Court ends 42-year Ojora land tussle
A Lagos High Court (Lands Division) has re-affirmed the ownership by the Ojora Chieftaincy Family of the vast hectares of land Iganmu, Ijora, Badia, Orile and Coker Village areas of Lagos State.
The Supreme Court had on April 3, 2009 pronounced the family the legitimate owner of the disputed land after a 37-year legal battle.
The Adesiba Ayeloja Adedewe Royal Family, last year, filed a fresh suit before Justice (Mrs) M.O Obadina of the Lagos High Court, seeking among other things, an order giving them possession of the land and a declaration of title under Native Law and Custom to all the parcel of land at Iganmu, Orile, Coker Village and adjoining villages on plan No AL/64A/1974.
Justice Obadina held that the institution of the latest suit amounted to an attempt to re-litigate the issues which have already been decided upon by the Supreme Court. The judge said despite several publications, public notices, caveat emptor and warning notices published in various newspapers, the claimants alleged they did not read the newspapers. She, therefore, asked: “What about the people who bought from them and those they put in possession? Are they saying that not even one of their privies in estate brought these publications to their notice?”
She said: “I hold that the claimants cannot in this court re-open and re-litigate the issues of the land, the subject of LD/562/72, whether or not they are claiming a larger parcel of land. Their claim would have been pronounced upon by the court if they had joined the suits instituted; instead, they chose to stand by while other people fought for the land. They are stopped from re-litigating the claim of title.” The court held that the case is an abuse of court process.