By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
At least over 1000 residents of Ilamose Community in Oke-Afa, Ejigbo, in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State will be rendered homeless soon, following plans by the owner of the land to take possession in accordance with a court ruling.
Counsel to the owner of the expanse of land, Patrick Arasanya of Dei Croatia Chambers, said his client Alhaji Hakeem Osuolale of Osuolale Nig. Ltd has concluded plans with the Deputy Sheriff of the Lagos High Court to execute the ruling of Justice C.O Williams decided in his favour in 2006.
Following the ruling of the judge in a suit NOS. ID/1752/89 AND CA/L669/2007 covered by survey plan no. CD/728/77, Arasanya said his client had exhausted all peaceful avenue at ensuring the illegal residents complied with the court ruling by relinquishing the said land or ratify their title with the Attorney, who was willing and equally accepted the ratification process.
Dissatisfied with the judgement, Arasanya said the residents proceeded to the Appeal Court, adding that the court affirmed the ruling of Hon. Williams of the High Court, which favoured his client.
“The judgement of appeal was given in 2011 and till date, nothing has been served on us from the Supreme Court as to whether they protest the appeal court ruling. The law says an appeal must be entered three months after judgement”, he explained.
Consequent, he added that a peaceful settlement-negotiation was initiated by the traditional ruler of Ejigbo land HRM Oba Morrof Adekunle Adisa Ojoola and some notable leaders of the town including a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
While some complied with the memorandum of understanding, the counsel said some of the residents failed, adding that this necessitated the move by his client to take possession as directed by the court.
Informing that those who have complied will not be affected by the demolition exercise, Arasanya said the Attorney with the help of the Court Sheriffs has mobilised organs of government which include armed policemen, operatives of Lagos State Task Force amongst other for the demolition exercise.
He said a public notice through the mass media had earlier been served on the recalcitrant residents, notifying them of the expiration date of the memorandum of understanding and plan to execute the court judgement.
The public notice reads in part, “This is to notify and remind the people of Ilamose Community in Oke- Afa, Ejigbo Lagos State that the memorandum of understanding dated March 2016 asking for a year of grace voluntarily signed with Alhaji Hakeem Osuolale of Osuolale Nig. Ltd. based on the land judgement in favour of Ojo-Barber family will lapse by the 28th February, 2017 and the court judgement will be executed by them. Those who have not complied with the agreement and ready to do so should contact Alhaji Hakeem Osuolale before 28/2/2017”.
The Lagos State Government had in a letter No. 11/DAS.S.3227/108, dated 17th June, 2014, signed on behalf of the Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice by one Mosunmola Osikoya and addressed to Dei Gratia Chambers, advised that the judgement creditor cause the requisite forms for enforcement of judgement as prescribed in the 2012 Lagos State High Court (Civil Procedure), and thereafter liase with the Sheriffs Department.
Arasanya, who also quoted section 4 of the Lagos State Property Possession Law, described the recalcitrant residents as land grabbers, saying they have taken forcefully what did not belongs to them.