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High Court Judgement: Confusion, as another family lays claim to Agidingbi land

By Kingsley Adegboye & Monsuru Olowoopejo

Just as the dust raised  by Akinole-Oshiun family last week over the ownership of landed property spread across Agidingbi and its environs is yet to settle, Ashamu family at the weekend claimed it owns some of the landed property within the areas being claimed by Akinole-Oshiun family following Lagos High Court’s decision that conferred ownership of the said property to it.

Lagos challenges Court judgement

Meanwhile, Lagos State Government has conclu-ded plans to initiate legal action against the purported land judgment that ceded a vast portion of Agidingbi and its environs to the Akinole Family in order to resolve the matter appropriately.

The planned legal action came four days after residents of Agidingbi stormed the State House, protesting against the judgement that ceded the land where over 2000 houses were currently sited.

court, Lagos
Court

In a statement by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, yesterday, the government expressed shock over continued disturbance of allottees on state acquired land by the Akinole Family.

The state government stated that the Akinole Family never challenged the land acquisition by the State Government before now.

According to the State government: “On the creation of the Lagos State in 1967, the first global acquisition of land was done in 1969 by the government (Notice No. 236) of the same year which was for 7,300 acres of land including Agidingbi and environ”.

It contended that the Akinole Family “was not only aware of the 7,300 acres global land acquisition of the land by the Lagos State government in 1969 but are parties in the Originating Summons subsequently taken out by the Lagos State Government in Suit No. LTILS/35/89 to determine the persons entitled to compensation in respect of the 356.442 hectares of land acquired, including the land in Agidingbi Village, under the compulsory public acquisition of 1969”.

The state government further expressed surprise that it was not made a party to the lawsuit by Akinole Family in a deliberate attempt to mislead the court and get a judgment in its favour.

The state government, however, noted that in order to forestall any breach of peace which may lead to anarchy or any form of loss of lives and property, the State Police command had been directed to deploy its officers and men to the location.

The government, therefore, assured the populace that it would forestall any further steps by the Akinole Family or any other party to intimidate property owners in the affected areas pending final resolution of the matter.

Counsel to Akinole-Oshiun family, Ayo Opadokun & Co, last week claimed a Lagos High Court had given judgement that hundreds of landed property in Agidingbi, Magodo, Ogba, Ikeja and others, belonged to Akinole-Oshiun family.

But fresh fact emerged at the weekend from the representative of family of the late Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu, Messrs DHTL Capital Management Limited, saying some property within the areas in question actually belong to Ashamu family going by the documents at its disposal, thereby calling for clarification of the landed property in question by those occupying them to avoid further controversy.

Citing documents to prove that Ashamu family owns the landed property, Mr. Tunde Adeyemi who is the Vice-Chairman, DHTL Capital Manage-ment Limited, said it would interest the public to know  that there are Ashamu’s family interests within the same claimed areas, especially in Alausa, Agidingbi and Magodo, where the said family has landed property.

According to Adeyemi: “We are aware that some unscrupulous persons are trying to (or may try to) use the supposed judgment to illegally encroach into the land and property belonging to Ashamu family and also to extort money from innocent, but desperate and unsuspecting individuals or corporate bodies within these areas. So, the public should be wary.”

The representative noted that when there was a dispute between the original owner of the land, the Ashade family who sold the land to the late Chief Emmanuel Ashamu, and Akinole-Oshiun family, the late Ashamu persuaded the Ashade family not to go to court.

Arrangement

Adeyemi disclosed that  an arrangement was struck between them on the matter, pointing out that: “On the case of Akinole’s family judgement and entitlement to the land in Agidingbi in 1973, when there was a further dispute between the Ashade family (the original owner of the land that was sold to the late Chief Emmanuel Ashamu) and the Akinole family, the late Chief Ashamu persuaded the Ashade family not to go to court but that he would deal with the family on their claim to the Agidingbi land.

“Akinole made it clear in the meeing with Chief Ashamu that they were not really in the land but will need money.

So, an agreement was struck between the parties on the matter and they (Akinole family) appointed their lawful Attorneys by virtue of a Power of Attorney dated 30th June 1973, and registered as No. 32 on page 32 in Volume1425 of the Land Registry in the office in Lagos.

“These lawful attorneys, with the knowledge and consent of the whole family, later executed a Deed of Assignment in favour of the late Chief Emmanuel Ashamu, having agreed to a sum of money paid to them on the execution of the document. This Deed was dated August 3rd, 1973, and registered as No. 33 on page 33 in volume 1432 of the lands Registry, Lagos.”

He added that so, by the above history, and other supporting summary of root of titles, the Akinole family has conveyed all its interest in some of the land at Agidingbi, stressing that this is what informed this warning that public should be wary of making any transaction over the affected property without ascertaining which one belongs to Akinole and the ones that belong to Ashamu family.

According to the representative, the property which the late Emmanuel Ashamu is claiming ownership within the affected areas  is 1,483.35 acres in Alausa, Agidingbi, Adekunle and Ogba areas of Ikeja.

It would be recalled that the Akinole Oshiun family, last week, through their Solicitors, Ayo Opadokun & Co, said it had issued a seven-day notice to owners of some property  in Ikeja, Alausa, Magodo and others, to regularise their titles on its land or risk demolition.

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Solicitors to the family, Ayo Opadokun & Co, at a media briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, said the notice was issued on April 29.

Mr. Kayode Akano, who spoke on behalf of the firm, 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.

Akano listed the areas on which property had been built to include Alhaja Ashabi Cole, Hakeem Balogun and LTV Way, MKO Abiola Way, Sections of IPM Road, Otunba Jobifele Way and Adeleye Street.

He gave the 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 judgement.

He gave the others as 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 Akinole Oshiun family had secured favourable judicial pronouncements /judgements from the Lagos High Court to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court finally on the 398 acres in May 2010.

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

“In consequence of the family legal possession of its land and the receipt of the Certified True Copy of the Form 0 confirming that the vast land in Agidingbi area of Ikeja, Lagos State, covered by Survey Plan No:CK /LS/272 dated 22/12/1977 had been peaceably delivered to the Akinole Oshiun family .

“The family wishes to emphasise that for the avoidance of doubt, all property within the Akinole Oshiun family, as contained in the survey plan, shall be dealt with in accordance with the judgment granting an order for possession and demolishing any illegal structure standing therein by Order of the High Court of Lagos State in the suit mentioned therein.

“The family statement, as contained in the Public Notice pasted on all affected property on their land, has directed all those affected by the Order of Execution on 26th April 2019 and another Public Notice in the Nation Newspaper of 29th April, 2019 to  comply with the expectations that all property owners so affected must contact their solicitors, Ayo Opadokun and Co.

“They should contact the solicitors with any document in their possession to rectify their titles within seven days of the action and publication.

“Failure to do so, such properties shall be demolished in accordance with the judgment and order of the High Court of Lagos State,” he said.

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 said

 

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