Supreme Court of Nigeria

A decision of the Supreme Court, which ceded a vast portion Agidingbi and its environs to Akinole-Oshiun family, has unsettled residents of the communities.

The judgment, which the apex court delivered recently, awarded ownership of the 398 acres of land and about 2,000 buildings to the Akinole-Oshiun family.

According to the apex court, the order covered a large part of Lateef Jakande Road (housing Coca-Cola, Daily Times newspaper and Cadbury Plc), Acme Road (where Daily Trust and Telegraph newspapers, as well as the APC secretariat, are located), Fagba Close, among others.

Consequently, dozens of community leaders, landlords, and residents of the Agidingbi Thursday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly, protesting the judgment that gave them seven days to vacate their properties.

They displayed placards with such inscriptions as “There is no ancestral connection between Akinole-Oshiun and Agidingbi; LASG save our community; Red card to land grabbers; O to ge fun Awon omo onile (Enough is enough for land grabbers).”

The protesters claimed they woke last week to see a court notice on their buildings, dated April 26, giving them seven days to evacuate the premises.

They, also, claimed that the notice indicated that the first judgment, which affirmed the ownership of the land to the Akinole-Oshiun family, was first delivered in 1983.

In a statement yesterday, however, another family of late Chief Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu, called for clarification of the affected properties in the areas the apex court awarded the Akinole-Oshiun family.

The statement, which was signed by the representative of Ashamu family, Messrs DHTL Capital Management Limited, was to avoid confusion, because many properties belong to Ashamu family among the ones purportedly belonging to Akinole-Oshiun family.

Relying on substantive documents to validate Ashamu’s position, the Vice Chairman, DHTL Capital Management, Mr. Tunde Adeyemi, said while congratulating Akinole-Oshiun family, the public should know that the Ashamu family “has interest within the same claimed areas, especially, in Alausa, Agidingbi and Magodo, where the said family has properties.

“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 properties belonging to Ashamu’s 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 statement said.

At a news conference he addressed at his Marina office, Adeyemi said when there was a dispute between the original owner of the land, the Ashade family, who sold the land to late Chief Emmanuel Ashamu, and Akinole-Oshiun family, the late Ashamu persuaded the Ashade family not to go to court, thus, arrangement was struck amongs the trios on the matter.

Consequently, he said it was agreed that an arrangement, whereby power of attorney may be employed, “should be facilitated. This was done by the Akinole-Oshiun family where lawful attorneys under and by virtue of a Power of Attorney dated June 30 1973, and registered as No.32, page 32, in volume 1425 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 late Emmanuel Ashamu. The Deed of assignment was dated 3rd August, 1973 and registered as No. 33 on page 33, volume 1432 of Land Registry in Lagos office.

“So, by the above history and other supporting summary of root of titles, the Akinole-Oshiun family has convered all its interest in some of the land at Agidingbi. This is what informed this warning that public should be wary of making any transaction over the properties without ascertain which one belongs to Akinole and the ones belong to Ashamu’s.”

Adeyemi listed the properties belonging to late Emmanuel Ashamu to within the affected areas to be in tune of 1,483.35 acres in Alausa, Agidingbi, Adekunle & Ogba areas of Ikeja.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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