The Applicants also accused the trial judge of not making finding or pronouncement that the property registered as 74/74/923 and 49/49/1374 was litigated upon in SC/54/2005, CA/L/86/2001 and LD/562/72.They accused the trial judge of making reference to Survey Plan No. AL/64A/1974 attached as Exhibit C to the Notice of Preliminary Objection which was different from Survey Plan No. AL/64A/1974 referred to in the judgment in SC/54/2005, adding that the judgment in SC/54/2005 cannot bind them who were never parties in the suit.
The Applicants averred that Justice Onigbanjo also erred in law when he failed to determine the weightier questions of Estoppel par rem judicatam and locus standi, which were the grounds of the respondents Notice of Preliminary Objection before arriving at the conclusion that the Applicants’ suit was an abuse of court process on the ground that they were mere academic exercise.