Court grants autonomy to community
A Lagos High Court has declared Igbo-Efon community in the Lekki area of Lagos State, an autonomous community. This came after years of forceful annexation of the community, by the Ojomu Chieftaincy Family, supported by the Lagos State Government.
Justice Kazeem Alogba delivered judgment in favour of the family, whereupon it entered an agreement with the Lagos State Government, for a fresh acquisition of the land and a further excision of a portion of the family land, leading to the promulgation of Lagos State Official Gazette, in 1994, detailing the communities excised from the acquisition.
In or about 1989, the Ojomu Chieftaincy family sued the Lagos State Government over the compulsory acquisition of their family land in Ajiran. Igbo-Efon was wrongly listed in the 1994 Gazette, whereupon Ojomu Chieftaincy Family annexed all other villages and settlements listed in the 1994 Gazette, as belonging to Ojomu Chieftaincy Family, claiming that Igbo-Efon community is a customary settlement of the Ojomu family, selling portions of the community land, which had been cleverly designated as part of the Ojomu family lay out plan.
The dispute came to a head when in 2007, Igbo-Efon community resisted the attempt by one of those who claimed to have bought a portion of Igbo-Efon land from Ojomu family, from taking over the said land, leading to a court action, in Suit No.LD/826/2007, Bamidele Jemiyo v Atiku Abogun & Anor, in the High Court of Lagos State.
After a trial that lasted almost 10 years, the Court, in a well-considered judgment, delivered on December 22, 2016, declared that the forceful annexation of Igbo-Efon community land under Ojomu Chieftaincy family was improper, since they are not customary tenants of the Ojomu family.