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Tinubu estate trustees appeal ruling on Ijora land dispute

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Lagos High Court, Ikeja. Photo/Channelstv

Dissatisfied with the ruling delivered by Justice Wasiu Animahaun of a Lagos High Court, on the disputed Ijora land, the Trustees of the Estate of late Madam Iyalode Efunroye Tinubu has filed an appeal at Lagos division of the court.

In the ruling delivered on January 23, 2019, the judge has dismissed the appellant’s counter claim filed on June 8, 2017 in suit N0, M/5/2009 on the ground that it was an abuse of court process.

But the trustees suing through their attorney, Adamakin Investment and Work Limited, is asking the appellate court to set aside the entire ruling of the lower court made on January 23, dismissing the appellant’s counter claim filed on June 8, 2017 in suit N0, M/5/2009.

They also want an order reinstating to the cause list of the lower court, the counter-claim in the same suit dismissed by the lower court.

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In the appeal marked CA/LAG/CV/589/2019, the appellant, further wants an order for the trial of their counter claim before another court within the same jurisdiction as constituted before the lower court.

The appellant in the appeal supported by 12- paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Ayoyinka Roberts , a legal practitioner of Reliance Solicitors, Lagos, also wants a stay on further proceeding on the matter pending the determination of the appeal , stressing that taking further proceeding in the matter will foist a situation of helplessness on the court of appeal and render the appeal nugatory.

They argued that the lower court erred in law when it decided that their counter claim was an abuse of court process despite acknowledging that the counter claim in the suit before him was the earlier in time.

They also contended that the lower court erred in law when it held that they are precluded from bringing an action against Oba Abdul-Fatai Aremu Aromire, Chief Fatai Adio Suleiman, Prince Olayiwola Oluwa, (5th to 7th respondents), following the provision of section 16 of the limitation law (Cap L67) Laws of Lagos State by stating that for the 37 years of litigation before competent court of law, forms part of the limitation period against them despite acknowledging that the said litigation ended with the supreme court’s judgment delivered on April 3, 2009.

They further argued that the trial court erred in law when it dismissed their counter claim in its entirety notwithstanding the fact that the appellant has a counter claim against the Adeyemi Olusina Savage, Mrs. Roseline Yeside Roberts, Kolawole Akinleye Savage, the first and third respondents whose parcel of land falls outside the purview of the land owned by the 5th- 7th respondent following the interpretation of the composite plan drawn by the office of the surveyor general and which report was dated January 31, 2018.

But the respondents have argued that the counter claimant’s actin was an attempt to reopen the issue litigated upon in the previous suit, which amounted to abuse of court process.

They also anchored the argument on the period of time that litigation in the previous suit took, right from the high court to the supreme court, stressing that the counter claimant and 6th defendant in the suit are caught by the principle of Estoppel by conduct, having not joined the previous suit that lasted 37 years in court, despite having constructive notice of the pendency of the suit.

Ownership of the vast hectares of land spanning to Iganmu, Ijora, Badia, Orile and Coker Village areas of Lagos State has been a subject of litigation for over 37 years before the Supreme Court on April 3, 2009 pronounced the Ojora Chieftaincy Family the legitimate owner of the disputed land.

However dispute arose in the land between Mr. Adeyemi Olusina Savage, Mrs. Roseline Yeside Roberts, Kolawole Akinleye Savage suing as administrators to the Estate of Kolapo Belugbade Savage as claimants in Suit N0 M/5/2009, while Taylor Woodrow Nigeria Limited, Oba Abdul-Fatai Aremu Aromire, Chief Fatai Adio Suleiman, Prince Olayiwola Oluwa and Twinsectra Nigeria limited were listed as respondents.

The appellant joined in the suit as the 6th defendant and counter claimant.

Hearing on the matter has been fixed tentatively for a date on 2021 due to the heavily load of the court occasioned by election litigations.


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