Afe Babalola warns Kwara governor against review of Offa, Erinle-Ile land settlement
Legal icon, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has warned the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdurahman AbdulRazaq, against reviewing the Supreme Court judgment on the land dispute involving Offa and Erin-Ile, saying the governor lacks the powers to undertake such action.
Babalola said he handled the Erin-Ile’s matter against Offa before Justice Funsho Daramola Commission of Inquiry on Offa/Erin Ile boundary dispute in 1971, after which the court gave a judgment in favour of the town by affirming that a place named ‘Kere Ipinle’, a boundary between the two feuding towns, belongs to Erin-Ile.
The legal icon, who spoke, yesterday, while receiving a delegation from Erin-Ile at his office in Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), said no individual could review the judgment of any court.
The six-man delegation comprises prominent members of Frontiers Club, Erin-Ile, and other leaders, including Mr. Kolapo Usman, Muideen Bello, Ganiyu Daromosu, Adeola Ibrahim, Daromosu Azeez and Mr. Adamu.
Babalola said: “I was the one who handled the matter in 1971 before Justice Funsho Daramola Panel of inquiry and we won.
In his remarks, the spokesman of the Erin-Ile delegation, Bello, applauded Babalola for his service in ensuring justice for the town, regretting that some powerful forces were working against the implementation of the apex court’s verdict.
“It is very unfortunate that Supreme Court could be this debased. The powerful people were blocking the implementation of the judgments got in 1973 and 2018. This shouldn’t happen in a democracy.”
Also speaking at the parley, Secretary of Frontiers Club, Erin-Ile, Adeola, described the constitution of a review committee by Kwara governor on the disputed land as a desecration of the judiciary.
He alleged that a top member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet had been working hard to scuttle the implementation of the court’s pronouncement.
“We are aware that in the past few weeks, the Buhari’s aide has played host to the Olofa of Offa in Abuja, and has taken the latter to meet with some political office holders. We are also aware that top on the agenda of these engagements are the land issue, particularly how to undermine the undisputable ownership of the land by Erin-Ile.
“No move and the dropping of the President’s name would however change that. The Kwara State government has one duty and obligation on the land matter, and that is to enforce the Supreme Court judgment. Any attempt to use subterfuge to fraudulently seize the land for Offa for any project whatsoever will not work.
“Constitutionally and legally, an administrative panel cannot sit on appeal of the decisions and judgment of the Supreme Court and neither can it impeach judicial pronouncement,” Adeola said.
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