Court’s ruling unsettles communities in land dispute

courtDays after a Lagos High Court, ruled in its favour, the Agunfoye village Igbogbo, an Ikorodu community has not known peace.

Reason: The community has become a victim of attacks by land speculators in an alleged connivance with the police, leading to loss of innocent lives and destruction of property worth millions of naira.

This followed a right of occupancy ceded in favour of the Agunfoye village Igbogbo headed by the Adeyoruwa family.

The court presided by Justice Habeeb Adewale Abiru, now of the Court of Appeal had declared the Adeyoruwa of Agunfoye Idi-Orogbo in Igbogbo, Ikorodu as the rightful owner of the village being contested by Ishau Kolawole Ogunlana, Taofik Ijeni, Lateef Ijeni, Azee Anifowose and Alaba Anifowose.

In the judgment, Justice Abiru said that the Adeyoruwa of Agunfoye Idi-Orogbo had the statutory right of occupancy ‘in respect of the total area of land verged Red except the area verged green in Survey Plan No LAA/0327/07D/007 dated the 4th day of June 2007 drawn by L.A. Animashaun, Licenced Surveyor.

He said: “It is hereby declared that the defendants (Ishau Kolawole Ogunlana, Taofik Ijeni, Lateef Ijeni, Azee Anifowose and Alaba Anifowose) are not entitled to exercise any possessory or proprietary rights in respect of the parcels of land…and that the activities of the defendant on any part of the area of land amount to trespass.

“It is also declared that all sales, transfers of interest in respect of portions of the Adeyoruwa family land at Agunfoye, Idiorogbo carried out without the consent of the Adeyoruwa family are illegal, void and of no effect.

“It is hereby ordered that the Adeyoruwa family is entitled to the immediate possession of all the portion of the Adeyoruwa family land at Agunfoye, Idiorogbo sold without their consent.”

Dissatisfied, the aggrieved party in another suit asked another court to invalidate the Justice Abiru’s verdict.

But the judge, Justice M.A. Savage dismissed their application, saying the Justice Abiru’s judgment remains valid since it had not been set aside by any superior court of record.

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