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Lagos government wades into Agidingbi land dispute

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Residents affected by the Supreme court judgment granting the Akinole Oshun family ownership of the 398 acres of land at Agidingbi, Ikeja and its environ have sought for the intervention of the Lagos government on their over 2,000 buildings.

Fresh facts emerged over the weekend that the Lagos State Government has waded into the dispute arising from the Supreme Court verdict on the 398 acres of land at Agidingbi, Ikeja and environs.

The Akinole-Oshiun family, who were the judgment creditors had threatened to demolish over 2,000 buildings on the land in accordance to the court verdict.

The development was the outcome of a 42-year old legal tussle between the family, some land owners and the Lagos State Government over the ownership of the land.

The family has indicating readiness to commence execution of the judgment following the receipt of the Certified True Copy of the Form O confirming that the vast land in Agindingbi area of Ikeja covered by Survey Plan, No. CK/LS/272 dated 22/12/1977 drawn by Abolade Coker, Licenced Surveyor had been delivered to them.

However, the threat brought confusion and anxiety on residents, business and property owners at Agidingbi, culminating to several meetings with both the traditional institutions and government officials.

Affected residents have among other moves staged a protest to the Lagos State House of Assembly in Alausa on Thursday in which they sought the intervention of the state and the lawmakers on the matter.

At the protest, the residents had urged the state government and the lawmakers to intervene in the matter in order to avoid crisis.

In a letter delivered to the lawmakers, the Baale of Agindingbi, Ganiu Ayinde Aruna, intimated the state government and the Assembly of the looming danger, threats and action being orchestrated by a family called the Akinole-Oshun towards causing mayhem, as well as disturb the peace of the community.

A council legislative member, Wasiu Bolaji Seidu, who spoke on behalf of the protesters said Agidingbi had been in existence for over 200 years and that it was not possible for somebody to just wake up to take over the land based on a court judgment which they were not a party.

Already, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro has said the state government will do what is required as permitted by law to protect its allottees, their lives and properties.

Agoro in a public notice at the weekend stated that the land in contention falls within the 7,300 acres of land under acquisition which is contained in the Lagos State Official Gazette N0 26 Vol 2, dated October 24, 1969

He indicated that the state had the title for the 7,300 acquisition including the land in contention vested on her by Legal Notice N0. 8 of 1976 published in the extra ordinary Gazette N025 Vol. 9 of June 18, 1979.

According to him, the state government on March 31, 1977 released 14.54 hectares to Agidingbi community as contained in the Notice of Excision published as N0.92 in the official Gazete N0.15 Vol. 10.

He stressed that as a result of the dispute within the community which led to destruction of properties and loss of lives, the state government withdrew and subsequently revokes the Notice of Excision of 14.54 hectares described as parcel 8 in the notice of Excision.

Agoro also stated that the 1969 acquisition has not been set aside by the courts in the various judgments referred by the Akinole Oshiun family and that the state was not a party to the Appeal N0 CA/L/776/2014 and that the judgment delivered on March 29, 2019 by the appeal court has not nullified the 1969n acquisition .

He therefore stressed that all government allottees within the Central Business District and all members of the public that all parcels of land within the CBD are within the 1969 acquisition, and they should therefore ignore the public notice served or pasted on their premises.

But solicitors to the family, Ayo Opadokun & Co, said the Supreme Court had granted ownership of 398 acres of the hitherto disputed land, covering areas in Agindingbi, Alausa, Magodo, Ikeja and others, to the family.

Mr. Kayode Akano, who spoke on behalf of the firm, listed Alhaja Ashabi Cole, Hakeem Balogun and LTV Way, MKO Abiola Way, Sections of IPM Road, Otunba Jobifele Way and Adeleye Street as falling within the said land.

Other areas as Assibifi Road, Elephant Crescent, LJ Dosunmu Street, Impressive Close, Bayo Ajayi Street, Kareem Ogungbeye Street, Amara Street, a section of Celestial Church Street, Yusuf Street, Yusuf Close, and Abiodun Shobanjo Street.

The solicitor added that Adedeji Street, Ade Street, Ajobiewe Street, Awayemasere Street, Fagba Crescent, Ajumobi Olorunoje Street, ACME Crescent, a section of Lateef Jakande Road inside the 398 acres and a section of ACME road, were also covered in the judgment.

Also listed are Nurudeen Olowopopo Drive, a section of Sen. Ahmed Tinubu Road, a section of CMD Jubilee Way, Magodo Brooke’s both North and South and sections of Raji Oladimeji Crescent and Akin Tijani Street.

The matter which originated from the Lagos High Court went up to the Court of Appeal and finally at the Supreme Court in May 2010.

It was further gathered that the Lagos state government allegedly gave parcels of Land to the families on acquisition at Ipeju-Lekki but the Akinole-Oshiun family denied it .

The family stressed that the title of the said parcel of land has been variously re-affirmed in favour of the Akinole-Oshiun Family in the following cases namely: “By the judgments of High Court of Lagos State in Suit No ID/216/77L delivered by Hon. Justice B.O. Martins on 19th August 1983 and re-affirmed on 26th March 1993; 36 years and 26 years ago respectively.

“Appeals/Applications at the Court of Appeal to set aside the above-referenced judgments by the Attorney- General of Lagos State in Appeal No. CA/L/517/99, were struck out on 23rd September 2003; 4th July 2005 and 14th April 2008 respectively, and in Appeal No. CA/L/649M/2006, another Application was struck out on the 26th of April 2007. “ Further Appeals to the Supreme Court in Suit No. SC/173/2009 dated 24th May 2010, was dismissed thereby reaffirming the judgments of the High Court and the Court of Appeal respectively.

“Therefore, by the above, Lagos State High Court and Court of Appeal favourable judgments, the Akinole-Oshiun Family takes effective possession of our land, the 398 acres of land at Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos State”.

The family stressed that after seven-day notice, owners of some property in Ikeja, Alausa, Magodo and others, who failed to regularise their titles on its land, risked being demolition.

Akano said the exercise was not to scare anyone but rather to enforce an order of the court.

He added that the family’s solicitors had put all machinery in place to execute the order to the letter, not minding whose property was involved .

“The only occupant whose property is not involved at this time of execution is Alhaja Muinat Ashorobi and also whosoever deals with anyone other than the law firm of Ayo Opadokun and co, does so at his or her peril,’’ he added.


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