Court orders closure of Ondo automobile market

The Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has ordered the closure of the state-owned, popular automobile market in Akure, over government’s alleged disobedience of a court order, directing the automobile dealers to vacate the market.

The fence of the market, located along Akure-Ilesa Expressway, was marked by court officials on the order of the court.

One Chief Taye James and one Idowu Onanuga had taken the state to court, claiming that the land on which the government built the market was illegally acquired.

According to their lawyer, Kehinde Ojo, the court, in 2014, in a judgment delivered by Justice A.O. Adebusoye, had ordered the government to vacate the land.

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Ojo claimed that the state ignored the court’s verdict that “The first claimant is entitled to a statutory right of occupancy over the property.”

He said it was because of the alleged disobedience of the court order that his clients had to approach the court again.

He said, “We have made several moves, asking the government to honour the initial agreement but to no avail, hence the reason we went back to the court for the enforcement of the judgment.”

One of the claimants, James, said he would give the government the options of returning the land to him as directed by the court or to pay him N100m as compensation.

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In his reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Mr. Segun Ajiboye, said the government would study the court ruling and take appropriate action.

“You can see that the matter has been on before we came in but we will study everything and take the necessary action on it,” he said.

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